I've covered potentially inflammatory topics and some shock with my writing, and although they may have met with different levels of acceptance, here's what I've noticed:
1. Expect downvotes. Not only will you earn the regular downvotes if you don't do a good job writing it up, but you'll also earn downvotes for addressing the hot button topic. So, you're going to have to write well enough that the technical downvotes + the topical downvotes don't end up higher than the upvotes.
2. Consider your audience. An off-color joke will not be well-received, but a dissection of the problems inherent in an off-color joke might be. Never write offensive just to be offensive.
3. Research, research, research, and revise, revise, revise. Make sure you get a lot of eyes from people whose opinion you trust on the draft. Be ready and willing to adjust the narrative and content, and be respectful when you meet someone who hates the draft on topical levels. You just might learn something and the resulting article will be far better for it.
The greatest risk, and the one you'll want to avoid, is to make sure that the controversial choices made are well-supported by the bulk of the piece itself. When they are not, it looks like they're there because the author likes it, and so it's a quick way to get yourself labeled as offensive.