The Air Force dutifully accepted an award from the Anti-Defamation League on Monday for combating intolerance, but buried the fact that the recent hysteria over racist writings at its Academy Preparatory School turned out to be a total hoax.
The ceremony took place in San Francisco at the ADL’s Never is Now Summit on Monday, during which time Scott Levin, director of the ADL’s Mountain States’ Region, heaped praise on the Academy for “swiftly, clearly and forcefully accessing the racial slurs at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School.”
Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria then accepted the award, according to the Air Force’s press release.
“I can only accept this award on behalf of the faculty, staff and the coaches of the U.S. Air Force Academy,” Silveria said. “They are the ones that everyday teach those values to the cadets. They are the ones who should be really recipients of the award for their teaching tolerance, character, leadership, and integrity.”
Yvonne Roland, the Academy’s director of Culture, Climate and Diversity, said differences should be embraced to cultivate respect and dignity.
“By embracing our differences we help create a culture of respect and dignity,” Roland said. “As an institution of higher education and a military installation, we strive to develop future leaders who can serve our diverse nation. We prepare our cadets to meet the challenges of an ever changing global environment and to value ethics and human dignity.”
Notably, the Air Force’s press release on the subject failed to mention that the incident in question was exposed as a fraud. In September, five black cadet candidates discovered racial slurs written on their doors. One of the slurs stated: “Go home n——.”
Such language prompted national outrage. Silveria delivered a rousing speech, which subsequently went viral for its sternness and overflow of earnestness. However, an investigation into the incident revealed that one of the black cadet candidates had written the racial slurs. This cadet candidate had apparently written the slurs to distract from misconduct he committed while at the Academy. That individual is no longer at the school.
For Silveria, who then spoke at the ADL’s conference, the fact that the incident turned out to be a hoax is essentially irrelevant to the point he made during his original Academy speech.
“There have been a few that are very vocal that have come back to me that have suggested that maybe my words were over the top, that maybe my words are now null and void, or perhaps that my words are inappropriate because one of those students actually wrote it on there themselves, and I tell you, I disagree,” Silveria said.
The audience erupted in applause.
“Thank you. Because regardless of who wrote the words, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of who put that slur on the wall, it was written,” Silveria said. “Whoever wrote it, it was still written. And so, dignity and respect cannot be overemphasized.”
Neither the Air Force, nor the ADL responded to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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