A prestigious military college in the United States has suspended eight students and launched an investigation following photos emerged of cadets posing in all-white outfits reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan.
- Cadets at South Carolina military college suspended for dressing in outfits reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan
- College comes below fire for flying Confederate flag
- Suspected white supremacist Dylann Roof shot dead nine black churchgoers in very same city
- Hillary Clinton says “symbols of hate produce a lot more hate”
US Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also weighed in the incident at The Citadel college, exactly where the Confederate battle flag flies, tweeting: “Symbols of hate develop a lot more hate. It is time for the Confederate flag to come down at The Citadel.”
The flag was the concentrate of renewed impassioned debate in June after a suspected white supremacist shot dead nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, the very same city exactly where The Citadel is primarily based.
The cadets were pictured dressed in white and with white pillow situations over their heads with two holes for the eyes, in haunting similarities to the infamous Ku Klux Klan, a white hate group.
“Eight cadets have been suspended and went home this morning,” Citadel spokeswoman Kim Keelor mentioned.
Retired Lieutenant-Common John Rosa, the academy’s president, stated the cadets had been singing Christmas carols as portion of a “Ghosts of Christmas Past” skit.
The pictures — which have been splashed across social media — were “offensive and disturbing”, he mentioned in a statement, ordering an investigation.
“These photos are not constant with our core values of honour, duty and respect,” he mentioned.
School’s Confederate flag comes under scrutiny
The furore drew interest to the Confederate flag flown on campus, seen as a racist symbol by numerous Americans.
Ms Keelor stated The Citadel was not immediately capable to remove the flag due to a state law recognized as the Heritage Act that “prevents its removal as it is portion of a memorial collection of antique flags”.
She stated the college’s board of visitors voted nine to three in June to remove the flag and subsequently created a formal request to the relevant legislators asking that it be permitted to take away the flag.
Only South Carolina’s legislature has the authority, by a vote, to choose that the flag be taken down, according to Ms Keelor.
The Heritage Act itself could be reconsidered by legislators when they convene in the New Year.
In a web site attributed to him, accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof espoused racist views toward African-Americans and, in pictures, posed with firearms and the Confederate flag.
There are at the moment amongst five,000 and 8,000 Ku Klux Klan members, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centre.
Topics: discrimination, race-relations, activism-and-lobbying, government-and-politics, united-states