August 5, 2009 5:04 PM

Commentary: Some slurs shouldn't be played with

"You are such a racist nigger." — reader e-mail To answer your questions: yes, the e-mail is quoted in its entirety. Yes, it's authentic; I received it a year or so ago. And, no, it is not unique in its sentiment, its coarseness or its deafness to irony. That note has always struck me as a stark benchmark of our slide into racial incoherence. Here's another: Last week on Fox & Friends, Glenn Beck, the Fox News host, declared President Obama a "racist" with "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." Bare seconds later, Beck turned around and said, "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people. . . "

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