General sees racist slurs on message boards – Delivers piercing reply that stuns cadets

Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria took the stage to speak with the Air Force Academy’s 5,000 cadets, faculty, and staff located at the Colorado Springs base.

The superintendent wanted to express that any sort of disrespectful behavior toward anyone of another race or gender will not be tolerated. A message that comes after an event that occurred at the Academy’s Preparatory school.

After finding racial slurs written about 5 African-American cadets on message boards, Lt. Gen. Silveria was outraged.

“If you’re outraged by those words, then you’re in the right place,” he said Thursday during his speech. “You should be outraged not only as an airman but as a human being.”

Lt. Gen. Silveria also said that if people are incapable of providing people with the respect that they deserve, then they should just leave the force.

“If you can’t treat someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t treat someone from another race or a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”
Although the incident happened at the preparatory school, the lieutenant everyone in the Air Force Academy to be aware of the severity of this incident.

“We would all be naive to think that everything is perfect here. We would be naive to think we shouldn’t discuss this topic,” he said. “We would also be tone deaf not to think about the backdrop of what’s going on in our country, things like Charlottesville and Ferguson, the protests in the NFL.”

He praised the Academy for being diverse and how that was one of the most unifying things about the Air Force. Their efforts to bring people together through a forum after the Charlottesville attack was a perfect example of this.

Silveria hopes that by speaking out and condemning the horrible racist remarks will encourage others to do the same thing.

One of the cadets that were targeted on the school’s message board says he’s doing his best to brush off the hateful comments.

“The word has zero power in my house. Zero power. The word is not going to yield a reaction. My initial advice to him was, respond with intelligence, do not react, do not get upset. The real victim here is that individual [who wrote the slurs], because that individual is going to lose a promising career in the military.”
Security Forces are currently in the middle of investigating the incident. Silveria also plans on putting together a group to continue to discuss the topic of racism in the Academy.

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