Bloggerheads has an entertaining 20 minute diavlog between Bob Wright (New America Foundation) and Micky Kraus (Slate blogger). The subject is one of many recent lows in U.S. politics — Ann Coulter calling John Edwards a faggot in a speech.
Micky, who has come under fire from Andrew Sullivan, argues that "faggot" is not as derogatory as "nigger" or "raghead". The issue over certain charged words is fascinating and complex. On the one hand, bigotry is unacceptable and any word associated with bigotry should not be said in polite conversation. On the other hand, sometimes folks who seek to abolish the utterance of offensive words actually give it more power.
On a side note, notice Wright’s rhetorical / argumentative strategies in the diavlog — very sophisticated.