A University of Oklahoma professor is under some fire after being condemned by the university for ill-advised comments in front of his senior journalism class. Gade is a professor at OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication when he used a racial slur while trying to make a poorly thought out point.
Gade was discussing the phrase “okay, boomer” — which has been described as “ageist” — the professor said it was the equivalent of calling someone the n-word.
“Calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a n—-r,” Gade allegedly said, according to the university’s newspaper, The OU Daily.
Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. issued a statement on the situation.
“Today a professor stated in his senior journalism class that there is an equivalence between the offensiveness of ‘OK, Boomer’ and the use of the ‘N-word,’ using the actual word itself. 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 statement from Harroz read.
“The use of the most offensive word, by a person in a position of authority, hurt and minimized those in the classroom and beyond. 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.”
An OU professor used a racial slur in class Tuesday, comparing it to the phrase "OK, boomer:" https://t.co/jwHZ8QBBqs
— OU Daily (@OUDaily) February 11, 2020
The OU Daily also reports that some of the students during the discussion about technology and social media as it pertains to journalism walked out of the classroom after Gade made the comments. One student has even questioned whether she will return to the class.
Gade has not commented on the situation.