This is a sign of racial progress. Friends refer to each other as “n*gger” and “cracker” (one is white, the other is black).
It is the intent and not the actual word that determines malice or not. Further, using such words non-offensively means that we–or some of us–are beyond the point where racial distinction matters. Politically though, these words, especially the one starting with “N,” hard hot topics.