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OU Professor Kathleen Brosnan apologizes to class for use of racial slur

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OU History Department

The front door of the OU History Department in Dale Hall Tower Feb. 25.

An OU professor who has received backlash for reading a racial slur off a historical document has apologized to her class in a canvas message. 

Kathleen Brosnan, an OU faculty member in the history department, said the N-word multiple times while reading from a 1920's U.S. Senate document. Brosnan said in the message that it was not her intention for her words to be hurtful. The message was sent to The Daily by a student in Brosnan's class. 

"I am concerned that the words I quoted in class yesterday were hurtful.  I want to apologize to all of you personally," Brosnan said. "Please know that this was never my intention."

Brosnan explained the use of the word was in part to help the class recognize the "ugliness" that exists in U.S. history. 

"By directly quoting a US senator, James Reed, I wanted all the students in class to recognize an ugliness in US history that is unfortunately still part of some students’ lived experience," Brosnan said. "I also recognize that apologizing in advance for the offensive language and placing it in this historical context did not alleviate the injury. And for that I am deeply sorry." 

The incident comes less than two weeks since OU journalism professor Peter Gade recieved backlash for his use of a racial slur in class, comparing the N-word to the phrase "OK, boomer." Gade also later apologized to his class for the use of the word. 

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