West Point Refuses to Back Down After Activists Attack Photo of Cadets Wearing Sombreros
Latino groups are causing a ruckus and demanding apologies after West Point cadets wore sombreros to an Army football game Saturday near Mexico.
Following the Army football team’s win over the University of Texas El Paso, the U.S. Military Academy posted the photo of the cadets on its Facebook page, where it began to generate insane controversy, The Washington Post reports.
The picture shows one cadet with a sombrero on and another cadet holding a sombrero while cheering in the stands.
Lisa Navarette, who is part of the National Council of La Raza, wants the school to remove the photo, as it apparently portrays Latinos according to offensive stereotypes.
“I am a huge sports fan, so I understand that trashing your opponents in silly and not-so-silly ways is part of the game,” Navarette told The Washington Post. “But I am also old enough to remember when banana peels were thrown at Georgetown University basketball players. Ugly bigotry is still ugly and offensive, even in the context of entertainment.”
But West Point isn’t backing down.
West Point spokesman Army Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker said the image will remain online. West Point, Kasker said, is a school “rich with Hispanic heritage.”
“The photo was posted as part of the game’s festivities and West Point has no plans to remove the photo,” Kasker said. “America’s diversity has always been one of the Army’s greatest strengths, as people of different backgrounds and cultures share their unique experiences and perspective to benefit all.”
West Point has been under the spotlight lately because of a video it recently posted depicting a football team prayer. After protests, West Point caved and removed the video and football Coach Jeff Monken had to apologize and undergo training to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In this case, however, West Point is sticking to its guns and has refused to remove the photograph, which has angered Latino groups to no end.
“Not only did they not stop this from happening, they stuck it up on their Facebook page as though they think it’s okay,” Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, told The Washington Post. “If this is what they think is okay with reaching out to the Latino community, they need a reboot on their diversity strategies on their campus.”
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