Regarding the De-Niggering of Huck Finn:
Check out one of the most niggery passages from the censored Huckleberry Finn sort of by Mark Twain, where the n-word that ate literature is edited out and replaced with another word:
"Jim was monstrous proud about it, and he got so he wouldn't hardly notice the other slaves. Slaves would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any slave in that country. Strange slaves would stand with their mouths open and look him all over, same as if he was a wonder. Slaves is always talking about witches in the dark by the kitchen fire; but whenever one was talking and letting on to know all about such things, Jim would happen in and say, 'Hm! What you know 'bout witches?' and that slave was corked up and had to take a back seat."
You know what the Rude Pundit's problem with that is? It doesn't work. It makes Huck (who is narrating, in case you haven't read the book) sound far smarter and more sensitive than he actually is. Indeed, one of the points of the book is that Huck evolves (putting aside his totally dickish behavior towards the runaway and later freed slave Jim in the last part), yet, especially early on, Huck is a backwards ass country fuck, and the use of the word "nigger" denotes, quite clearly, the social standing and/or intelligence of the characters. (And this isn't even getting into the whole "Injun"/"Indian" swap.)
But let's put literary analysis aside. How about this: don't fuck with works of art. Don't cover the tits or dicks on statues. Don't put out DVDs with the naughty bits cut out of a film. If you can't handle it or are offended by it, move on. The Rude Pundit can't abide intense violence against women in movies, so there's a few allegedly great flicks he's missed. But he wouldn't ask to see Irreversible with the notorious rape scene cut out.
You can't take the word "nigger"? Then, sorry, you don't get to enjoy the rest of Twain's satire of human degradation and idiocy (and you should probably avoid Pudd'nhead Wilson, too). You don't get to watch Pulp Fiction. You don't get to watch unedited episodes of The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son. You don't get to hear Archie Bunker explain about how he got his ass kicked when he was a kid by a black boy because he used the word: "That's what all them people was called in them days. I mean everybody we knew called them people 'niggers.' That's all my old man ever called them, there." No, we're just not that mature anymore. (Yeah, yeah, you can say we've gotten more "sensitive" or some such shit. All that's happened is that we've made the word more powerful by its false invisibility.)
This is ain't about people in places of business or public officials using "nigger." It's about art. Art pisses people off. You think it's ludicrous when dumbass members of Congress get offended by ants crawling on a cross in a video by a gay artist at the Smithsonian? Well, welcome to the other side of the coin.