*Katt Williams says the reason he smacked a Target employee across the face last month is because the man called him the n-word, reports TMZ.

Katt was performing last night at the Comedy Store in Hollywood when he described what preceded the Nov. 25 attack in Sacramento — telling the audience, “This is what the dude at Target said … ‘Your assistant is already suing you, you p**sy ass n***er.”

The jab is a reference to a $5 million lawsuit from Katt’s former assistant, who claims the comic punched her. Katt said he flipped when he heard the slur and asked the employee, “Did you just say the n-word in front of Katt Williams?” — to which the employee answered, “You say it all the time.”

Katt says he shot back, “Say it again and see what happens” — and that’s when he hauled off and slapped him.

Katt then compared his racism plight to that of Dave Chappelle, explaining, “That’s the same sh*t that drove [Chappelle] out of the f***ing business.”

Katt seems to be alluding to Chappelle’s claim that he quit his Comedy Central show and went into seclusion over an argument with producers about a sketch that he believed was racist.

The Target employee, Forrest Liebenberg, was subsequently fired from his job shortly after the incident. Target wouldn’t explain why.