Air Force General Addresses Racial Slurs on Campus: ‘You Should Be Outraged’

The episode attracted national attention when Tracye Whitfield, the mother of one of the students, posted a photo on Facebook of the message, which paired the words “go home” with a racial slur. “It’s a nerve-racking feeling,” Ms. Whitfield told a local news station in Colorado Springs, near where the academy is located.

The preparatory school, usually called the “prep school,” prepares candidates for admission to the academy proper. About 240 students, called “cadet candidates,” attend the school each year.

Though the slurs were discovered at the prep school, “it would be naïve” to think the episode did not reflect on the academy and the Air Force as a whole, General Silveria said.

“Some of you may think that that happened down at the prep school and doesn’t apply to us,” he said. “I would be naïve, and we would all be naïve, to think that everything is perfect here.”

He then explicitly linked the discovery of the slurs to events like the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., where white supremacists marched with torches in August, and Ferguson, Mo., where the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a police officer in 2014 set off protests across the country. He said that these events formed a backdrop that had to be addressed, and that to think otherwise would be “tone deaf.”

After calling for a civil discourse, he spoke of the power of various forms of diversity, evoking “the power that we come from all walks of life, that we come from all parts of this country, that we come from all races, we come from all backgrounds, gender, all makeup, all upbringing.”

He added: “This is our…

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