Back in September, the Air Force Academy Preparatory School was rocked by an alleged hate crime against five black cadet candidates, prompting the Academy superintendent to give a dramatic and impassioned speech calling on the racists in their ranks to “get out.”
“There is absolutely no place in our Air Force for racism. It’s not who we are, nor will we tolerate it in any shape or fashion,” Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria said. “I’ve said it before, the area of dignity and respect is my red line. Let me be clear; it won’t be crossed without significant repercussions.”
Silveria apparently didn’t even consider the possibility (probability?) that the “hate crimes” were fake — a hoax perpetrated by a minority student seeking attention and victim status. It’s not a stretch of the imagination, since it’s something we keep seeing over and over again.
Racial slurs were found scrawled on message boards outside the dorm rooms of the five students at the end of September. On Tuesday, Academy officials announced that they had identified the culprit. It was one of the black cadets allegedly targeted by the racist slurs.
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) November 8, 2017
PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson reported in September that the mother of one of the victims had posted a photo on Facebook of her son’s whiteboard with the message “go home n—er.”
“These young people are supposed to bond and protect each other and the country,” the mother wrote, according to Air Force Times. “Who would my son have to watch out for? The enemy or the enemy?”
“The word has zero power in my house,” the young man’s father told the paper at the time. “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.”
“The real victim here is that individual [who wrote the slurs], because that individual is going to lose a promising career in the military,” the father added. “That individual is going to go home disgraced. Him or her is the real victim, because they were raised with that kind of vitriol and that kind of hate. My son is not a victim, I don’t view him as a victim.”
Hopefully the culprit was not that man’s son because he had the right attitude.
The Air Force Academy hasn’t released the student’s name, but officials say one of the targeted cadets admitted to writing the racist graffiti on the message boards outside the dorm rooms.
The cadet is no longer at the school, a spokesman said, declining to say whether the student withdrew or was expelled. The Air Force Academy declined to release any additional information, “citing cadet privacy.”
Meanwhile, the real victim here was not actually the culprit, but the truth. The fact is, the U.S. Air Force Academy is not a hotbed of white supremacy in need of racially charged lectures from the superintendent, and the white cadets there didn’t deserve to be seen as potential racists. In the future, if anything like this happens again, perhaps USAFA officials will wait for an investigation to be completed before they jump to any conclusions.