Black Cadet Admits to Writing Racial Slurs at Air Force Academy
After the reporting of the racial slurs, the school’s superintendent made a speech that went viral, attracting praise from Joe Biden and John McCain.
Officials at the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School announced one of the students who reported racial slurs written on message boards was, in fact, the one who wrote it.
In September, five black cadet candidates at the Colorado Springs school found racial slurs written outside of their rooms. The messages launched an investigation by the school and led to a now-viral speech from Superintendent Lieutenant General Jay Silveria.
“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out,” Silveria said.
The video has been watched over 1.2 million times and was applauded by former vice president Joe Biden and Senator John McCain.
On Tuesday, the school confirmed that the messages were written by one of the cadets who reported being targeted by them, reports The Washington Post.
The school has not identified the cadet but says the individual is no longer enrolled at the 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,” says academy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Allen Herritage. “The individual admitted responsibility and this was validated by the investigation.”
Several sources say the student committed the act in an attempt to get out of trouble for a separate act of misconduct, although the school would not confirm.
Following Tuesday’s announcement, Silveria says he stands by his original speech.
“Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed,” Silveria wrote in an email to the Colorado Springs Gazette. “You can never over-emphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect — and those who don’t understand those concepts, aren’t welcome here.”
The prep school, which is located on the grounds of the Air Force Academy, helps students meet the academy’s entrance requirements and many of them go on to be collegiate athletes.