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Black Female Cadets Raise Fists And Cause West Point Inquiry

Recently, the United States Military Academy has launched an investigation into a photo that shows 16 black female cadets with their fists raised. On Saturday, Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker, a spokesman for West Point, said they were looking into whether they violated military restrictions on political activity.

The cadets are set to graduate on May 21, and it is unclear how long the inquiry will take or what types of consequences will surface.

Campus tradition has cadets take pictures in traditional dress to emulate historical portraits. A different image of the same women, without the raised fists, was tweeted out by the chairwoman of the academy’s Board of Visitors, 1980 graduate Brenda Sue Fulton. The image with the fists raised was circulated online.

Some observers questioned if the women were showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which grew out of protests over police killings of unarmed black men. The Army Times, which first wrote about the photo on Thursday, said several readers had written in to say they believed the cadets were breaching a Defense Department policy that says “members on active duty should not engage in partisan political activity.”

Mary Tobin, a West Point graduate and mentor who knows the students, said “It was a sign of unity. They weren’t trying to imply any allegiance to any movement.” Tobin, who graduated in 2003, continued to say in her phone interview, “Their frame of reference is: ‘Right now, we’re getting ready to graduate in three weeks, I’m standing here with my sisters … We outlasted a lot of people, black or white, male or female.'”

Photo: Youtube

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