The United States Air Force is investigating a troubling incident where the message “go home nigger” was found written on the message boards of five Black cadet candidates.
The racially-motivated infraction happened at the Air Force Preparatory Campus on Monday. On Thursday, the academy’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, called for all racists to “get out.” The story of the hate crime was first reported by Air Force Times, who spoke to one of their fathers about the incident.
“The word has zero power in my house.Zero power,” the father said. “The word is not going to yield a reaction. My initial advice to [my son] was, respond with intelligence, do not react, do not get upset. You don‘t have to defend intelligence, you don’t have to defend common sense, you don’t have to defend confidence. He’s fine.”
Although the father believes that the academy is handling the situation appropriately, some people are saying the organization is not doing enough. Many have also pointed out that the U.S. armed services have a history of racism.
As noted in the Air Force Times article, the cadet candidate’s mother posted her sentiments on a now-private Facebook message saying, “This is why I’m so hurt! These young people are supposed to bond and protect each other and the country. Who would my son have to watch out for?”
Though the school is still looking for the culprit, Lt. Gen. Silveria promises that the individual(s) responsible will face consequences and that kind of behavior will not be tolerated. “There is absolutely no place in our Air Force for racism,” the newly appointed administrator said. “It’s not who we are, nor will we tolerate it in any shape or fashion. The Air Force strives to create a climate of dignity and respect for all. Period.”