A University of Oklahoma professor is apologizing after using the N-word during a discussion on journalism. According to college newspaper, the OU Daily, Mass Communications professor Peter Gade said the racial slur was equivalent to the popular “OK Boomer” meme.
His words came after suggesting that journalism should return to its roots instead of evolving with the introduction of new technologies like social media. When a student disagreed, asserting their position that reporters had an obligation to keep up with the younger generations, Gade took offense to the retort and said the student’s comment was equivalent to telling him, “OK Boomer.”
But Gade did not stop there. He went on to say, according to multiple students who were present in the class, “Calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a n—er.” Students reported that the change in subject was surprising given the fact that race nor discrimination was a topic of discussion. His words prompted a number of students to exit the classroom immediately.
Following the class, The Washington Post reports that Gade sent an email to students apologizing for his use of the N-word. Interim OU President released a statement calling Gade’s words “fundamentally offensive and wrong.”
“The use of the most offensive word, by a person in a position of authority, hurt and minimized those in the classroom and beyond,” Harroz wrote. “Our university must serve as an example to our society of both freedom of expression and understanding and tolerance. His words today failed to meet this standard. #WeAre speaks for our community; his words today do not.”
The OU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) weighed in by saying, “We are not surprised by the actions of the professor who ironically teaches Journalism, Ethics and Democracy,” a statement read. “Nor are we surprised that people still don’t understand that insults like ‘OK, boomer” do not create the same uneasiness that the historical slur ni**er does.”
Any disciplinary action for Professor Gade has not been made public at this time.