Lieutenant Colonel Allen Heritage, director of public affairs for the academy, told Air Force Times the slurs were discovered Monday after one of the cadet’s mother’s posted a photo to Facebook on Wednesday that shows a white board with the words “go home n***** on it. The post has since been removed.
“This is why I’m so hurt!” the mother said. “These young people are supposed to bond and protect each other and the country. Who would my son have to watch out for? The enemy or the enemy?”
Lieutenant General Jay Silveria, superintendent of the academy released a statement Thursday condemning the slurs. “There is absolutely no place in our Air Force for racism,” Silveria said. “It’s not who we are, nor will we tolerate it in any shape or fashion. The Air Force Academy strives to create a climate of dignity and respect for all…. Period…. Those who don’t understand that are behind the power curve and better catch up.”
“You should be outraged not only as an airman, but a human being,” he continued.
The five black students involved in the attacks are part of a group called Cadet Candidates, which is comprised of young men and women who show potential in earning a spot in the academy.
The academy hosted a “Critical Conversations” event on Monday night with 145 cadets to talk about the recent events, according to a Facebook post.
Heritage said the academy’s security forces are looking into the incident as well, but it has no additional information to release at the moment.
After the Charlottesville attacks in August, many U.S military leaders took to Twitter to condemn racism after President Donald Trump compared the violent neo-Nazis to the counterprotesters who opposed them.
General David L. Goldfein, chief of staff of the Air Force, tweeted that he stood “together with my fellow service chiefs in saying that we’re always stronger together.”
Commandant General Robert Neller, the leader of the U.S. Marines, said that there was “no place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC.”
“Our core values of honor, courage and commitment frame the way Marines live and act,” he said.