“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”
Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the superintendent of the Air Force Academy in Colorado, gave a powerful speech to his cadets about racism and diversity, after racial slurs were found on the doors of five black cadets’ rooms at the academy’s prep school.
“If you can’t treat someone from another race or a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out,” Silveria said, addressing nearly 5,500 people in the room, including cadets, faculty, and candidate cadets.
“If you can't treat someone from another gender with dignity and respect then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out,” Silveria said.
In one of the most memorable moments of the address, Silveria told the 4,000 cadets standing at attention to grab their cell phones and record the last words of his speech: “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”