Racial slurs scrawled outside black students' rooms at Air Force Academy Prep School
Racial slurs were written on whiteboards outside of five black Air Force Cadet Candidates' rooms at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado, academy officials said.
One candidate’s mother posted a photo on Facebook that shows “go home n----r” written on the message board outside her son’s room, according to the Air Force Times.
The cadet’s father told the publication that the incident was “utter stupidity” but said his son was handling it well.
“My initial advice to him was, respond with intelligence, do not react, do not get upset,” he said. “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 slurs were discovered Monday, according to a statement by Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the superintendent of the academy.
The academy hosted a “Critical Conversations” event on Monday night where 145 cadets discussed recent events, including race relations at the Academy, Silveria said in an email to other academy leaders that was posted to a Facebook group.
Silveria planned to address the Cadets, including the Cadet Candidates, at lunch Thursday.
“Concepts like Respect and Dignity are not negotiable,” Silveria said in the email.
“That’s my red line, and it will not be crossed ... I would like us to all be engaging in these tough conversations, in a civil manner that spurs more discussion and reaches productive solutions,” he added. “To that end and to be clear: do not avoid the topic. I expect you to have conversations with Cadets about respect and dignity.”
The five black students were part of a group called Cadet Candidates, which is comprised of young men and women who did not earn a spot in the Academy, but show potential. Admissions officers appoint them to attend a 10-month prep school that gives them the opportunity to be freshmen cadets the next academic year, according to the Academy's website.