Use of the N-word . . . .
I am a reader of many books in my spare time. Some of the books that I read are considered to be of great literary importance. I really was surprised at the number of times the N-word appears in books that many consider to be "great" literature. However, some books, by their very nature, you expect to encounter the N-word.
For example, Mark Twain used this word as was commonly used at the time, this was before it developed into a revolting connotation. To his characters it was simply the word that was used and nothing more. On the other hand in some books, the N- word is intended to embody all the revolting connotations it carries. Since racism is a common theme in many novels (and human history), it leads one not to be overly surprised.
It appears unrealistic to attempt to deny a racist past or present. There is no way to educate people by banning ideas-stupid as these same ideas are and can be. Pretending something never occurred does not prevent it from happening in the future.