EDIT: You want to know another time that I was a novelty? When I worked in a predominantly black bar. Right here in the good ole USA. 99% of the time I was the only white person in there.
Perhaps her husband's family had little interaction with black people.
As for 'nigger', she never gave the context in which it was used. Perhaps they were saying the same things Dr. Laura was... as in, why is it okay for a black person to say nigger, but not a white person? Why are some black people so racist about the use of a certain word? Who knows? She didn't give context.