After the N-word was discovered written on outside of black students’ doors at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s, preparatory school officials knew something had to be done.
That’s when School Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria jumped into action. He gathered all 4,000 cadets in a hall to send a clear message: “Treat people with dignity and respect – or get out.”
“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,” Silveria said “You should be outraged not only as an airman, but as a human being.”
Even though the event happened at the prep-school, Silveria still felt that the issue should be confronted by the USAFA head-on.
A total of about 5,500 people were urged to think carefully and react appropriately to what happened.
“The appropriate response for horrible language and horrible ideas — the appropriate response is a better idea,” Silveria said. “So that’s why I’m here. That’s why all these people are here.”
The local newspaper, the Gazette reports several students were impacted by the N-word attack.
“five black students woke up Tuesday to find ‘Go Home’ followed by the epithet scrawled on message boards outside their rooms.” Gazette
The superintended reiterated that the Air Force Academy is stronger due to the diverse cadets it pulls from all walks of life.
“The power of that diversity comes together and makes us that much more powerful,” Silveria said. “That’s a much better idea than small thinking and horrible ideas.”
Towards the end of the five-minute video Silveria added:
“Just in case you’re unclear on where I stand on this topic, I’m going to leave you my most important thought today: If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. 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 different color skin, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”
Update: There was a report a possible shooter at the academy, but authorities later sent an all clear.
“We will continue to investigate the cause of the reports.” the Air Force Academy said on Twitter, adding: “We would like to thank our community partners for their assistance.”