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Student Government Association president releases statement following professor's use of racial slur

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Justin Norris (copy)

OU student government association president Justin Norris speaks during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inaugural remembrance march Jan. 21.

OU Student Government Association President Justin Norris released a statement Tuesday evening about the racial slur that was used by a Gaylord College professor.

The statement was released on the SGA Twitter page and came in response to the use of the slur by Peter Gade, Gaylord director of graduate studies and Gaylord Family endowed chair, who used the word in a Gaylord senior capstone class, comparing its use to the phrase “OK, boomer.”

Norris said in the statement that derogatory language and hate speech will not and should not be tolerated at OU. 

“To the students directly affected by this incident, I firmly stand with you in this time of need,” Norris said, according to the statement. “To my fellow black students and students of color, I see you. We are not invisible nor are limited due to our racial identities.” 

In the statement, he added that this incident is evidence that the OU community has more work to do in regards to racism. 

“It is not the sole responsibility of students of color to continue to do this work alone, but rather it must be a truly united effort by all of us within our community,” Norris said in the statement. “We can achieve tangible change together.” 

Norris thanked the Black Student Association, Black Emergency Response Team, the National Association of Black Journalists and other organizations in the statement, saying they were “consistently… beacons of hope as we find ourselves cloaked by the shadow of racism once again.” 

In the statement, Norris said if anyone has questions regarding Tuesday’s incident, they can contact him at sgapres@ou.edu.

Ari Fife is the OU Daily assistant news managing editor and a junior journalism major minoring in international studies and political science. Previously, she served as the summer editor-in-chief, a senior news reporter and an SGA beat reporter.

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