Citadel investigates photos of cadets pillowcases on heads

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Suspension proceedings’ begin as Citadel investigates controversial photos of cadets.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s military college The Citadel is investigating after pictures surfaced on social media this week of cadets dressed in all white with pillowcases over their heads, images similar to the Ku Klux Klan. “I was threatened, harassed and offered money from numerous Citadel Cadets to take it offline in order to not ‘ruin their lives,’” the woman said.Administrators at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina in Charleston, are looking into photos posted to social media Thursday morning showing eight cadets with white hoods completely covering their heads. A statement from college president called the photographs offensive and disturbing and said the college has begun proceedings to suspend the eight students involved.

The Facebook post indicates the cadets are singing Christmas carols while wearing the white hoods, and an adult instructor is shown taking part in one of the photos. According to local station WBTV, the images first surfaced on Snapchat, and were shared more widely on Facebook by a woman who has not yet been identified. 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. The Citadel was founded in 1842 as a military college and arsenal established by Charleston, South Carolina, officials to protect white residents from the city’s majority black population over fears of a slave revolt. She reportedly wrote on Facebook alongside the photos, “Whether they are supposed to look like ghosts or not, we all know what they look like and they know what they look like and it’s just rude.” Rosa added that early investigations into the incident indicate that the cadets, who are joined by an upper class cadet, were “singing Christmas carols as part of a ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ skit.”

A previous rebellion, in 1822, resulted in the arson destruction of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church — the same church where a white supremacist gunned down nine worshippers earlier this year. In 1997, the TV show “60 Minutes” aired a special on the school’s alleged “ tradition of displaying Nazi and KKK symbols,” according to the Los Angeles Times. At the time, former cadet Jeanie Mentavlos told “60 Minutes” her peers refused her food for not knowing facts about the Klan. “There was a certain degree of obsession for the KKK,” the New York Times reported she said.

School officials denied the accusations, which also included an account that a photo of a boy performing the “Heil Hitler” salute had been put up in a Citadel locker room.

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