It's hardly surprising that the N-bomb makes people go ballistic.
I'm talking of course about the word of mass discrimination, not the weapon of mass destruction.
Hone Harawira dropped the N-bomb on Facebook this week and detonated an explosive storm of protest.
In case you need a reminder, here's what appeared on his Facebook page:
"Time John Key realised a few home truths like (1) he can tell his little house n*****s what to do, but (2) the rest of us don't give a s*** for him or his opinions!"
This was widely reported as a dig at Maori MPs within National, or more likely, leaders of the Maori party.
As another Harawira post said:
"Notice how John Key says none of his Maori MPs are allowed to go to the National Maori Hui on Water ... and two minutes later Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples say that they're not going. Not hard to see who's the REAL leader of the Maori Party."
Now Hone Harawira's as entitled to his opinion as anyone else. And he can express it as he wishes.
As the saying goes, I might not agree with what you say, but I defend your right to say it.
But the firebrand MP can hardly be surprised when people take offence, as Tariana Turia did.
The Maori Party co-leader said she found the comments insulting and derogatory.
Feedback to TVNZ has been mixed on the issue. Harawira himself claims 90% of the feedback he's received has been positive.
In a case of curious logic, he also maintains he actually didn't do anything wrong.
"I didn't actually call anybody a house n*****, let's be clear about that, my comment was about the way in which John Key is treating his Maori MPs," he told Breakfast.
But, re-reading the original post, some will question that interpretation.
Sure, his point might have been about Key's treatment of MPs.
But for Harawira to phrase his post the way he did, and then claim he wasn't actually using the term on anyone, seems pretty disingenuous.
And holy heck, imagine if someone had made the comment about him!
Sure, Harawira didn't say: "So-and-so is a house n*****", but he did use the words to describe the MPs, whether or not it was an attempt to see them through Key's eyes.
Harawira says he's trying to make the point that Key acts towards his Maori MPs like a Southern plantation owner in the 1950s.
But the crucial word in that sentence is "like". When you leave that word out, as Harawira did in his first post, you leave yourself wide open to the accusation that you used the term yourself.
Of course, just drawing such comparisons is odious enough to many people.
How strange to see the normally unrepentant MP looking for a get-out-clause to try and explain himself away.
That's the sort of behaviour Harawira normally despises in other politicians.
It's odd that Harawira would try and have us believe his explanation rather than either apologise, or even stand by his original comments - obnoxious as many people see them.
Race Relations Conciliator Joris de Bres called the post "dumb". Many would agree.
But it's his explanation afterwards that many will see as an insult - an insult to the intelligence.