The powerful message the Air Force Academy's superintendent wanted to send loud and clear

Story highlights

  • Slurs aimed at black cadet candidates found at academy prepatory school
  • The academy is investigating the incident

(CNN)When someone left racist slurs on the message boards of five black cadet candidates at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School, the academy's superintendent didn't even try to suppress his outrage.

In a video making the rounds on social media and posted to the Air Force Academy's Facebook page, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria ordered his cadets to line up and pull out their phones.
"If you can't treat someone from another gender, whether that's a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out," he said. "If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can't treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out."
    The racist slurs, discovered earlier this week, were written in black marker and said "Go home" with the N-word, according to CNN affiliate KRDO.
    "If you're outraged by those words, then you're in the right place. That kind of behavior has no place at the Prep School," Silveria said.
    The Air Force Academy said it's investigating and that whoever is responsible will be held accountable. The Prep School, on the same campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as the academy, helps ready about 240 cadets each year to enter the academy.
    "It's the power that we come from all walks of life, that we come from all parts of this country, that we come from all races, that we come from all backgrounds, gender, all make-up, all upbringing," he said. "The power of that diversity comes together and makes us that much more powerful."
    "This is our institution, and no one can take away our values," Silveria added. "No one can write on a board and question our values. No one can take that away from us."
    Several politicians have released statements condemning the incident, including US Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.
    "Racism has no place in our Armed Forces and in our country," he wrote on Facebook. "This hateful act stands contrary to everything that makes us strong as a nation."