The ‘N’ word, or any word, is as offensive as the intent of the speaker as it is matched up with the sensitivity of the hearer. Culture has and is changing and words change with it. She is part of an age and regional culture that is NOT the same as NYC, or Philly. There is a subjectivity to words, but when someone (a person more so than a group) says it hurts, then one can choose to stop or not - She seems to have stopped, regardless of what her reason is. That is GOOD. I think she can be taken at face value, and hopefully be more self aware…that being said, it does not mean anyone has to buy the product that is Paula Dean.