After shocking racist incidents were reported at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) prep school, their superintendent had a zero tolerance speech for the culprits.
Five black cadet candidates at the school came across the words ‘get out n****r’ on the message boards in their dorm room, forcing Lieutenant General Jay Silveria to try and track down whoever is responsible, the Colorado Spring Gazette reports.
The Lieutenant General gathered 4,000 cadets and 1,500 support staff to inform those who didn’t already know, as well as telling the culprits that they can ‘get out’.
“No one can write on a board and question our values. If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out,” the general said.
“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.”
Silveria reiterated that those message boards are there to promote support and togetherness between cadets, rather than oppression.
He added: “We would all be naive to think that everything is perfect here. We would be naive to think we shouldn’t discuss this topic.
“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.”
— USAFA (Official) (@AF_Academy) September 29, 2017
According to the New York Times one of the cadets who the racist message was aimed at is brushing off the scathing and unprovoked attack.
The man’s father told Air Force Times that he’d advised his son not to react and instead to respond with intelligence. He then added that the person who wrote the slur is going to be the real victim as he will lose his career in the military.
Lieutenant General Jay Silveria said in an email: “We don’t always know what ‘right’ looked like for them in the families, schools and communities where they grew up. But once they arrive here and get immersed in the Air Force culture, it must be absolutely clear how we look out for and respect one another.“