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OU Professor Faces Backlash over Racially Insensitive Comments

A University of Oklahoma professor is facing backlash after allegedly using a racial slur during a journalism capstone class Tuesday morning, the college confirmed.

According to testimonies from students who were present, professor and director of graduate studies Peter Gade argued against journalists expressing their personal values and prejudices. One student then replied that the new generation of journalists are in tune with social media and expressing their opinions through multiple platforms.

According to the accounts, Gade combatted the comment, asking if they believed the comment “OK, Boomer” was appropriate. He then followed the question by stating, as several students recalled, “Calling someone a ‘Boomer’ is like calling someone a ni***.” One student, who chose to remain anonymous, also made it clear the slur was used in its entirety “with the hard ‘r’.”

In response, the student says many fired back at Gade, telling him that word should never be used, especially relating the oppression of black people to what some perceived as ageism.

The student said there was no immediate apology and students began to walk out of class, to which Gade allegedly expressed his discontent. At the end of class time, however, he reportedly apologized to anyone who might have been offended.

Multiple students confirmed to OU Nightly the details of the incident, which have also been reported to Gaylord College deans. 

“Our mission today, really, is to listen to students, particularly the students that were in the class and heard what the professor said,” Ed Kelley, dean of Gaylord College, said. “That’s our day today … is trying to listen as much as we can and let the students talk and vent or cry or whatever they want to do. It’s their day.”

Kelley also stated that he and the other two deans will meet with Gade to discuss today’s situation. OU Nightly has reached out to OU Administration, OU Public Relations and the Black Emergency Response Team (BERT) for a comment.

Categories: News

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