Bokolis would say that Bum Rush is out of his god-damned mind, but it's already been established. Bokolis would further say that the verdict was bullshit, but those jurors just didn't have the guts to convict Zimmerman. Ultimately, Trayvon Martin got killed for being Black and nothing was done; it's another stain on our society that this can happen in 2013. That's the way the cookie crumbles.
Let's get something else straight- this differentiating of the terms and creation of the "softer" term is bullshit; it's the same word. It's how you say it that matters. If you say it around a Black person, it's up to them how to take it. So, you better know your company.
Personally, I don't say it because 1) the Black people with whom I associate don't use it, 2) I want to steer clear of other white people- like the Yahoo! writer- running around with "racist" paint cans.
However, as a white boy having grown up in- and grown out of- the Ps, I dropped this word during my youth with relative impunity. Go to the 'hood today and you'll still see and hear the same thing from all manner of non-Blacks. It's just people- people who don't know, much less give a fuck about, Bum Rush or Yahoo!- adapting to their environment.
In my case, everybody knew what it was. If, after the drive started to stop using the term, I ever had my nose rubbed in it, it was more to convey the popular c'mon, man, to say, help us out here- we're trying to stop and you're not helping- never racism. However, I did see my friends whoop up on other white boys for saying it. Those white boys didn't say it like I said it; they were twisting the knife.
In the years after I left, when I'd see my old friends, I was razzed for both no longer using the word and embracing proper English. I still say muthafucka- isn't that enough?