Culture Beat / May 11, 2016

No Charges Against ‘Black Power’ Cadets

But making a charged political statement while in uniform is a clear violation.

The United States Military Academy at West Point concluded that the 16 black women who posed on the steps of the school’s ethics center with fists raised were recreating “old corps” photos, or the black-and-white photos of graduates past. The group was weeks away from graduating at West Point’s May 21 ceremony when the seemingly politically charged photo emerged. It looked as if the group was giving a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement, or recreating the symbol of the Black Panthers.

David French, constitutional lawyer and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, writes, “As a person who’s given multiple briefings on the do’s and don'ts of personal expression in uniform, I immediately knew two things — first, unless there is a highly implausible innocent explanation, these young women violated DoD directives, and — second – sympathetic leftists would be falling all over themselves to excuse their behavior. Senior leaders drill into recruits and cadets the notion that you simply don’t make partisan or nonpartisan political statements in uniform. It’s a bright-line rule.”

Regardless of what these cadets say about pop star Beyoncé — who raised her fist at the recent Super Bowl Halftime Show — or whether they thought it was a prank, making such a highly charged political statement while in uniform is a clear violation of the United States Code of Military Justice, and they should have been brought up on charges.

In somewhat related politically correct news, The Citadel refused a Muslim student’s request to break from the rigid uniform requirements at the South Carolinian military college and wear a hijab. At least leaders at The Citadel have their heads screwed on straight when it comes to the professional requirements needed to lead a disciplined military.

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