OU Reacts To 2nd Racial Slur Used In Classroom
Student leaders, university officials and a history professor responded to another racial slur being used in an OU classroom Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, a journalism professor compared using the phrase "OK Boomer" to the “N-Word.”
This week the university said a history professor gave a warning before using the word multiple times.
“We are tired of the press conferences,” Black Emergency Response Team (BERT) student leader Miles Francisco said. “We are tired of the meetings and we are tired of the town halls we are tired of promises with no action.”
“I’m tired,” OU Freshman D’india Brown said. “It kind of seems like when will it stop? Will it ever stop?”
History professor Kathleen Brosnan said in an email to students, she used the word while reading from a 1920's U.S. Senate document.
“Education purposes or not, if you're white, just don't say it,” Francisco said. “It should be that simple. I shouldn't have to be up here telling y’all that.”
According to a letter from Interim OU President Joseph Harroz, she warned students of the offensive word before she used it.
“Her issuance of a “trigger warning” before her recitation does not lessen the pain caused by the use of the word,” Harroz said.
In her email to students, Brosnan said "I am concerned that the words I quoted in class yesterday were hurtful. I want to apologize to all of you personally, please know that this was never my intention."
“I’ve had an opportunity to speak to the professor directly and what I will say is I don't think that the professor is a bad person,” Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Belinda Hyppolite said. “I do think bad judgement was used in this particular instance.”
"It is common sense to avoid uttering the most offensive word in the English language," Harroz said.
The university said it its working on protocols to address instances like this.
“Students pay a fee to come to this institution and they need to have an experience that is respected and that they are treated with dignity no matter where they go,” Hyppolite said.
Brown, in her first year at the university, said she believes the administration is working to change things.
“I directly have had personal conversations with (Harroz) concerning this matter and I can tell the want to is genuine and now we need more actions,” she said.