>On the other end of the spectrum is the aide to the mayor of Washington D.C. (who is black) who was summarily dismissed (later to be reinstated) for using the word "niggardly" in reference to a fund he administered.

Interesting choice of example. I just heard on the news that the press are chasing Hillary Clinton for an (alleged) anti-semitic remark she made in 1974.

How does the saying go - The one thing we learn from history is ..