Professor's 'OK Boomer' Comparison Blows Up

University of Oklahoma denounces Peter Gade's comments in class
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2020 1:32 PM CST
Updated Feb 16, 2020 10:50 AM CST
A view of the The Stephenson Research and Technology Center on the campus of The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

(Newser) – A University of Oklahoma journalism professor is in hot water after using the n-word in class—and claiming that the phrase "OK boomer" is comparable to the racial slur. Peter Gade, who has been on the school's faculty since 1998, is director of graduate studies at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. As the OU Daily first reported, the incident started during a class discussion Tuesday morning on advances in technology and the use of social media. Gade argued that journalism should stick to its traditional roots, and when a student pushed back that the profession needs to keep up with younger generations, things went sideways:

  • The comment: After first telling the student that his remark was the equivalent of saying "OK boomer" to Gade, the class laughed—but Gade continued. "Calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a n-----," he said, according to the student newspaper. (Multiple student reporters were in the class at the time.)
  • His initial response: Students called Gade out on his use of the n-word, and he tried to defend it, the newspaper reports. He also apologized if he offended anyone, as some students walked out of class.

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