I’m typing this from the Burlington Marriott just north of Boston. During my visit here, I got to stand upon hallowed American ground — Breed’s/Bunker Hill battlefield. It was there, the morning of June 17, 1775, that the men of New England – the REAL Patriots — sent a message to the British Army: We will fight for liberty and freedom. And a year later we would declare our Independence from England. I climbed the 294 steps of the battlefield monument obelisk and looked out on the great city of Boston, the birthplace of America’s liberty — and we shall never forget the Boston Marathon bombing reminding us that the fight for our liberty continues. It was so gratifying to see a class of school children sitting on the grass of Breed’s Hill getting a history lesson.
But I have to ask, what history is truly being imparted to our young people today?
I just learned this week that my high school in Atlanta, Henry Grady, is embroiled in a fight to retain its name. Seems all of a sudden having Henry Grady’s name appear on a high school is no longer “politically correct.” Some of his stances on segregation are now offending folks — my uncle and younger brother also graduated from Henry Grady.
We have folks who want to tear down monuments and memorials to those who served in the Confederate Army because they’re offended — and strike their names form schools. This revisionist history is a dangerous endeavor in a free society.
If we attempt to “whitewash” — which I’m sure someone will say is an offensive term — history in order for it to reflect today’s emotional and ideological philosophy, then do we really have a history? Or is it just about the message that a certain group wants to dominate?
In South Carolina, a nutcase kills innocent people in a church and the reaction is centered on a flag. As if the lowering of that flag will have any lasting effects. But hey, it made some folks feel great.
So here’s why I’m setting this stage, because the progressive socialist left has created such a toxic, one-sided, racial environment in America. Therefore, this story has immense relevance, when otherwise it would not.
As reported by the Washington Times, “The United States Military Academy at West Point said Wednesday that an investigation is underway regarding a photograph that shows 16 black cadets in uniform posing with their fists in the air.
“We can confirm that the cadets in this photo are members of the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2016,” West Point’s director of public affairs, Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker, told Army Times on Wednesday. “Academy officials are conducting an inquiry into the matter. John Burk, an Army veteran who served in the Iraq War before launching a popular fitness website, accused the 16 female cadets photographed in the picture of aligning themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement by posing with their fists raised — a gesture that indeed has been adopted by the protest movement, as well as other, unrelated groups for centuries.
If the gesture was meant to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, he wrote, then the women may have violated a Department of Defense directive that prohibits enlisted members from engaging in “partisan political activity” while in uniform.
“This overt display of the Black Lives Matter movement is not, in itself, wrong per say [sic], but to do so while in uniform is completely unprofessional and not in keeping with what the USMA stands for,” Mr. Burke wrote on his “In the Arena” website.
The Army Times on Wednesday said it had been forwarded the image from several readers that day who also were concerned the women may have violated DOD policy. Mr. Burk said no fewer than seven sources inside the walls of West Point told him in recent days that the image was causing a stir around campus.”
In any other times we could possibly just dismiss this as a very stupid move by these 16 female West Point Cadets, future U.S. Army Second Lieutenants. However, in the hypersensitive racial atmosphere created by the liberal progressive left, this has to be considered…and why? It’s simple, the obvious hypothetical question is what if these were 16 white male West Point Cadets from the south who took a picture in uniform with the Confederate battle flag? Yes, you know exactly what the story would be, and it would be plastered all over the mainstream media. And you know those white male cadets would be in serious danger of not graduating and receiving their commission as an Army officer.
So what shall be done, or better question, what should be done with these 16 female cadets who very soon would be leading our most precious asset, American sons and daughters?
Here’s my assessment. These young ladies must understand they’re part of a great lineage, one that began right here in Massachusetts at places like Lexington Green, Concord Bridge, and yes Breed’s/Bunker Hill. The call to arms and the ensuing answer from those men had to do with one thing: individual liberty and freedom. These young women carry on the legacy of Henry O. Flipper, the first black graduate of West Point. All he wanted was to serve his nation and be an Army officer. Thanks to him, these women can be there at West Point, and I was able to become an Army officer. Someone needs to teach them a little history and get them to understand that lesson and see contriteness in their soul. Being in charge of men and women is not something to be taken lightly and momentary lapses of reason could result in their loss of life. That’s what someone needs to get the West Point 16 to comprehend.
Then they need to make a public statement of apology to their class, and to the United States Military Academy. They worked hard over the past four years to earn that degree and commission, but they need to come the realization of just how stupid their action was…yes, it was stupid. Why? Because the 16 female cadets will be called upon to lead, and leadership isn’t based on color. They’ll be leading Soldiers of all different backgrounds. Right now, you can bet their names are already known throughout the Army.
Soon they will take the oath of office of a commissioned officer in the United States Army, not any ideological movement. These women must learn that #SoldierLivesMatter. And the only power they should ever advocate is American power because that’s what they’re being called to support and defend: our strength, which is in our people.
I’d be more than happy to spend a day with these young women, starting with 0530 PT and teaching them what it means to be an Army officer. I’d tell these young cadets about Peter Salem and his bravery at Breed’s Hill and why it matters to this day.
Then they can issue their personal apologies, after which I’ll wish them well and say, Airborne! Steadfast and Loyal! Duty First! Army Strong!