ATLANTA - You've seen it across headlines and circulating on social media: people under fire for using racial slurs.
It's been a wild unfolding of events over the past several weeks with two local public figures out of office after being accused of using the N-word.
Even the prestigious Emory University is cracking down on a law professor for using the racial slur.
11Alive's Ashley Johnson is taking a closer look to shed greater perspective on this reoccurring problem.
In a Facebook post, Monday, Villa Rica Mayor Jeff Reese announced Councilman Verland Best resigned after making an "inappropriate racial comment" in the presence of a city employee. His 23-year span in office now over for allegedly using the N-word and calling someone a redneck.
Nearly two weeks ago, Geye Hamby stepped down from his position as Buford superintendent amid allegations he used racial slurs during a recorded conversation.
Just last week an Emory law professor was in the hot seat for using the N-word during a class lecture in class. He apologized in a letter, but it still didn't fly for many students.
That's three cases within three weeks.
"What people have failed to realize is our country has progressed and there are certain things that just not acceptable and the N-word is one of them." said LaDawn Jones, a political analyst. "The fact that people continue to use it, whether it was 10 years ago or in the present day, it's indicative of some of the cultural problems we are trying to address in our country."
Georgia State University Sociologist Deirdre Oakley says a lot can be attributed to the tone set by President Donald Trump.
"That the rhetoric of our current president on Twitter, at his rallies, in interviews, is pretty incendiary," Oakley explained. "These are happening and people must feel like they can do this kind of stuff, but then there's the backlash of people who think it's intolerable," Oakley said. "So there's a good and bad thing coming out of it."
So, how can our country move forward?
"I think America has been going through a healing process," Jones said. "Since reconstruction, we've been trying to heal and we've seen progress. This is progress because we are finally holding people accountable for something that's been going on for a long time."