This picture is offensive to some people.
This picture is not.
What’s the difference?
In the bottom photo, sailors celebrate after singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at a game in Miami during Fleet Week.
In the top photo, African-American women graduating from West Point celebrate their upcoming graduation. One might also conclude they’re celebrating their resilience to survive West Point.
But the women have had to defend themselves because someone saw the tweet and assumed the women were invoking a “black power” salute from the ’60s, and that violates the Department of Defense policy against making political statements in uniform.
The West Point picture was taken as part of a tradition of recreating old photos of West Point cadets.
“THIS. Fearless, flawless, fierce. Ready,” Sue Felton, an ’80 West Point grad, said when she tweeted another photo.
“I would not have re-tweeted the raised-fist photo because I am well aware that our culture views a black fist very differently from a white fist,” Felton told Army Times. “I knew it was their expression of pride and unity, but I am old enough to know that it would be interpreted negatively by many white observers. Unfortunately, in their youth and exuberance, it appears they didn’t stop to think that it might have any political context, or any meaning other than their own feeling of triumph.”
The Army has launched an investigation because a blogger insisted the women were aligned with Black Lives Matters.”
“I am sorry that someone with a blog chose to display this one photo out of context, and to call them racists,” said Fulton who said she supports investigating the picture to clear up the uproar.
Related: The Living, Racist Ghosts of West Point (Medium)