At least eight cadets at the Citadel, the well-known military college in South Carolina, were suspended after social-media posts showing them with white pillowcases on their heads started circulating on the internet.
The students, whose costumes obviously look very similar to Ku Klux Klan hoods and robes, said they were singing carols in a “Ghosts of Christmas Past” sketch.
The president of the Citadel, Lieutenant General John Rosa, released a statement saying that an investigation would be conducted into the incident and that these “images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty, and respect. We will provide more information upon completion of the investigation.”
One woman who saw the photos on Snapchat and then posted them on Facebook told Live 5 News, “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.”
Shortly after the shooting in Charleston last June, Citadel leaders voted to remove the Confederate flag from the campus chapel. According to an article in The Post and Courier from last month, it is still there, and alumni are still campaigning for it to be removed. “When they stopped playing ‘Dixie’ and waving the Confederate flag, those were major steps forward for The Citadel. Removing the Confederate Naval Jack from Summerall Chapel is the next step,” Morris Robinson, a former Citadel football player, told The Post and Courier. “It belongs somewhere, in a library or a museum with a glass case around it. It doesn’t belong in a house of worship.”
The Post and Courier published another story last week highlighting a report showing that “Underrepresented minority students enrolled at The Citadel graduate at a rate more than 15 percentage points lower than their white peers. And the gap between minority and white students has increased by nearly 9 percentage points over a recent 10-year span.”