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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 15:53

Air Force Academy general deserves praise

Written by 

To the Editor:

All men and women who have served in the armed forces can hold their heads high when they learn the courage of Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, who spoke to the cadets of the Air Force Academy after incidents of racial harassment at the Academy.

“If you cannot treat someone,” he told them, “with respect and dignity, then you don’t need to be here.” He goes on, “if you cannot treat someone from a different race or different skin color with dignity and respect, then you need to get out”

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear our president say those bold words?  Instead, he has called some black athletes “sons of bitches” (respect and dignity?). Furthermore, he wraps himself in our flag to attempt to stifle these black athletes’ protests of racial injustice. Protesting, however, is not disrespect; it is actually the reason many young men and women lie in graves in Normandy and other sites in France. They gave their lives to defeat a tyrant who had no respect for people of different religions or different skin color. They gave their lives to preserve the American right to protest

Wouldn’t it also be refreshing to hear such bold words from our white supremacist-oriented AG? Instead, he hides behind some vague notion of ‘national security’ while attempting to deport all the brown-skinned immigrants from our country. Deporting mothers and grandmothers who have lived peacefully in our country for 20-plus years does not make our nation more secure.

The words of Lt. Gen. Silveria are forceful and to the point. He is aware that he can not change national events dealing with bigotry and racial injustice. He mentions Charlottesville, Ferguson, and the NFL protests. But he is saying that racial bigotry and injustice will not be tolerated at the Academy during his watch.

And perhaps that is the best we can all do. We cannot prevent the degradation of people of different colors, races, or genders, or creeds in all parts of the world. We can, however, take action to stop it in our own little corner of the world.

The general shows us the way. Bravo, General!

Paul Strop


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