An image of 16 Black women cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point raising their fists prompted outrage from likely racists who believe the women to be violating the Military's code of conduct. The women are all members of West Point's class of 2016.
The image has been shared along with the accusation that the women are tacitly supporting Black Lives Matter, though the raised fist has been a symbol of resistance no tied to any particular movement for decades.
These comments on the Stolen Valor Facebook page exemplify some of the hate these women get.
The Department of Defense has a policy prohibiting servicemen from engaging in political activities in uniform.
-A member of the Armed forces shall not:
-18.104.22.168. Display a partisan political sign, poster, banner, or similar device visible to the public at one’s residence on a military installation, even if that residence is part of a privatized housing development.
THIS. Fearless, flawless, fierce. Ready. @WestPoint_USMA #Classof2016 @PatrickMurphyPA @AditiHardikar @MHarrisPerry pic.twitter.com/rTf1XHIHdM— Sue Fulton (@suefulton) April 27, 2016
“When I spent time with these cadets and heard them tell their stories and laugh and joke with each other," She said. "There’s no doubt in my mind how much they love West Point, they love the Army and they support each other.”
West Point first admitted women in 1976, and Pat Locke, the first Black woman graduate in 1980, became a noted engineer.
West Point has not issued a statement on the photo.