Air Force Academy Head Delivers Powerful Response to Racist Incident at Prep School

“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

After five black cadets at the US Air Force Academy preparatory school discovered racial slurs written outside their dorm rooms this week, the academy’s superintendent Lt. General Jay Silveria on Thursday delivered a scathing speech denouncing racism, instructing anyone who held such bigoted views to pack up and leave.

“If you’re outraged by those words, then you are in the right place,” Silveria told the school’s 4,000 students. “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.”

 “If you demean someone in any way, you need to get out,” he added.

Silveria continued by invoking the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, as well as the ongoing displays of protest during the national anthem at NFL games. He urged students and faculty members to engage in civil discourse and embrace “the power of diversity.”

“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out,” Silveria concluded.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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