It can't be that awful.
You must be joking.
It depends on where you live, who you are friends with, and if you have more to do in your life than "shooting the breeze" with complete strangers.
Growing up in the eighties, it wasn't uncommon to hear an older person complain about no longer being able to say the word "n*****" in polite company. "It's just a word" was the common refrain.
You can't underestimate how much animosity that caused with a certain percentage of people who grew up casually referring to black people as "niggers" in public. They couldn't understand why it was a big deal, and bristled at the idea that public standards have and do change.
I once had a guy turn to me in line at a Walmart in the early 2000's after the black cashier was experiencing trouble, and say "We should have picked our own cotton." I stared straight ahead in disbelief that in that time, in a large city, he thought that was an opinion that a complete stranger would naturally share with him.
Then there was another time in the eighties when an elderly woman in front of us said something to the white, female cashier about "niggers," and the cashier informed her that she was married to a black man, and basically told her to shove it. Even as a kid that was an unnerving experience. You could hear a pin drop.
Oh, and not to mention adding the prefix "n*****" to numerous activities: "n***** knocking," "n***** chasers," "n*****-rigging."
And that's just black people. The stuff you would hear about Hispanics was cruel, but it was still acceptable to denigrate Hispanics at the time because of a lack of a meaningful Hispanic Civil Rights movement, and the fact that Hispanics were an ethnicity, and not a race. There were white Hispanics. Asians got it too, but they were a smaller minority, and were seen by many bigots as unwilling to fight back.
This was America. I don't think I need to tell you what region I experienced all of this in.It's not that it didn't happen elsewhere, but is was much more out in the open in the world I grew up in.
I see the same phenomenon occurring now, but it's been replaced with it no longer being acceptable to call people "f*****s," or calling all Muslim's savages. I guess that's progress, but resentment always arises when there's a call for a civility towards groups, or people who have finally gained a voice in the culture.
Racism has changed with the times. It's not an explicitly ideological thing to most people now because it's less acceptable in public. It's mostly an act of scapegoating during a time of cultural transition. Unfortunately, I think every dying generation is going to express some form of cultural resentment on their way out. It seems to be a common bug of the aging process.
The mind is a fragile thing.