The 16 black female cadets whose photo of them with dressed in uniform with their fists raised in the air that went viral have been cleared following a probe set forth by the academy.
The photo garnered so much attention because there was a question as to weather or not it was a political statement or not. The 16 West Point cadets seen in the photo are all apart of the U.S Military Academy’s 2016 class. The academy has said that the women did not break the code of contact and that the picture was a spur of the moment unplanned shot. According to the statement, the photo was meant to display “unity” and “pride”.
Although the women broke no codes, a major who took part in conducting the investigation still deemed the pose as “inappropriate”.
The image has been heavily debated across several social media platforms. According to NBC, former solider John Burk wrote a blog post titled “Racism Within West Point” saying that the photo was an “overt display of the black lives matter movement.” While former West Point grad Mary Tobin wrote that “No matter what way we slice it, if a black person displays ‘the fist,’ it is immediately associated with being a symbol of either pride or racism and there is no way around that.”
This issue, because it is an issue, just brings us full circle as to why the black lives matter movement is so important. It all boils down to race once again. If it had been a group of Caucasians holding up the fist in uniform would there be such a heavy cry of outrage? But since it was a group of black women holding up a sign that has historically signified strength and unity, it’s a problem? It’s seen as a threat. Apparently, embracing your blackness, your culture, must be off limits because it makes those who don’t understand uncomfortable.
The 16 cadets are still set to graduate on May 21st and according to The Army Times, have been offered exit counseling after graduation.
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