Citadel cadets have stirred uproar after their Ku Klux Klan photos have emerged on social media, and soon became viral.
Students at the military college in Charleston, South Carolina found themselves in the midst of a scandal, after controversial images appeared on Snapchat, showing 7 cadets dressed in what was eerily reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan garb.
More precisely, the freshmen had donned white shirts and pants, and their faces had been covered with white pillowcases.
Apparently, the defense of those involved in the incident was that they had actually been participating in a skit inspired by the novella A Christmas Carol, authored by Charles Dickens.
They had been singing Christmas carols and had put white clothes on so as to resemble the Ghost of Christmas Past, the first phantom that torments the literary text’s protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge.
It’s unclear if this explanation is indeed valid, but John Rosa, who is now serving as the Citadel’s president, has condemned the students’ conduct, characterizing it as deeply upsetting and insulting.
Even more, following intense media scrutiny, the people who had been wearing the highly inappropriate disguise have been suspended.
In addition, as stated by Kim Keelor, the spokesperson of Citadel military college, an upperclassman who had also appeared in the picture alongside the 7 offensively costumed cadets has also been banned from attending classes, until further notice.
For now, as a full investigation into the incident is being conducted, it’s unclear if the accused parties will be expelled from college indefinitely, or be allowed to return after some time has passed.
So far, two democratic congressmen, State Senator Marlon Kimpson and State Representative Wendell Gilliard, have called for the students to be banned from the Citadel military college.
According to them, the gesture that has been committed was especially offensive given the fact that back in June Charleston was shaken by a mass shooting during which nine African-American churchgoers, including state senator Clementa C. Pinckney, were fatally shot by white neo-Nazi Dylann Roof.
One of the most recent developments in this new case promoting racial hatred is that representatives of several civil rights organizations are now demanding for John Rosa to step down from office, as a way of apologizing for the objectionable behavior of his students.
As emphasized in a press conference held on Friday, December 11, by James Johnson, leader of the South Carolina branch of the National Action Network, the Citadel president should be penalized for the misdeeds that have unfolded on his watch.
In response to this, Rosa has declared that he would not be resigning, given that the Board of Visitors has been appreciative of his efforts and has prolonged his tenure until 2018. As he explained, he had no prior knowledge regarding the cadets’ actions, which he found completely reprehensible and deplorable.
Joe Riley, the long-time mayor of Charleston, who is also a Citadel alumnus, has declared that the behavior of the students, no matter how condemnable it may appear, should be judged taking into account their young age, which makes them more prone to making regrettable choices.
In light of this new scandal, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has insisted that the military college should take down its Confederate flag, which adorns its premises, given the fact that it’s a painful reminder of the Civil War and of the white supremacist ideology.
Image Source: Leader Standard