With apologies to anyone who has ever been verbally assaulted by the use of the term, the word "nigger" matters.
A new edition of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is being released by NewSouth books with the text censored to remove the word "nigger" and replace it with "slave." This galling decision has been done, claims Twain expert Alan Gribben, because, "Race matters in these books... It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century."
I think Mr. Gribben has confused the importance of history and literature with contemporary mores and marketing.
Here's the link to the rest of the post.
I'm glad we're all offended by use of that terrible word, but the way to deal with it is not to bowdlerize the novels it appears in. As one of the commenters on the post replies: erasing is the first step to forgetting.