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Rae Dawn Chong to Oprah:

N-Word Attack Was

A COMPLIMENT

7/19/2013 12:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

071913_rae_dawn_sorry_ilaunch
Rae Dawn Chong says TMZ caused her a world of hurt by running only a portion of her tirade against Oprah Winfrey ... and her comments, including calling O a "field n**ger" were actually intended as a compliment.

RDC just released a video statement in which she does not apologize ... although she says she regrets using the N-word to describe her former "Color Purple" co-star.

As you know, Rae mused that Oprah wasn't fit to be a "house n**ger" but would be relegated to a "field n**ger" back in the day ...although Ray thinks "back in the day" is 60 years ago.

Frankly the video is hard to follow, Rae never explains how she intended the N-word to serve as a compliment.  

She also never explains how calling Oprah fat, ugly and a brown-noser is high praise.

Watch the video.

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