College professor compares 'OK Boomer' to racial slur in lecture
NORMAN, OK - A journalism professor at the University of Oklahoma has been the target of backlash after saying the viral phrase "OK Boomer" is equally as offensive as using a racial epithet.
Peter Gade, director of graduate studies at the university’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, used the racial slur in his lecture Tuesday while comparing it to the phrase that originated on social media.
Discussing technology and social media as it pertains to journalism, Gade suggested that reporters should focus more on traditional aspects of the profession, according to the university’s newspaper, the OU Daily.
The comment prompted a student to say that journalists should keep up with the times and younger readers.
“Calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a n****r," Gade said.
When students began intervening, Gade defended the comparison and use of the word before changing the subject, the newspaper reports.
Interim president of the University of Oklahoma, Joseph Harroz Jr., released a statement on the matter.
"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."
Some students left Gade’s class immediately after the remark, according to the student newspaper. A senior majoring in broadcast journalism is now questioning whether she feels comfortable returning to the course.
“I love Gaylord to death,” Janae Reeves told the newspaper. “That is my college, [but] I’m already one out of three black students in that class. So it was only two of us to be in that setting and to hear that — I shut down immediately after he used it.”
Gade’s comparison was also blasted as “absolutely despicable” by one Oklahoma student who posted about the incident on Facebook.
Thousands of others blast the professor online, suggesting the university fire the professor immediately.