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If he thinks they were too hard on him, ask him what he thinks would have happened if he'd called a black kid "nigger."

If he had, should it have been handled any differently?

I consider the words roughly equivalent in offensiveness and general unacceptability.

So do I -- but I'll bet the boy has never thought about it, and will be upset at the comparison.

And the apartment manager may not agree with us, since he didn't kick the boy out. Though if he talked the other kid down he may have known he wouldn't get sued if he gave the boy another chance.

But we move forward, though slowly. Kids like this one are our chance to change the future; he'll learn not to call people names now that he's out of the schoolyard, and with luck he'll teach his own kids.
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