Lt. General Jay Silveria, the superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy laid down the law with unflinching clarity, while addressing the cadets on the importance of diversity, this week.
He had good reason, and anyone who didn’t receive his message loud and clear wasn’t listening.
In no uncertain terms, Lt. Gen. Silveria told those in attendance that they could treat the academy as a place of dignity and respect for all, or they could get out.
“You should be outraged, not only as an airman but as a human being,” Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria said on Thursday, as the academy’s 4,000 cadets stood at attention.
Silveria’s comments came after five African American cadets at the academy’s prep school found racial slurs scrawled onto message boards outside their rooms. Academy security forces are investigating the matter, according to a statement.
And it’s important to note, no suspects have been named and this is a matter that is still under investigation.
I’ll go even further and point out that there have been instances where similar racial ugliness has been staged to push a narrative of racist boogeymen on every corner. That, however, is not always the case. In far too many accounts, we see that people really are as awful as it seems.
Silveria went on.
“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out,” he said. “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 a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”
I vigorously agree with every syllable, there.
He went on to talk about everything from Ferguson to the current NFL kneeling nonsense.
His passion was infectious, and he is absolutely right: This is a conversation we need to be having. Respect should not be a mere concept, but a daily practice.
You can listen to the brief lecture here:
You need to watch this right away…trust me. Thank you Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria for your service. pic.twitter.com/WPUVl0mXJh
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 29, 2017