The University of Oklahoma has denounced a professor who compared a popular putdown to the “N-word” during a senior journalism class.
Peter Gade, director of graduate studies at the university’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, used the racial slur Tuesday during a class while telling a student that it was essentially the same as the trendy “OK, Boomer” putdown. Gade has been on the school’s faculty since 1998.
“Calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a n—–,” Gade said, according to the university’s student newspaper, The OU Daily.
Joseph Harroz Jr., the university’s interim president, said Gade’s comments failed to meet the school’s standard of understanding and tolerance.
“While the professor’s comments are protected by the First Amendment and academic freedom, his comment and word choice are fundamentally offensive and wrong,” Harroz said in a statement. “The use of the most offensive word, by a person in a position of authority, hurt and minimized those in the classroom and beyond.”
At least one student told Gade during the class that he shouldn’t use the racial slur in class, according to The OU Daily. Some of the students walked out of class.