Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria was quick to react in September to allegations of racism at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. But now the incident that sparked the general’s reaction has been proven a hoax.
Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria delivered a video on Facebook that quickly went viral after reports of “racism” on campus. In the video the Gen. addressed his cadets, saying, “If you can’t treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out”:
According to the Washington Post, the message “Go home,” followed by the N-word, was written in black marker on the message boards of five black cadet candidates. The academy pledged to launch a full investigation into the incident.
But now, it appears that the incident was a hoax all along.
Investigators found that one of the black students himself had written the “racist” message, the Associated Press reported.
The cadet who reportedly admitted to writing the obscene message is no longer at the school. Authorities have declined to say whether he was expelled or if he withdrew of his own volition. Officials have also declined to identify the student.
Gen. Silveria defended his widely seen response video by saying the sentiment was still relevant even though the incident has proven to be a hoax.
“Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed,” the general told the Gazette newspaper. “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.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.