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God and The Man at the Air Force Academy

October 26, 2005

While the American military is bravely defending our freedoms and values abroad, the Air Force Academy is undermining them at home. Only weeks after the Academy acknowledged its hostile religious atmosphere and inappropriate born-again evangelization, Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry added racial stereotyping to its woes.
Following his team's loss to TCU last week, DeBerry attributed his opponent's success to the 11 African-Americans fielded on the defensive side of the ball. TCU, DeBerry said:

"...had a lot more African-American players than we did and they ran a lot faster than we did. It just seems to me to be that way. African-American kids can run very well. That doesn't mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can't run, but it's very obvious to me that they run extremely well...You don't see many minority athletes in our program."

This isn't DeBerry's first unfortunate encounter with American diversity. The Air Force coach drew heated criticism for hanging a sign in the team's locker room stating "I am a Christian first and last. I am a member of Team Jesus Christ." (It is ironic that DeBerry's fiercest defender was coach Bobby Bowden of scandal-plagued Florida State, who said "I want my boys to be saved...The problem with us Christians is we won't speak out.")
Late today, it was announced that the Academy reprimanded Coach DeBerry for his "seriously inappropriate" comments. But with the religious bigotry scandal still festering and a lawsuit underway, one would have hoped for more from our Air Force Academy.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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