The concept is really fairly simple, even if some people- especially celebrities- refuse to acknowledge it. It's common sense, explained here (emphasis mine) as
Modeling therapy is based on social learning theory. This theory emphasizes the importance of learning from observing and imitating role models, and learning about rewards and punishments that follow behavior. The technique has been used to eliminate unwanted behaviors, reduce excessive fears, facilitate learning of social behaviors, and many more. Modeling may be used either to strengthen or to weaken previously learned behaviors.
Modeling has been used effectively to treat individuals with anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder , specific phobias , obsessive-compulsive disorder , eating disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder , and conduct disorder . It has also been used successfully in helping individuals acquire such social skills as public speaking or assertiveness.
Friday night's episode of "Real Time" featured Michael Eric Dyson, who explained to Bill Maher why he believes the latter's use on the previous episode of the term "field nigg_" was offensive and harmful. Although there was some social value in the discussion, there was little later in the program when Ice Cube actually remarked
I think there’s a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they’re a little too familiar. Or there’s guys that might have had a black girlfriend or two ... and they think they can cross the line. And they can’t. It’s a word that has been used against us. It’s like a knife. You can use it as a weapon, or you can use it as a tool. It’s been used as a weapon against us by white people, and we’re not going to let that happen again. I know it’s in the lexicon, you’ve heard people talking. But that’s our word now. And you can’t have it back.
No one questioned Mr. Cube as to how the use of a prejorative term- my opinion, evidently not his- is not encouraged by its proud use ("it's our term now") among people for whom it is (justifiably) offensive.
But it's our word now. You can't have it back. Loose- not very- translation: "white people, shut up."
A word doesn't belong to any one group, any more than it belongs to any one person. That may be difficult to understand- or more likely, to acknowledge- from O'Shea Jackson (a/k/a Ice Cube), who has acquired a net worth of approximately $120 million with classy lyrics such as these:
"The Nigga Ya Love To Hate":
I heard payback's a motherfucking nigga
That's why I'm sick of gettin treated like a goddamn stepchild
Fuck a punk cause I ain't him
You gotta deal with the nine-double-M
The damn scum that you all hate
Just think if niggas decide to retaliate
They try to keep me from running up
I never tell you to get down it's all about coming up
So what they do go and ban the AK?
"The Wrong Nigga To Fuck With":
God damn, it's a brand new payback
From the straight gangsta mack in straight gangsta black
How many motherfuckers gotta pay
Went to the shelf and dusted off the AK
Caps gotta get pealed
Cause "The Nigga Ya Love to hate" still can "Kill at Will"
It ain't no pop cause that sucks
And you can New Jack SWING on my nuts
Down wit the niggaz that I bail out
"It's our word now," Ice Cube says. No, it's the word of bigots now, as before. On second thought: perhaps it is his word now.