After racial slurs were written on whiteboards outside black Air Force Academy students' dorm rooms, Air Force Lieutenant General Jay B. Silveria gave a moving speech that condemned racism and discrimination of any kind. Silveria, who is the superintendent of the US Air Force Academy, made a point of saying that even though the event occurred in the prep school, it affects the entire Air Force. He vehemently opposed the racist actions and said that anyone who had the inclination to do something like that needed to "get out".
The video of the speech went viral, and people lauded Silveria for his straightforward comments and acceptance of responsibility.
@usairforce @AF_Academy This is leadership. This is humility. This is what American exceptionalism is really about.— Michael Eric Ross (@Michael Eric Ross)1506656608.0
He clearly stated that the racist slurs were not only disappointing but unacceptable.
U.S. Air Force Academy is investigating a racial slur written on dormitory message boards of five cadet candidates:… https://t.co/f0gjXPxtbK— CBS News (@CBS News)1506692101.0
He mentioned other race-related conflicts that have happened in the United States recently and said that these are issues that he Air Force needs to discuss.
The Air Force Academy is investigating racial slurs written outside five black air force cadet dorm rooms… https://t.co/gUhCTBUmfn— Newsweek (@Newsweek)1506648611.0
Silveria credited much of the Air Forces' power to its diversity.He said, "The power that we come from all walks of life, that we come from all parts of this country, that we come from all races, we come from all backgrounds, gender, all makeup, all upbringing... the power of that diversity comes together and makes us that much more powerful. That's a much better idea than small thinking..."
He repeatedly took responsibility for the values for which the Air Force stands, and said that no one could take those values from them."We have an opportunity here... to think about what we are as an institution. This is our institution and no one can take away our values. No one can write on a board and question our values. No one can take that away from us."
He urged his audience not to accept racial discrimination, but he didn't stop there. He said that he - and the Air Force as a whole - would not accept discrimination of any kind - whether it be about race, gender, or background.
"If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect--then you need to get out."-Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria, Superint… https://t.co/KNy9r7Wm1f— U.S. Air Force (@U.S. Air Force)1506640141.0