If a boomer is complaining about millennials, then it must be a day that ends in “Y.” If a boomer is complaining about the word “boomer” and compares it to a racial slur, then it’s Bob Lonsberry.
On Monday, the radio host tweeted: “‘Boomer’ is the n-word of ageism. Being hip and flip does not make bigotry ok, nor is a derisive epithet acceptable because it is new.”
Lonsberry’s tweet, which he deleted Monday, is in reference to the generation known as “baby boomers.” The generation, which comprises anyone born between 1946 and 1964, recently became the target of a certain phrase coined by millennials and Gen Zers.
The phrase ― “OK boomer” ― took off after a viral New York Times piece last week noted that it’s been a trending phrase on social media by teens to “any person over 30 who says something condescending about young people — and the issues that matter to them.”
Naturally, after the piece published, the already trending phrase reached new heights. A search of “OK boomer” on Twitter yields thousands of messages.
It’s unclear why Lonsberry, who is 60 and very much a baby boomer, decided to chime in. After posting the tweet, he was quickly ratioed, meaning that more Twitter users replied to his comment than they “liked” or retweeted it.
The response to the tweet is best summed up by a bit from comedian John Mulaney, who once said, “If you’re comparing the badness of two words, and you won’t even say one of them? That’s the worse word.”
As if the more than 18,000 responses denouncing his views were not enough, Lonsberry’s tweet was also quote-tweeted by Dictionary.com, which dropped this truth bomb: “Boomer is an informal noun referring to a person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965. The n-word is one of the most offensive words in the English language.”
This isn’t an exact translation, but by our estimate, that sure sounds like Dictionary.com had this to say to Lonsberry: OK boomer.
Instead of leaving well enough alone, Lonsberry has since gone on to retweet his initial offensive tweet and quote-tweet it on his own page with an additional note, which has since been deleted: “Seems like a lot of them hate old people. What’s it say about a society or a generation when bigotry is vogue?”
Considering Lonsberry’s past, this recent outburst isn’t too shocking. After making racist remarks about the former mayor of Rochester, he was fired from a New York radio show in the early aughts. He was later reinstated to his position as a morning host in Utah at Salt Lake’s KNRS-AM 570.
Additionally, Lonsberry has used the racial slur in tweets and as a basis for comparison to other words or phrases.
Ah, Bob. Perhaps it’s time to delete your account.