The debate over the N word is ridiculous to me on so many different levels. First of all....it's use should be eradicated period! I don't care if you're black or not, it's use is offensive, it shows a lack of understanding of history and it makes one sound un-intelligent.
Some African-Americans say the use of the N word now is meant as an endearing term. Tell that to all those who were enslaved. Tell that to the black men who were lynched, who probably heard that word spoken to them right before they took their last breath. And tell that to all those of all races who marched and worked so hard for civil rights.
Now with all that said....if African-Americans want to use the term as a replacement for buddy...man...dude....fine. But then every race has to be able to use it in the same context. What is good for one has to be good for another. African-Americans should understand that better than anyone.