Racism in the Military

Published: 10.12.2017
Level 3   |   Time: 2:05
Accent: American
Source: BBC (09.29.2017)

Lt. General Jay Silveria speaks to U.S. Air Force cadets about racism.


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary / background.
  2. WATCH the video.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers. (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • dignity [n] - self-worth
  • slur [n] - hateful speech
  • outraged [adj] - extremely angry
  • naïve [adj] - inexperienced and unaware
  • tone deaf [adj] - unaware
  • backdrop [n] - situation, circumstance
  • diversity [n] - having different types
  • up-bringing [n] - childhood background
  • demean [v] - make someone feel smaller, less important
  • treat [v] - behave towards someone
  • all walks of life [exp] - all backgrounds/areas of society
  • prep school [n] - high school to prepare for the military

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. What happened at the US Air Force Academy to make the Lt Gen so upset?
    Some cadets (student soldiers) had failed their exams
    Some cadets had cheated on exams
    Some cadets had written racist insults on message boards
    Some cadets had posted sexist comments on Facebook etc

  2. Lt Gen Jay Silveria asks cadets to grab their…?
    Pens and paper

  3. Lt Gen Silveria wants the cadets to ?
    Use, keep, remember, share and talk about his words
    Use, update, post, delete and forget his words
    Write, reply, suggest, respond and think about his words
    Study, repeat, memorize, summarize and re-phrase his words

  4. Lt Gen Siveria says “We would be naïve to…”?
    Think that everything is imperfect now
    Think that we shouldn’t discuss this topic
    Think that everything is perfect here
    Think that everything is perfect here & To think that we shouldn’t discuss this topic

  5. The cadets should be outraged…?
    As an airman and as an American
    As an American human
    As an airman and as a human
    As an officer and a gentleman

  6. Some of the backdrop Lt Gen Silveria mentions includes…?
    Charlottsville, Ferguson and the NBA playoffs
    Charles Manson, Fergie, and the NFL protests
    Charlie Hill, Freddy Mercury and the NBA protests
    Charlottsville, Ferguson and the NFL protests

  7. Lt Gen Silveris says the US Air Force has a better idea. What is it?
    The power of love
    The power of diversity
    The power of nuclear weapons
    The power of the people

  8. According to Lt Gen Silveria, “If you demean anyone, in any way, then…?
    You need to get medical attention
    You need to get down
    You need to get out and about
    You need to get out

  9. If you want to work in the US Air Force, Lt Gen Silveria says you need to?
    Get out
    Treat people with love and compassion
    Kill a lot of people with bombs and rockets
    Treat people with dignity and respect

triangle Discussion

  1. Do you think racism is a problem in your country? How big of a problem?
  2. What can be done to ‘fight’ racism?

triangle Script

"If you can't treat someone, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.

Grab your phones I want you to videotape this so that you have it, so that you can use it. If you need it, and you need my words, then you keep these words. And you use them, and you remember them, and you share them and you talk about them." (pause)

"You may have heard that some people down in the prep school, wrote some racial slurs on some message boards…if you haven't heard that, I wanted you to hear it from me. You should be outraged, not only as an airman, but as a human being. I would be naïve, and we would all be naïve to think that everything is perfect here. We would be naïve to think that we shouldn’t discuss this topic.

We would also be tone deaf, not to think about the backdrop of what's going on in our country. Things like Charlottesville, and Ferguson, the protests in the NFL." (pause) "That's why we have a better idea…and it’s about our diversity. And it’s the power of the diversity, the power of the four thousand of you, and all of the people that are on the staff tower and lining the glass, the power of us as a diverse group, 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, from all backgrounds, gender, all make-up, all up-bringing…the power of that diversity comes together and makes us that much more powerful.

If you can’t teach someone from another gender; whether that's a man or a woman; with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. 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 colour skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”

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