Following an incident last week in which several cadets dressed up like the Ku Klux Klan, The Citadel military college is investigating claims that some cadets have been “harassed.” In a statement to The Post and Courier, The Citadel declined to provide any information about who was harassed and why, but it’s not hard to fill in the blanks there.
Col. Brett Ashworth, Citadel’s vice president for marketing and communications, explained the situation this way:
We are aware of a few incidents and are reminding our cadets to be vigilant, to remove themselves from any situation that could get out of control, and to remember they are representing The Citadel.
The Citadel has long been accused of harassing or otherwise being inhospitable to black cadets. In 2013, former cadet Jordyn Jackson quit the school to escape continuous racial harassment. Almost twenty years before her, former cadet Kevin Nesmith quit The Citadel after five white cadets dressed up like the KKK left a charred paper cross in his room.
And at least eight cadets were suspended last week after photos of them dressed up like the KKK surfaced on Facebook. Citadel president Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa has yet to amend his claim that the photos showed the young men “singing Christmas carols as part of a ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ skit.”