Several students from a military academy in South Carolina were suspended after images of individuals with white hooded costumes were posted on social media.
The Citadel started to suspend students after a picture was posted on social media on Dec. 10 with cadets wearing white hooded costumes akin to those worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan. According to The Post and Courier of Charleston, the photo surfaced after a woman saw it on Snapchat. Eight students were shown in the images, including an upperclassman.
The cadets in the images reportedly said that they were taking part in a Ghosts of Christmas Past skit while singing Christmas carols, reports The Post and Courier. According to several media outlets, the woman who posted the images was “threatened, harassed and offered money from numerous Citadel Cadets to take it offline in order to not 'ruin their lives.'" She does not attend The CItadel.
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"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," she stated in a Facebook post, according to WMBF News.
The Citadel has a population of approximately 3,400 students, is 2 miles away from the historical Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. On June 17, nine people at the church were murdered by a white gunman, 21-year-old Dylann Roof.
“Why would anyone think that this is ok?” stated a post on the Citadel Minority-Alumni Facebook page. “This picture is a disgrace and a slap in the face.”
The president of the military college, Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, stated an investigation is underway. "These images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect."
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In 1997, CBS show "60 Minutes" aired a special report about the school’s alleged tradition of displaying racist and anti-Semitic symbols. During the television special, a female former cadet claimed she was harassed for not knowing details about a faction of the KKK, Knights of the Golden Circle, reports The New York Times.
''For two weeks straight, I sat there in front of a full plate of food and I was not allowed to eat because I didn't know who they were,'' she said. ''There was a certain degree of obsession for the KKK.''