West Point blew this one…but down south, the Military College of South Carolina, The Citadel, got it right. ~ Allen West
As Written By Allen B. West:
Y’all may not have been paying attention, but there’s been a very interesting tale of two military academies unfolding. One has made a stand and issued a decision based on principle. Another decided it wouldn’t, and in the end promotes blatant hypocrisy. I want to take the time to share this comparative assessment.
Last Saturday, we brought you the story of the West Point 16, black female cadets who, in uniform, took a picture with raised fists, symbolic of the black power salute. My recommendation was that a one-day immersion on why this wasn’t acceptable for a military officer with a public apology would suffice. I don’t know the disciplinary history of these young women. If this were another in a list of infractions, then this should be seen in a different light, a more egregious one, and the consequences more drastic. However, if this were the occasion of one stupid thing — and many lieutenants do stupid things — this could be a “teachable moment.”
However, it appears West Point has taken a totally different outlook. As reportedby Fox News, “Sixteen black West Point cadets who posed with raised fists for a pre-graduation picture that sparked debates on race and proper behavior in uniform won’t be punished for the gesture, the U.S. Military Academy said Tuesday.
The decision, less than two weeks before the 16 female seniors are poised to graduate, found they didn’t violate military rules limiting political activity.
An internal inquiry found the cadets didn’t plan to make a political statement, West Point’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., said in a letter to the student body. But, he said, they showed “a lapse of awareness in how symbols and gestures can be misinterpreted and cause division,” and they will receive instruction to address “their intent versus the impact of the photo.”
The fists-up image, which circulated online, led some observers to question whether the women were expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which grew out of protests over police killings of unarmed black men.
But the inquiry found the picture, among several the women made in keeping with an informal campus tradition, captured a spur-of-the-moment gesture intended to demonstrate unity and pride in graduating, Caslen wrote. Groups of cadets often take Old Corps pictures in traditional dress uniforms to echo historical portraits.
A raised fist has symbolized political resistance for generations, from Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison in 1990 to Democratic Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on the presidential campaign trail this year. It was used by black power advocates in the 1960s, including by two American sprinters during a medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, and more recently by activists for the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Ok, call me a skeptic, but the last thing I think these young women were thinking about was Nelson Mandela or the American sprinters at the Mexico City games.
Now I didn’t attend West Point, so I’ll have to ask my friends who did about “an …..