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Silveria confronts racism

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Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria gets serious. - AIR FORCE ACADEMY
  • Air Force Academy
  • Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria gets serious.

The U.S. Air Force Academy's recently arrived superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, blasted a warning to all those who can't embrace diversity among the ranks. His Sept. 28 comments to the Cadet Wing came after messages of "go home n....r" were scrawled on white boards at the Academy's Preparatory School. The speech, recorded on video, went viral, with news outlets ranging from NPR to Air Force Times reporting his remarks.

"If you're outraged by those words, then you're in the right place," said Silveria, who assumed command on Aug. 11, succeeding Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. "If you can't treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out."

Though the Academy has long claimed it's dedicated to diversity, Silveria's comments and willingness to allow the media access to his speech digressed from past practice of some superintendents.

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