(RNN) – Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria addressed all 4,000 cadets and staff as he condemned racism in a 5-minute speech that has gone viral.
Silveria tore into whoever wrote “go home n****r” on white boards outside five black cadets' rooms.
One cadet's mother posted a photo of the white board on her Facebook page and wrote, "These young people are supposed to bond together and protect each other and the country. Who would my son have to watch out for? The enemy or the enemy," the Air Force Times reported.
The general did not mince words:
“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out,” he said. “If you can’t treat someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman, with respect, then you need to get out. If you demean anyone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t treat someone from another race with different colored skin with respect, then you need to get out."
The Academy is not identifying the cadet or his family to protect their privacy.
The cadet's father, contacted by Air Force Times, called the incident "utter stupidity."
"The word has zero power in my house," the father said. "Zero power. The word is not going to yield a reaction. My initial advice to him 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," he said of his son.
Academy security is investigating, officials said. They have released no additional information.
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