A group of female army cadets attending the United States Military Academy in New York state are under serious review after posting a photo which potentially violates a Department of Defense policy. The photo in question is of 16 black cadets posed outside the barracks, each with a fist raised in the air.
Department of Defense policy prohibits cadets from posting any photos, or engaging in partisan activities while in uniform. This, however, leads to more questions than answers. Is this a partisan issue? Some suggest that they are alluding to Black Lives Matter movement. Whether or not BLM is a partisan issue is one question. Several social justice movements throughout history have held a fist in the air, including suffragists, labor unions, and Black Panthers.
— Tamer Y. Abouzeid (@tyabouzeid) May 5, 2016
BLM website explains itself as “chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to rebuild the Black liberation movement.”
In fact according to their website, BLM does not, nor does it intend to, align itself with any political affiliation.
“We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed or affiliated with the Democratic Party, or with any party. The Democratic Party, like the Republican and all political parties, have historically attempted to control or contain Black people’s efforts to liberate ourselves. True change requires real struggle, and that struggle will be in the streets and led by the people, not by a political party.”
While it’s currently unclear how this will end for the unnamed cadets, Army Times reports receiving the photo from several offended readers.
“We can confirm that the cadets in this photo are members of the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2016…Academy officials are conducting an inquiry into the matter.”
Featured image screengrab via YouTube