It's What You Say AND How You Say It
In thinking about the whole 'Dr. Laura Says the N-word'controversy, I am reminded of how much intent matters. So rather than get into a discussion of who can and cannot say the N-word, it is more productive to remember that no one wants to be disrespected, especially not in their own home. The N-word ignites controversy because of its history, but any words can be spoken with sufficient venom and the object of those words will know that they were said to harm and not help.
And where was the woman's husband in all of this. While Dr. Laura, she of the perfectly-tuned funny bone, told the woman she shouldn't enter an interracial marriage unless she had a sense of humor, I'd say you don't want to be married to someone you cannot rely on to take your part when neighbors/relatives seek to make you uncomfortable.