Air Force Academy leader decries racism
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The leader of the Air Force Academy delivered a poignant, stern message on race relations in a speech to thousands of cadets after someone wrote racial slurs on message boards outside the dorm rooms of five black students.
Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria warned students that he would not tolerate racism at the academy and invoked some of the racial tensions that have been gripping the country. At one point, he insisted that everyone in the audience take out their phones and record him so his message was clearly heard.
“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, get out,” he said Thursday as audience members looked on with rapt attention.
Air Force security personnel are investigating the incident after the slurs were discovered Tuesday. Racial slurs are illegal in the military and can bring charges of violating orders and conduct unbecoming an officer.