One thing that always drives me insane is when you tell someone that a certain word is hurtful or offensive, and they tell you that you're just being "sensitive", that they're just having "fun" and that they don't believe in being "politically correct" and you should just "have a sense of humor" about it. Funny - I'd like most of those guys to try walking through Inglewood or Compton calling everybody "nigger" and ask THEM to just have a sense of humor about it.
It's odd - I was raised to believe that people with good moral values were supposed to respect others and treat them kindly. Remember the Golden Rule? Treat others as you would have them treat you? No, neither does anybody else.
I was reading an NPR review for the novel "Big Girl, Small" today, about a 16 year old girl with dwarfism, coming of age at a Performing Arts high school, dealing with being a little person in a world that loves to mock differences. The excerpt that NPR published featured a quote that I thought was very apropos:
"Maybe someday they'll think disproportionate dwarfis a rude expression and they'll come up with a nicer way to put it. I think most people know now that Hottentot is considered a rude word. Maybe not, though. Most people are stupid as hell when it comes to things like which words are rude. And a lot of people, even once they find out which words hurt people, still like to use them. They think it's smarmy and "PC" to have to say things kindly, or that it's too much pressure not to be able to punish freaks with words like freak."