It has been an interesting week exposing racism as not one, but two incidents have proven to be fake. In both incidents Black individuals took advantage of the current racial climate to garner some attention for themselves. Perhaps they were attention-starved and were wanting their time in the limelight or maybe they were looking to incite something more from these incidents but in either case their claims did not stand the test of time and the weight of an intense investigation by the FBI and other agencies.
In the most recent revelation, a story broke in September about 5 Black air force cadet candidates found racial slurs on their message boards. The story sparked an immediate backlash online with many e-activists taking sides. So disgusting and revolting was the incident the superintendent of the preparatory school, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria gave an impassioned speech that quickly went viral and garnered praise for his leadership.
“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,” said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria. “Period. Those who don’t understand that are behind the power curve and better catch up.”
“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. Diversity is an asset of both the academy and the Air Force,” he said. “We are stronger when we take into account the views of those with different backgrounds and life experiences.”
Even Democratic senator of Colorado, Michael Bennet, chimed in on the conversation saying, “This hateful act stands contrary to everything that makes us strong as a nation. We are glad Academy leadership has made clear this will not be tolerated, and we’re grateful for the example set by their response.”
Well like the Kansas State University incident, the hateful messages were written by the same person that reported it. In this case one of the five cadet candidates confessed to writing the messages on the board. No motive was given for the act but it just as easily could have been a prank gone wrong or a cry for attention.
On Tuesday the school revealed the hoax and Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria stood by his speech in a statement to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
“Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed,” he said. “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.”
According to the prep school, the student is no longer enrolled but did not offer an explanation as to the nature of the student’s absence. Lt. Col Heritage declined to elaborate on whether the student was expelled or withdrew citing privacy laws.
Ironic though is how before the hoax was exposed, the father of one of the cadets told the Air Force Times that he didn’t view his son as victim in the incident. According to the father, the real victim in the situation was the person who wrote the messages on their message boards. The father predicted that the culprit would end up going home a disgrace and missing out on a promising military career “because they were raised with that kind of vitriol and that kind of hate.” Who knew his words would come back to haunt him knowing that his son was actually the culprit/victim.
It is a tense time in America as White nationalists and supremacists and other White extremists groups are empowered by a president who’s making America great again supposedly for Whites…. because when again was it great for other races? It never really has been all that great for the rest. It just gets a little more tolerable.
That doesn’t excuse the actions of the cadets in Colorado or the K-State college student. There are enough real incidents occurring worthy of attention and address and your pulling of the race card only muddies and devalues what is really going down. Get out of the way and let real revolution come to pass.