U.S. Air Force Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria has responded to an accident of ethnic provocation on campus with a strong message.
Days after news reports surfaced about five pitch-black cadets being targeted with ethnic insults on dorm room message committees, Silveria gave a lecture to roughly 5,500 cadets, airmen, and academy staff. He set out to make it clear that what happened was unacceptable and, in the process, demonstrated how leaders should address acts of loathe is targeted at marginalized groups.
In his five-minute speech, Silveria highlighted diversity as information sources of ability and fortitude within the establishment and suggested cadets to sustained its values.
Race relations in the U.S. aren’t exactly in a great sit right now, and too often, fanaticism is going rampant. Racism isn’t an issue we can afford to ignore, even if it means having some very uncomfortable conversations.
“We would be naive expressed the belief that we shouldn’t discuss this topic, ” Silveria told the crowd. “We would also be tone-deaf not to think about the backdrop of what’s going on in home countries. Events like Charlottesville and Ferguson, the protests in the NFL.”
“We come from all paths of life, ” he said, “that we come from all regions of this district, that we come from all scoots, we come from all backgrounds, gender, all makeup, all upbringing. The capability of that diversification comes together and moves us that much more powerful.”
It’s in closing that Silveria performed his most powerful station, asking the cadets in the area to pull out their telephones so they could capture it on video.
“Just in case you’re unclear on where I stand on this subject, ” he went on( emphasis added ), “I’m going to leave you my most important thought today: If you can’t give person with honor and respect, then you need to get out.”
“If you can’t treat someone from another gender, whether that’s a gentleman or the status of women, with honor and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean person in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t analyse someone from another race or different pigment skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”
We still have a long way to go. This is just a start.
To be sure, there used to be slew of legitimate disapprovals of the discussion. Jason Johnson at The Root blamed Silveria for “removing a ‘problem’ as opposed to eradicating it, ” and pointing to a number of fairly recent incidents that recommend the military forces doesn’t have a handle on equality quite yet.
“It’s akin to finding out there is a serial rapist on campus and saying, ‘This campus has no place for rapists, they must go! ‘” wrote Johnson. “Thanks, but perhaps you are able to engage them more? “
With those degrees in recollection, it’s on all of us to push back on intolerance, discrimination, and marginalization in society. It’s on all of us to help become the world a more merely place for parties of all backgrounds to live, wield, and thrive.