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Is racial sensitivity a learned behavior?

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I remember the first time I heard the N-word. Even though I didn't know what it meant or why the person said it, I just knew it was a bad thing, because of how it made me feel. I was 6 years old and the lesson I learned that day is that words can be used as weapons. In an attempt to toughen me from the verbal assaults of childhood, I was taught to say the words, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."