"If you can't treat someone from another race or a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out," Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria barked at 4,000 cadets at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday. His message came after the words "go home n-----" were found Tuesday on message boards outside the rooms of five black cadet candidates within the Academy's preparatory school. Silveria added an unusual order, per Axios: "Reach for your phones. I'm serious. ... I want you to videotape this [speech]—so that you have it, so that you can use it." Officials are investigating the slur, which appears to have been written by a single individual, who could be charged with violating orders and conduct unbecoming an officer under military rules, reports the Gazette.
"If you're outraged by those words, then you're in the right place," Silveria said, per CBS Denver. "We would all be naive to think that everything is perfect here" but "that kind of behavior has no place at the Prep School, at USAFA, and in the United States," he said. Afterward, Silveria said the fact that almost all cadets turned up for the optional lunchtime speech showed their opposition to racism. "I'm not worried at all after what we demonstrated today," said Silveria. Jason Johnson, however, is. At the Root, he argues that Silveria's response was "weak." Telling racist cadets they should get out is "akin to finding out there is a serial rapist on campus and saying, 'This campus has no place for rapists, they must go!'"