West Point Not Taking Action Against Fist-Raising Black Female Cadets
According to CNN, The U.S. Military Academy at West Point has decided not to punish the 16 African-American female West Point cadets for their raising-fist photos.
Many misconstrued the photo as support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The women were taken to task about how their raised fists signified the making of a political statement, which is forbidden under West Point and US Army rules.
Others saw the photo as an imitation of Beyonce's reference to the Black Panthers during her Super Bowl performance. The photo was taken on April 26 during an Old Corps photo shoot, which depicts early 19th century cadets, where seniors strike serious poses.
According to an article in armytimes.com, the cadets were chastised for showing a lapse of awareness in how symbols and gestures can be misinterpreted and cause division. The only consequence the cadets will be subjected to is additional instruction by the academy's Commandant. They will graduate on May 21 with their classmates.
Even though there will be no punitive damages, the major who conducted the investigation still deemed the photo pose inappropriate. At the conclusion of the cadets' additional instruction, the Commandant must feel confident that the 16 cadets who were involved must understand the reasons why their raised-fist pose was inappropriate.