He also called a woman "this b*tch", and another colleague a "p*ssy". But yes, he tried to use the "its slang" defense when referring to his colleagues. I don't know how many times we have to gove folks a basic lesson in how language works. Familiarity, intimacy, significance of interpersonal relationships, the quality of the relationships themselves--these matter in language. You have nicknames in your family, terms of endearment for your significant others, refer to people of influence with respectful titles, and so on. So we already know when it is okay and not okay to use language. We know that it isnt "free speech" that we don't refer an executive VP in our company with "listen, bro." And yet when it comes to demeaning people by race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, or otherwise, it suddenly becomes a matter of free speech and asserting not just a freedom to be a dick but the false yet utterly white and male and hetero notion that it is a responsibility to be a dick.