The last time I heard the n***** word being used in person was a couple of weeks ago when coming home on the train. A fight sort of broke out on the ram packed train because people were being pushed into each other as the trains have limited capacity and the inside layout makes it worse. An Asian man started having a go at an Afro-Carribean man, culminating when both they (and I and about a hundred others) extracted themselves from the train at Forest Gate. As we all headed up the stairs the Asian man shouted the n***** word. Fortunately the flow of the crowd prevented any further incident.
I recall this because a story has come my way of a councillor in Bristol who has been embroiled in a racism row, calling an Asian councillor a "coconut" - i.e. suggesting a BME person is really white on the inside - who says "How can I be a racist when I'm black?" (The Sun: Race row over 'coconut' jibe) This must go up there in the cannon of wriggle-out clauses along with "I can't be racist/homophobic, I have BME/LGBT friends".
If a white councillor had used such a remark there would be rightly howls of outrage. I am glad that there are many who are not taken in by Cllr Brown's protestations. Let's be clear - it's a derogatory term based on preconceived stereotyping about what role a person of a particular race should fulfil, what attitudes they should have, what they should support and so forth. That is racism pure and simple. Cllr Brown should be ashamed and consider her position.
If she resigns from the council, it seems it won't make much difference as apparently she's been making only occasional attendances to qualify for her expenses. There's more on this, plus the footage of the incident itself, at Bristol Dave: Want to know who actually supports all this equalities shit?, Bristol Dave: Shirley Brown/Marshall Part II and Bristol Dave: Shirley Brown/Marshall part III.