Oklahoma Professor Compares ‘OK, Boomer’ to the N-Word
A University of Oklahoma professor is under fire for using the N-word in class, comparing it to the insult "OK, Boomer."
According to Yahoo News, the Journalism Ethics and Democracy class at the University of Oklahoma was having a discussion on Tuesday when a student said that journalists need to keep up with younger generations. The course professor, Peter Gade, replied that the statement was the equivalent of the popular insult, "OK, Boomer". Gade went on to equate the phrase to a racial slur,
Calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a n-----.
One of the students in the class, Molly Kruse, who also serves as an assistant cultural editor for the school paper, called our Gade's statement and told him he shouldn't be using that world. Kruse later told NBC,
I think it’s important for readers to realize why this is a big deal to us as students, that we're not just being 'snowflakes,' Every student deserves to feel safe in their classrooms and students of color did not get that opportunity yesterday.
It’s not a very diverse department and journalism is not a very diverse field so this is a structural problem that really needs to change.
The term "OK, Boomer" has become popular over the last few months, primarily as a response to the term "Snowflake". Its regularly aimed at older generations or those expressing older, closed-minded ideals, especially in situations where they are condescending to younger people.
Gade apologized to a few students to who remained after class, and then emailed the rest of the class that night,
I was wrong. I am sorry. I realize the word is hurtful and infuses the racial divisions of our country, past and present. Use of this word is inappropriate in any — especially educational — settings.
University of Oklahoma interim president Joseph Harroz Jr. issued a statement after being made aware of the situation,
While the professor's comments are protected by the First Amendment and academic freedom, his comment and word choice are 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.
The school's deans will be attending the class today without Gade present to speak with the class. Kruse noted that, while she cannot speak for the whole class, she is aware of several students who are now concerned about receiving grades from Gade, as the course is required for all Journalism majors.