One of the black Air Force Academy cadets who claimed he was targeted by racial slurs scrawled outside his dorm room actually wrote the hateful messages, school officials said this week.
Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria — whose passionate message to 4,000 cadets at the Air Force Academy’s Preparatory School in Colorado went viral after five black cadets found the words “go home” and an accompanying racial slur outside their dorm in September — confirmed the finding and reiterated the need for inclusiveness at the academy outside of Colorado Springs.
“Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed,” Silveria told the Colorado Springs Gazette in an email. “You can never overemphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect – and those who don’t understand those concepts, aren’t welcome here.”
The cadet candidate, whose identity was not disclosed, was no longer enrolled, although it’s unclear whether he was expelled or withdrew from the academy. Several sources told the Gazette that he scrawled the words on a whiteboard outside his dorm room in a misguided attempt to get out of unspecified consequences for unrelated misconduct at the prep school.
“We can confirm that one of the cadet candidates who was allegedly targeted by racist remarks written outside of their dorm room was actually responsible for the act,” academy spokesman Lt. Col. Allen Herritage told the newspaper in an email. “The individual admitted responsibility and this was validated by the investigation.”
Herritage declined to discuss details of the incident due to privacy concerns, but said racism “has no place” at the academy.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Joshua Rhett Miller