As for people hurting you with ::words:: I really don't much care. I'm a proud dago and I can't be assed to give a shit when someone uses invective about my ancestry. I personally don't use these words (save Dago. It's pretty fun to say) but in the end, it's the old sticks and stones rhyme that matters. If words alone hurt you, you're already pretty pathetic and will probably lead an unhappy existence.
Just to clarify I don't mean YOU specifically as I don't know how emotionally fragile you are.
As I said, the intentions were good and I may have even voted in favor of some of these laws at the time because I'd have been ignorant of the consequences as well. They need to go away if we're truly going to have a chance at real tolerance (which is actually nothing more than apathy).
It'll never happen until the loudmouthed baby boomers die though. (sorry Mom) because they seem to have the most emotional investment in keeping the past alive.