Hillary Clinton has called for the removal of the Confederate flag from official display at the Citadel campus in South Carolina in a tweet that links to a campaign employee’s condemnation of recent photos that show cadets at the school wearing white clothing and pointy white hoods:
(The Clinton 2016 employee Clay Middleton is a black Citadel alum.)
The Citadel is located in Charleston, South Carolina, which was also the site of the June 17, 2015, mass murder of black churchgoers, allegedly by white supremacist Dylann Roof. That event prompted a number of Southern institutions, but not the Citadel, to stop displaying the Confederate flag. While the Citadel has suspended eight cadets as it investigates the sheets-and-hoods incident, an initial statement by the school’s president on the matter cited a potential explanation for the KKK-esque apparel that is not … not … not a good explanation:
A social media posting, which I find offensive and disturbing, was brought to my attention this morning. It shows an upper class cadet in front of seven cadets with pillowcases over their heads. … Preliminary reports are cadets were singing Christmas carols as part of a “Ghosts of Christmas Past” skit.
I don’t have any firsthand information here, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assert it as fact that, even if they were also singing Christmas carols, these white students at a South Carolina military institution which officially displays the Confederate flag were probably not unaware of the historical-political symbolism involved in wearing pointy white hoods. The white pointy hood is a pretty well-known symbol, here in the United States.