Is it really that terrible to say nigger in this song? I mean, John wasn't racist (I hope), and in this song it's just a metaphor to say very strongly what he felt. At first, blacks will say "Hey, he's using the n-word" but when they hear the rest of the song, it's put in perspective. It's not meant in a racist way.
Has there ever been any complaints about this song in the black community? John played it live, I don't think he'd dared to do that if he'd had complaints from blacks.