Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, discusses his goals and priorities to an audience of Total Force Airmen at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, U.S. on Aug.17, 2017.
A story about a racial slur scrawled on a message board outside the dorm room of an African-American student at the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School went viral last month after the academy’s superintendent gave a rousing speech about “the power of diversity.”
That story, it turns out, was a hoax. An investigation by the academy found that one of the African-American cadets who reported the message wrote it himself.
A U.S. Air Force official said the student left the school this week, but did not specify whether he withdrew or was expelled. The student’s name was not released.
An academy statement said, “We can confirm that one of the cadet candidates who was allegedly targeted by racist remarks written outside of their dorm room was actually responsible for the act. The individual admitted responsibility and this was validated by the investigation.”
Sources told The Colorado Springs Gazette that the student “committed the act in a bizarre bid to get out of trouble he faced at the school” for previous misconduct.
Over million views to response
On Sept. 27, five African-American cadets reported finding the racial slur written on a dry-erase board outside their dorm room.
In response to the incident, academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria gave an anti-racism speech that was shared widely on the internet and has been viewed more than 1 million times.
Silveria said he was “outraged” and encouraged cadets to pull their phones out and record what he called his most important thoughts on the subject.
“If you can’t treat someone from another race differently”.