You deserve both an apology and an explanation for my use of an ugly and offensive word at Westercon. I have always believed that use of euphemisms for ugly words and ideas has the effect of making it easier for some people to feel self-righteous for not using a slur while continuing to hold the thoughts behind the words. I did not intend the word to be taken as a slur, but a discussion our of history and of the language in Huckleberry Finn.
But I was wrong to use the word. I failed to consider how it would taken by you and by the audience. The fact is that a word that might be appropriate in a university class dealing with slavery or segregation was completely wrong to use as I did. I regret having done so and apologize. I am sorry for any trauma my action has caused you and other people.
Finally, I have never intentionally used words as racial or ethnic slurs, and have never intentionally directed such a slur at any person, and I shall never do so. I again apologize for using the word and I am extremely sorry for doing so.