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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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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