Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, head of the U.S. Air Force Academy, told racist cadets to “get out” of the academy if they can’t treat their fellow cadets with “dignity and respect.” That unequivocal message now needs to be conveying to Coast Guard cadets.
The Seattle Times reported that a criminal investigation is underway of a White Coast Guard cadet accused of racially intimidating a Black cadet through an offensive song and the display of the Confederate emblem.
Superintendent Rear Adm. James Rendon said the White cadet played a song in the Black cadet’s dorm room that romanticizes “a world in which the South won the Civil War,” according to the Associated Press.
When the African-American student returned from notifying a counselor, he discovered that the wallpaper on his computer screen was changed to the Mississippi state flag, which is emblazoned with the Confederate battle emblem.
Rendon has said he’s disappointed and angry with the alleged behavior. If the cadet is found responsible for racial harassment, Rendon should follow Silveria’s example and come out with a strong condemnation. The Air Force Academy superintendent assembled the school’s 4,000 cadets, staff and instructors to denounce racist behavior.
There was apparently a failure to communicate that intolerance is unacceptable at the Coast Guard Academy. According to The Times, the incident between the cadets happened hours after the commandant of cadets met with the student body to talk about an incident in the spring involving the Confederate flag.