U.S. Air Force Academy Receives Anti-Racism Award For Responding To Hoax Racial Slur Incident

The U.S. Air Force Academy received an award from the Anti-Defamation League on Monday for its stand against intolerance, racism, and bigotry as the result of the way it handled a racial slur incident in late September. The award was handed out even though the underlying incident turned out to be a hoax.

The director of the ADL's Mountain States' Region praised the academy at the San Francisco "Never is Now" Summit for "swiftly, clearly, and forcefully accessing the racial slurs at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School," the military college chronicled in a press release.

"Notably, the Air Force's press release on the subject failed to mention that the incident in question was exposed as a fraud," The Daily Caller noted.

In a story that went national, racist remarks were found scrawled outside the dorm rooms of five African-American U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School cadets. After an investigation by U.S. Air Force Academy Police and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, however, authorities determined that one of the five actually was responsible for the incident, which reportedly included the racist message "go home [N-word]."

The headline-making controversy prompted Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria to make a speech to the entire school at the time, denouncing racism and calling upon cadets to treat each other with dignity "or get out" in a video that was seen millions of times on social media.

On November 7, the Air Force acknowledged that the unidentified cadet candidate admitted responsibility for the act and that he was no longer enrolled there. He allegedly engaged in the hoax to avoid disciplinary action for some unrelated misconduct, several sources told the Colorado Springs Gazette. The Air Force Academy prep school helps athletes to brush up on their academic skills before they officially become first-year Air Force cadets.

In his acceptance speech for the ADL award, Gen. Silveria said that the faculty and staff at the academy should get the credit for teaching the value of tolerance and diversity. Silveria seemed to suggest earlier this month that it was irrelevant that the incident was a hoax.

Writing in the Washington Examiner, Byron York offered this analysis after the Air Force disclosed the results of the investigation last week.

"Anyone who follows such incidents, certainly anyone in the news business, should have known that there was a substantial chance the Air Force Academy vandalism was a fake. Too many such incidents have turned out to be hoaxes not to raise suspicions about new ones, pending the results of an investigation."
The Inquisitr has previously detailed several other hate crime hoaxes that have occurred in the past year or so. Hate crime hoaxes, when they allegedly occur on or off campus, can prevent law enforcement authorities from deploying adequate resources to investigate real hate crimes.

[Featured Image by David Zalubowski/AP Images]