Two universities this month were embroiled in alleged racist incidents that led to campus alerts and national controversy. It turns out however that the “victims” at both the Air Force Academy and Kent State were actually the aggressors in the creation of racist hoaxes. The incident at the Air Force Academy led to an angry speech by Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, who ordered all 4000 cadets to stand at attention as he railed on the racist or racists in their ranks.
Racial slurs were found outside of the rooms of five black students at the Air Force Academy dormitory in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The YouTube video of Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria received national acclaim as he declared “We would also be tone deaf not to think about the backdrop of what is going on in our country . . . If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, get out.” The Washington Post used the video as the basis for an opinion piece, titled “Too bad Trump can’t emulate the military when it comes to matters of race.” The column declared “Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria did naturally what Trump is incapable of doing. The Air Force Academy superintendent answered the hate in his ranks immediately, head-on and with a moral clarity nonexistent in the Oval Office.”
The student is no longer at the school and it is not clear if the student was expelled or withdrew. The school simply released a statement that “We can confirm that one of the cadet candidates who was allegedly targeted by racist remarks written outside of their dorm room was actually responsible for the act. The individual admitted responsibility and this was validated by the investigation.”
Kansas faced the same bizarre twist on its own racist controversy after Dauntarius Williams, 21, complained that someone put racist graffiti on her own car on Halloween. The graffiti included such messages as “Go Home,” ”Date your own kind,” and “Die.” One thing was odd from the outset. The alleged racist used washable paint in the incident in an apartment complex near Kansas State University. It led to an emergency meeting of the Black Student Union as well as meetings with administrators and local politicians, including a live event rallying the community against racists. The FBI also opened a civil rights investigation into a possible hate crime.
Now here is the equally bizarre twist. After causing community wide and university wide trauma, the police decided not to charge Williams with filing a false report. It simply stated obliquely that such a charge would “not be in the best interests of the citizens” of Manhattan.
Williams insisted that “The whole situation got out of hand when it shouldn’t have even started . . . It was just a Halloween prank that got out of hand. I wish I could go back to that night but I can’t. I just want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for the pain and news I have brought you all.”
These hoaxes obviously cause not just trauma to these communities but real harm to actual victim of racism. The hoaxes plays in the narrative of some that concerns over racism on campus are overblown. There is real racism out there and these hoaxes undermine not just those real concerns but real victims.
Do you believe either of these individuals should have been criminally charged?
30 thoughts on “Racist Incidents At The Air Force Academy And Kansas State University Prove To Be Hoaxes”
Absolutely, criminal charges are due. If a white person had allegedly committed the acts they would have been charged. Clearly a double standard.
For my edification, did the American Founders declare that racism and discrimination were unconstitutional?
Understanding that discrimination is the first step of freedom, it would be impossible for a country to preclude it and retain its claim to be free.
What is irrefutably unconstitutional in this, a free country, is “Affirmative Action Privilege” along with redistribution of wealth, social engineering and central planning in any and all forms.
George – actually many of the Founders thought that racism was unConstitutional. However, they decided to kick the can down the road several years hoping either the states would solve it or another amendment would solve it. The Northwest Ordinance forbids slavery in that territory and that came early on.
It is understood that acts incurring property damage or emotional or physical injury are illegal.
You equated slavery with racism. What exactly is the prevailing wisdom as to the definition of racism? I think the Founders provided, immutably, the freedom of thought, speech, belief, assembly, press and every other conceivable natural and god-given freedom, all of which existed before government was established, per the 9th amendment. You’re implying that the Founders legally precluded our opinions and preferences such as neighborhoods, employees, matriculants, etc.
Apparently, Lincoln and the rest of America, didn’t read those words and broke from whatever you position you assign to the Founders. Was it unconstitutional for Lincoln to hold racist opinions?
“If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” After acknowledging that this plan’s “sudden execution is impossible,” he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”
Try as I may, I cannot find any passage in the Constitution which nullifies the right to private property and the full freedoms of opinion, discrimination, employment, matriculation, neighborhoods, association, assembly, belief and, yes, racist beliefs.
Perhaps morality should not enter the realm of law. Perhaps the judicial branch should have implemented the literal Constitution and not the subjective opinion of justices, judges and legislators who write unconstitutional legislation.
People must adapt to the outcomes of freedom.
Freedom does not adapt to people…
George – you are right, the Founders did not hold against racism but against slavery. However, the Constitution only dealt with the federal laws and it’s dealing with the states, not anything else, short of setting up the government. I will walk that back. My bad. 🙂
Jay Silveria demonstrated (awkwardly) something all military personnel and students need to understand…that we’re living in a world of deceit and manipulation. Responsible people and leaders must be constantly on their guard to avoid deceitful manipulation of their organizations.
No, you don’t mean it! The whole thing was a hoax??? Whocudda ever guessed??? I mean this hardly ever happens, right???
Wow. The amount of misinformation and uniformed opinion expressed by y’all is depressing. Let me address some of it. First of all, I am a graduate of USAFA (’75) so I have some knowledge of the place. This incident did NOT happen in the Cadet Wing; it happened in the USAFA Prep School, which is a bit of a hybrid high school/college located on USAFA grounds for the purpose of helping its students, who are enlisted personnel, get into USAFA. Hence, the Commandant’s phrase “cadet candidates”. Anyone who leaves the Prep School is still enlisted and will be reassigned. Second, USAFA is not a liberal college: it’s purpose is to train the future leaders of the USAF, whose mission, BTW, is to “break things and kill people”. The Commandant didn’t just chastise them, he taught them a valuable and serious lesson: leaders don’t pussyfoot around political correctness. USAF leadership, which will include, in less than 4 years, all 4,000 of those cadets, must not tolerate racism (or sexism). For those of you on the outside looking in, you might think the Commandant overreacted (to what turned out to be a hoax). Nope, he reacted correctly: “Stop this shit or get out. Don’t tolerate this shit or get out. Don’t even think this shit or get out.” (And unspoken but well heard: “I expect you to give this speech when you’re in charge.”)
Any of the cadets who got their feelings hurt should realize that they’re in the wrong school.
Only those cadet candidates who came from the enlisted ranks are reassigned. Those who entered the prep school directly from the civilian world are not. Here’s how they’re treated:
“Civilian selectees are placed on active-duty as Air Force Reserve airmen while attending the Prep School.
“If not selected for an Academy appointment, Reserve Air Force candidates are discharged from the Reserves with no further obligation to the Air Force.”
That said, any cadet candidates–or cadets for that matter–who are eliminated for inappropriate behavior should not be “reassigned.” They should be punished and discharged. With few exceptions, the standards, and the punitive articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), apply equally across the force to commissioned officers and enlisted personnel. Reassignment of former enlisted personnel is appropriate for those eliminated for academic deficiency or for those who complete the prep school and fail to gain appointment to the academy.
All those other things you posted are “shacks” for all military members, not just academy graduates and other commissioned officers.
If someone tossed a lit match into a storeroom of gun powder, should they be prosecuted if that match goes out? That’s what these hoaxes are. The fake crime and fake victim are intended to create victim(s). There are quantifiable costs associated with these hoaxes. Additionally, when actual crimes occur, justice might be delayed or not even pursued as a result.
No, the General should not EVER apologize to his subordinates for taking action. That would undermine good order and discipline. The message was appropriate and it’ll serve the purpose for which it was intended.
Olly – this is how the Caine Mutiny got started. Soon the general will be checking on the strawberries.
The punishment for faking race attacks like these should be equal to that which would be meted out against someone ACTUALLY carrying out the attack. Period.
Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria should have waited for the investigation to be completed before making a speech. But he took the race bait. The speech, which the academy posted on YouTube, went viral. It was watched nearly 1.2 million times, grabbed headlines nationwide, and was commended by the likes of former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Professional hoaxter Al Sharpton must be smiling.
Typo alert: Kent State is in Ohio. Kansas State is a few hundred miles to the west.
And, yet, Kansas State is in Manhattan, KS. Kent State is in Kent, OH. This incident was at Kansas State. (Ask Google.)
Dauntarius? NIce, made up name.
Reflexively believing the alleged victim is every bit as wrong as reflexively condemning the suspect. People lie.
If the FBI was involved and she lied to the FBI, hanged her a$$. Isn’t that one of the crimes Mueller is using against Manafort?
It is one of the crimes Manafort is accused of committing along with a long list of others including conspiracy against the US.
I am not sure if the Academys work like the olden days where when you were kicked out you were automatically enlisted personnel. That student owes Uncle Sam 6 years. Time to pay the piper. He is going to love Air Force boot camp.
I have to read the case reports before I can make an opinion on probable cause.
What should be mentioned is how the Air Force Academy officials completely jumped the gun and collectively chastised the entirety of the cadets based on a falsehood. That is what should be sanctioned.
The Lt Gen should be stood at attention while the CinC yells at him about jumping the gun. This should all be on video and sent to YouTube via various sources before they can take it down. 🙂
I didn’t hear anything in his speech that couldn’t have been said to the cadets on their first day of school. He says it was at the prep school and he didn’t say it was the cadets in front of them, but he did let them know that such conduct is completely unacceptable, and he is right.
Here’s another version of the same speech.
It is a better speech, it’s a bit more prudent, but it is essentially the same message.
It was a serious incident and it needed a quick response.
And more thoughtfully, he made it clear that the response to ugly speech is better speech, and then he provided it.
I think he can be proud of what he said to the cadets.
I think Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria at the Air Force Academy owes the student body an apology for jumping to conclusions before the facts were in. He dressed down the entire student body without any evidence of wrongdoing, despite the fact that the vast majority of these incidents turn out to be fake.
We don’t know any info about the AF Academy student – but I am assuming he/she/ter(?) is young like the KS student so no criminal charges but definitely community service including a lecture aired campus-wide on what led up their stupidity in participating in these hoaxes and cautioning other students against following suit. This bs needs to be addressed ASAP
Brought before the student bodies to apologize as opposed to not filing charges –
Should Williams be punished? I’d say it depends on her intent. If it was on the order of just a prank, if she came forward on her own and relative quickly and no one else was injured, I’d give her community service.
Give her 100 hours working, possibly at a majority white institution, with the homeless or the infirmed or the elderly, just to give her a sense of the humanity of others.
The Air Force Academy student has already gotten a pretty severe punishment. Probably no need to do anything more than that, but a similar community service wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Why do the overwhelming majority of the incidents turn out to be hoaxes?
Virtue signaling has it rewards.
If I were to file a false police report I would be charged.
Now of course, if I were doing it for a “progressive” cause…
With Williams apparently the FBI became involved so in her case yes… some level of charge having to do with filing a false report
The other at the Academy, probably not But the student body should receive an apology for a collective dressing down they did not deserve
No, no criminal charges.
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