Paris Hilton used the “N-word” in a racy sex and party tape, and now she’s being described with the “R-word”–RACIST!

As The ENQUIRER reported last week, the tape allegedly shows Hilton calling two black men “dirty n—–,” behind their backs at a party. Since then, a firestorm has erupted.

Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality told The ENQUIRER that Paris’ FOX TV show, “The Simple Life” is bound to lose viewers.

“The way Paris used the word was clearly racist,” said Innis. “She intended harm. She is going to pay a price. People are going to be very cold to her in the future.

“Paris is famous for two reasons. One, she was born filthy rich and two, she is a bit of a tramp. Her value as a commodity is severely damaged. I think she will lose viewers from her show ‘The Simple Life’ and that certainly won’t pain me.

“I can only quote Ricky Ricardo as he often said in ‘I Love Lucy’…Paris has ‘lots of explaining to do.’ A lot!”

Paris’ racist outburst could also jeopardize her friendship with TV co-star Nicole Richie, whose dad is African-American singer Lionel Richie.

Sources say that tension over the slur may be the reason Paris was a no-show at Nicole’s 23rd birthday party at the Los Angeles restaurant Ivy last month.

But others say that Paris’ image will recover from the foulmouthed fiasco.

Hollywood celebrity manager Jay Bernstein knows the Hiltons and Lionel Richie–and while Paris’ comment was stupid, he doesn’t think she is racist.

“This was a really offensive thing for her to say,” he told The ENQUIRER. “It was a dumb, thoughtless thing to say. But we all say dumb things. It doesn’t sound like she did it maliciously.

“I don’t think she really feels that way. If she did, Nicole wouldn’t be her best friend.

“And I don’t think it will affect Paris’ commercial viability. She’ll apologize for it and things will go on for her.”

Carol M. Swain, a professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University Law School agreed.

She said Paris can reinvent herself with the African-American community if she shows support for causes like the NAACP.

Others point out that the “N-word” has made its way into young people’s vocabulary because of outrageous rap lyrics.

“Of course, I think the use of that word is offensive, but this may be the way Paris talks all the time in private conversation,” said Swain, author of “The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration.”

The controversial tapes first surfaced eight weeks after Paris’ home was burglarized. But the men behind the tapes, which The ENQUIRER can now reveal are lawyer Ron Richards and Darnell Riley, insist that the tapes were obtained legally.

Riley, who claims to have dated Nicole, said he was entertaining offers in the millions of dollars from Internet sites and TV stations for the 14 hours of tapes that allegedly show Paris using the racial epithet, smoking pot, and performing a sex act with exboyfriend Nick Carter and model Jason Shaw.

But since our last story, the tapes were abruptly taken off the market.