US military college suspends cadets over ‘KKK uniforms’

The Citadel sends home eight students who dressed in white hoods during Christmas carol performance

Summerall Chapel at The Citadel college in South Carolina (Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, ProfReader)
Summerall Chapel at The Citadel college in South Carolina (Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, ProfReader)

A prestigious military college in the United States has suspended eight students and launched an investigation after photos emerged of cadets posing in all-white outfits reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan, an official said Friday.

Hillary Clinton also weighed in on The Citadel college, where the Confederate battle flag flies, tweeting: “Symbols of hate create more hate. It’s time for the Confederate flag to come down at The Citadel.”

The flag was the focus of renewed impassioned debate in June after a suspected white supremacist shot dead nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina — the same city where The Citadel is based.

The cadets were pictured dressed in white and with white pillow cases over their heads with two holes for the eyes, in haunting similarities to the infamous Ku Klux Klan, a white hate group.

“Eight cadets have been suspended and went home this morning,” Citadel spokeswoman Kim Keelor told AFP.

Why would anyone think that this is ok? Will the administration at The Citadel let this go? This picture is a disgrace…

Posted by Citadel Minority-Alumni on Thursday, 10 December 2015

Retired Lieutenant General John Rosa, the academy’s president, said the cadets had been singing Christmas carols as part of a “Ghosts of Christmas Past” skit.

The photos — which were splashed across social media — were “offensive and disturbing,” he said in a statement, ordering an investigation.

“These images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect.”

The furor drew attention to the Confederate flag flown on campus — seen as a racist symbol by many Americans.

In a website attributed to him, accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof espoused racist views toward African-Americans and, in photos, posed with firearms and the Confederate flag.

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