(CN) – Seven Citadel cadets have been suspended after photos showing them wearing white hoods reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan showed up on social media.
The photos, which were posted to Facebook, show the seven cadets dressed in white and wearing pillowcases over their heads. The pillowcases had eyeholes cut out and were drawn up to form a point.
In a statement, John Rosa, president of the historic military college in Charleston, described the images as “offensive and disturbing.”
He went on to say that “preliminary reports are cadets were singing Christmas carols as part of a ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ skit. [However,] these images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect.”
But that did little to mollify community activists who on Friday called for Rosa’s ouster.
“This outrageous incident has brought back memories of our beloved Emanuel 9,” the National Action Network said in a statement of its own released Friday morning.
The group was referring to the killing of nine black people June 17 at Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston.
“Accountability starts at the top. With this in mind, National Action Network is asking that Lt. General John Rosa step down.”
An upper classman who appeared in one of the photographs, but was not dressed up, was also suspended.
A spokeswoman for the college said Friday morning that the suspended students have been sent home and are not permitted on campus. No decision has yet been made about the duration of their punishment.
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