While one may decide that the connotations of words will not play any role in how one chooses to interpret a given sentence, I think it is problematic to deny that certain words have historically been used by people to deny other people their basic humanity. Once you turn "the enemy" into something less deserving of basic human rights than the people you identify with it becomes so much easier to destroy them. I mean it isn't like you are doing something to another person.
I don't know that we can ever cleanse the language of all connotation and historical usage and just use all words that on one level have similar definitions completely interchangeably as if no person ever used that word for specific reasons. I'm really not sure we should.
I suggest that even if you hear all words as identical in meaning one should know which words are commonly used as "fighting words". Or would you refuse to press charges when they beat you senseless because they cannot help how they react to you provoking them?