USAFA superintendent addresses racial slurs found on message boards

Both Air Force cadets and preparatory students were told to treat others with dignity and respect or 'get out' by the U.S. Air Force Academy's superintendent Thursday.

He spoke to students after racial slurs were found on message boards outside the dorm rooms of five African-American prep academy students earlier this week.

Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria spoke to the entire faculty, cadets and prep students about the incident, repeating multiple times that those actions had no place in the U.S. Air Force.

"If you're outraged by those words, then you're in the right place," Silveria said to the gathered students. "That kind of behavior has no place at the prep school, it has no place at USAFA and it has no place at the U.S. Air Force."

He told students and staff that the best response to the racial slurs was "a better idea." He told the student body that it would be naive to think what happened at the prep school didn't apply to the cadets; that it would be naive to think everything was perfect at the academy.

"We would be naive to think that we shouldn't discuss the topic," Silveria said.

He then mentioned recent events, including Charlottesville, Ferguson and the NFL protests, saying that students and staff needed to have a civil discourse about those events.

Students were told to get out their phones and record their superintendent's next words.

"So that we all have the moral courage together - all of us in this room - this is our institution," he continued. "And if you need it, and you need my words, then you keep these words and you remember them and you share them and you talk about them."

"If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then you get out."

Watch his full statement to faculty and students at the bottom of this article or at this link.

The Air Force is investigating the use of the racial remarks, said Lt. Col. Allen Herritage, the Director of Public Affairs for the academy. He can't release any details at this time as the investigation is ongoing. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment