Warning: Offensive Language
At a time when discussions of race and racism are constantly in and out of the news cycle, another incident, this time at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) Preparatory School, is furthering the discussion of the two in America.
Racist slurs were found on five whiteboards outside the rooms of five black preparatory cadets. The slur, written in black dry-erase marker, said, "Go home n******."
The individual or individuals who wrote the racist message have yet to be identified.
Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Jay Silveria took the time to address all the cadets at the United States Air Force Academy.
The superintendent stated:
You may have heard that some people down in the prep school wrote some racial slurs on some message boards ... If you're outraged by those words, then you're in the right place. That kind of behavior has no place at the prep school, it has no place at USAFA, and it has no place in the United States Air Force. You should be outraged not only as an Airman but as a human being.
The superintendent praised the diversity of the Air Force and stated that diversity made them strong. He did not hold back on his thoughts of those who promote racism either. Without hesitation, the lieutenant general said, "If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out."
As the investigation is underway, it will be important to find the truth and those responsible. Anyone involved should be found and held accountable, whether it be a real instance of racism or if it turns out to be a hoax.
Lt Gen Silveria said one other thing that rang out.
"No one can write on a board and take away our ideals," he stated.
These words do not just apply to USAFA and the military. They can be applied to the nation as a whole. As a nation that is already polarized down political lines and becoming polarized along racial lines by the day, it is important to understand that racists and race baiters cannot take away what we stand for as a country.
For those who protest NFL players for taking a knee during the national anthem, for those who consider the players to be unpatriotic for their behavior, now is a good time, whether this instance is true or not, to condemn racism and thank, regardless of their race, gender, or religion, all those who serve this great nation.
Watch Lt Gen Silveria's address below: