Medium | Carolyn J Lukensmeyer
This past weekend, in a speech shown on news shows across the country, Lt. General Silveria (USAF) spoke to all 4000 cadets at the Air Force preparatory academy after racial slurs were found on the message boards of black cadets. His message — which he told the cadets to video on their phones so they would not forget it — was straightforward:
“That kind of behavior has no place at the prep school, it has no place at the US Air Force Academy and it has no place in the United States Air Force…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 woman, with dignity and respect, 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.”
The Air Force prep school is not alone in dealing with these issues as the school year moves into its second month. At the University of Michigan’s Annual President’s Leadership Breakfast, President Mark Schlissel said, “As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, racism and bigotry in all forms have no place at the University of Michigan. I denounce these and any expressions of hate at our University”. The remarks were in response to the fact that black students in the West Quad Residence Hall had the tags on their doors defaced with derogatory language.
Cornell University’s president, Martha E. Pollack, also has had to address hate and violence on campus after a black student was bloodied. “For the vast majority of Cornellians who abhor these recent events our community needs your help. Please speak out against injustice, racism and bigotry and reach out to support one another.”