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Citadel investigating ‘abhorrent racist statements’ made by cadet on social media

online@thestate.com

“Abhorrent racist statements.”

That’s how the president of The Citadel described the content of a social media post made by a person believed to be one of his cadets.

Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa said The Citadel is investigating the Snapchat post, with vulgar and racist comments on a photo of a person wearing a Citadel T-shirt.

The man in the photo appears identical to a man who identifies himself on Facebook as a member of the Citadel class of 2019, according to abcnews4.com.

Citadel spokesman Col. John L. Dorrian confirmed that the person is a current Citadel cadet, postandcourier.com reported, but said he could not give the cadet’s name because of federal student privacy laws.

The post begins with an vulgarity, followed by a derogatory term for a black person, saying that person “just stole my friend’s bike, who lent it to me to go rock climbing dt. Sorry to sound racist, just really pissed rn.”

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Snapchat

Rosa quickly criticized and attempted to distance The Citadel from the social media post.

“This morning I became aware of a disturbing social media post, which included abhorrent racist statements. These statements represent the exact opposite of The Citadel’s core values of Honor, Duty and Respect that we teach and expect from the entire Citadel family,’ Rosa said in a statement.

He added that “The Citadel’s leadership team is investigating this incident and is taking appropriate action in accordance with the college’s rules and regulations.”

The Citadel isn’t too far removed from another incident involving race and cadets.

In 2015, online photos surfaced showing cadets with pillowcases over their heads similar to Ku Klux Klan robes.

In all, 14 cadets were dismissed, suspended or received on-campus punishments as part of the fallout from that incident.

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Photos appeared on social media this week showing seven freshmen cadets at The Citadel wearing white T-shirts and white pants with the pillowcases on their heads. online@thestate.com

The Citadel later said the incident was related to a Christmas skit based on the song “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” which references scary ghost stories.

The college said the students were dressed as ghosts, and did not intend to offend anyone, and the song sheets they were contained only the words to carols and nothing offensive.

“Over the past several years, we’ve worked hard to advance The Citadel’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” Rosa said Wednesday. “We will learn from this incident and continue our work, which is critical to our institution.”

Statement from Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa to The Citadel Community

This morning I became aware of a disturbing social media post, which included abhorrent racist statements. These statements represent the exact opposite of The Citadel’s core values of Honor, Duty and Respect that we teach and expect from the entire Citadel family.

The Citadel’s leadership team is investigating this incident and is taking appropriate action in accordance with the college’s rules and regulations. Over the past several years, we’ve worked hard to advance The Citadel’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We will learn from this incident and continue our work, which is critical to our institution.

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