After five black cadet candidates at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) prep school discovered the words "get out n****r" written on their dorm room message boards Tuesday, the school's top administrator vowed to weed out discrimination within his ranks and track down whoever penned the racist messages, the Colorado Spring Gazette reports.
The USAFA superintendent, Lieutenant General Jay Silveria, rounded up 4,000 cadets and 1,500 support staff for a lecture on what went down this week, telling the crowd they "should be outraged" by what happened.
"No one can write on a board and question our values," Silveria said. "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."
The school is still trying to figure out who was behind the racist missives at USAFA, but sources told the Gazette it was likely the work of one person, since the handwriting on all five looked similar. Whoever was behind the stunt could face a court martial and find themselves booted from the program—in the military, unlike in civilian society, hate speech is not protected.
Silveria's words come at a time when various other military programs have had to crack down on discriminatory behavior within their ranks. The Marine Corps cut ties with a recruit last year after a video revealed he'd verbally abused a black woman at a Trump rally. The year before, the Citadel military college suspended more than a dozen students caught dressing up in what looked like KKK costumes.
"Reach for your phones," Silveria said during his speech. "I want you to videotape this so that you have it, so that you can use it. So that we all have the moral courage together."
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