Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by sheriff3, Dec 10, 2015.
Here is LTG Rosa's response along with commentary from The Citadel Minority Alumni Association:
Lieutenant General Rosa released the following statement after hearing word of the incident:
"A social media posting, which I find offensive and disturbing, was brought to my attention this morning. It shows an upper class cadet in front of seven cadets with pillowcases over their heads. In accordance with college policy, we immediately began suspension proceedings for those cadets known to be involved, and we are continuing to investigate this incident. Preliminary reports are cadets were singing Christmas carols as part of a “Ghosts of Christmas Past” skit. These images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect. We will provide more information upon completion of the investigation."
The Citadel Minority Alumni Association also released a statement on Thursday.
"We found the social media posting disgraceful. Regardless of the spin that one may try to assign to this type of behavior, the characterization of what took place was “not a mistake” that can simply be swept under the rug. We are pleased that Lt. General Rosa and his staff have taken swift action to address the situation and look forward to the results of his investigation; however, much more needs to be done to address the culture that continues to house recurring prejudices against minority cadets. At the very least, there needs to be a zero tolerance policy established immediately for racially charged and racially-motivated rhetoric and activity. Furthermore, increased funding should be committed to cultural competence and diversity training for the entire Corps of Cadets and staff on a regular basis. This is not the first, second or third time that racially charged events have been documented to have occurred at The Citadel. It is easy to try to isolate events of this sort to a single item or incident, which would, on its face, be a disservice to minority cadets who have and are currently attending The Citadel. This issue is much bigger. It’s a cultural issue and it must be addressed and it must end now. When racist acts occur on campus, ALL students, black and white should feel the same degree of outrage that we do. As minority alumni and wearers of the ring, we expect The Citadel to carry out the core values of creating principled leaders…not racist leaders. These reprehensible behaviors are not indicative of actions in which principled leaders engage. Again, the activities that led to this social media posting were not a mistake and should be dealt with severely because symbols matter.
In the meantime, we will continue to do our due diligence and await the results of the Administration’s investigation."
Ugh. This is just a no win for everyone involved.
Clearly, these young men are nowhere near mature enough to be junior officers in the US military. Given that they're young is no excuse. Some of their peers are not lucky enough to be attending a military college, but are serving as enlisted men on active duty in the armed forces where such behavior would be sufficient for discharge under other than honorable conditions.
Or a beating from their fellow enlisted men.
That being said, I was once young and stupid and raised in an urban environment in 1970s Boston that was entirely lacking in acceptance of racial tolerance. I was juvenile and wrong but I grew up fast in the Marines. Maybe these young men will, too.
Let's hope the Citadel straightens their young asses out with some firm leadership and gives them one more chance at redemption.
Jesus. This - only 6 months after the killings at the black Emanuel Baptist Church, which is 2 miles down the road from The Citadel. And then to post a picture on Facebook??? I guess the admission process can pre-select on GPA, physical fitness and extra-curricular activities, but not on character and honor. Or perhaps it is an institutional problem, given previous racial issues at The Citadel?
If they want to enlighten their students about the existence of systemic racism, my suggestion is to start by making "The Warmth of Other Suns" by Isabel Wilkerson required reading during freshman year. Her book has been compared to John Steinbeck's 'Grapes of Wrath' in documenting the black experience in the United States from a broad historical lens. And it is shockingly enlightening to even more liberal leaning white folks. It could be a very useful and practical way to begin addressing a clearly disturbing dynamic at this institution.
someone outside the school posted the photo on social media, it wasn't the cadets. And how does one incident of stupidity now equate to "systemic racism"?
Presumably the cadets involved shared it with someone outside the school. How else would it have ended up on Facebook?
And yes, it is a manifestation of systemic racism when these kids dressed in white robes and masks and found it amusing or appropriate in any way, shape or form. In South Carolina, no less.
I don't mind the discussion, let's just make sure we keep it civil.
I get that people make stupid mistakes, use poor judgement all the time. Giving the benefit of the doubt that they were supposed to be ghosts playing the ghosts of Christmas Past, did nobody look at them and say "hmmmm, you look more like kkk than ghosts, maybe you should try again?"
They are being suspended. I hope they are given a chance to redeem themselves and not thrown out.
I think The Citadel Minority Alumni Association said it best.
In context of the institution's history, it would be a disservice to all to shrug this off as a misguided prank.
Update from the Post Courier:
"At least eight Citadel cadets were suspended after photos of them appeared on social media wearing costumes resembling Ku Klux Klan hoods."
DS regarded El Cid as his Plan B school (visited and loved the campus/city), instead enrolled as a non-contract AROTC cadet at (Plan C) University of Nevada Reno (3 hours from home).
DW and I had concerns about the past, but believed that LTG Rosa and Cadet Commandant CPT Paluso, would have the school under excellent stewardship. However this incident is a PR nightmare even if it is a small cluster of idiots who did this. I imagine many minority candidates will see this in the news and ask themselves, "do I really need to deal with this?" and apply at another college instead.
Fwiw, I don't think the kids involved should be expelled or horse-whipped or otherwise harshly reprimanded. There is no indication they were causing any physical harm to anyone. They are just kids who used poor judgment, and who among us hasn't?
The problem as I see it, is even just suspension will be perceived as a knee-jerk reaction to placate the 'liberal PC police'. That doesn't really help, and if anything, entrenches attitudes and perceptions.
They are (as we all are) as much a product of their upbringing as the quote/unquote 'thugs' who rioted in Ferguson and Baltimore. Education is so important in making a change. Probably why that was among the suggestions in the statement from The Citadel Minority Alumni Association.
Who is the old bald guy in picture laughing?
Is anything happening to him?
Young and dumb is one thing, but...
Oldest Knob in Citadel history?
I finally looked at the picture... Wow! I mean even if that was what they decided to do to make it look like a ghost... really? How the heck did someone involved think "wow this doesn't look good and is probably a bad idea." If this was in fact just a stupid thing as mentioned in the article, then the all should have the book thrown at them just for being stupid.
I am not trying to justify the incident by no means but to clarify some of what has been posted...
The Citadel is considered The Military School of South Carolina but is a public college and not a Military College. More enter into civilian life than the military. So none of the pictured may be striving to enter the military as Junior Officers. I have no clue...
It is called social media and exist in so many forms that I admit I am totally ignorant about. The reports are the Cadets did not share the picture. There was a female involved, my understanding a non-cadet, and due to some other circumstances, found the picture on a form of social media linked to a cadet. The circumstances of that are a whole different issue. She decided to post the picture on facebook. She was contacted and asked to take it down and did. And then decided again, she thought it needed to be seen and share it Wednesday . Claims she woke up Thursday and it had gone viral and started a firestorm, imagine that??? (All this info can be found in news reports)
The media keeps hammering a 30 year old case. And then they throw in that MOVIE/BOOK... Hopefully we have all matured in 30 years....
I agree, bonehead, stupid decision they made. I have kinda heard about an upperclassmen referred to in the picture. I agree, looks like a very old upperclassman. IMHO, which means very little, I don't see this fairing well for the Cadets involved, in particular the upperclassman....Hopefully all get the chance to make this right, and learn from the experience...
That guy is bald. Hair on the side with a glistening dome.
and when the National Action Network gets involved you know it has become a total circus, gosh not that they would ever fan the flames of racial tension by embellishing facts and sensationalizing a situation eh.
Has anyone considered they were portraying ghosts? Just having a good time? Should Casper be outlawed?
Does everything have to be racial?
I think society has gone a bit crazy. Free speech is only free if no one hears us. Kids get expelled from school for playing cops-and-robbers or cowboys-and-indians. Do not dare make a pretend gun with your hand! I do not know what the intent of these young men was. But neither do the people who insist that they were trying to portray the KKK. Yes it looks bad. Looking bad is not a crime. Therefore I feel this should just be chalked up as a learning experience and these people should be allowed to go about finishing their education with no repercussions.
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