West Point Has K.K.K. Plaque Mounted Above Entrance to Science Hall

cigaretteman

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For decades, the students at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York have walked beneath a panel of three bronze plaques mounted at the entrance of Bartlett Hall Science Center that includes an image of a hooded figure and the words “Ku Klux Klan” written below it, according to findings in a report released by a congressional panel on Monday.
The report from the panel, the Naming Commission, which was created by Congress last year and tasked with providing recommendations for the removal or renaming of Defense Department assets that commemorate the Confederacy, included multiple suggestions regarding paintings, statues and other items at West Point as well as at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
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But the commission said that recommending the removal of the plaque fell outside of its scope because the Ku Klux Klan, founded by former Confederate soldiers, emerged after the Civil War. The panel flagged the item for review in its report, and included a picture.
A spokeswoman for West Point said the academy was reviewing the recommendations made by the panel and would collaborate with the Defense Department and the U.S. Army to implement the approved changes.


“As a values-based institution, we are fully committed to creating a climate where everyone is treated with dignity and respect,” she said in an email.
“The reason that we put that in there was because we thought it was wrong,” said Ty Seidule, a retired brigadier general who serves as vice chair of the commission, referring to the flagging of the K.K.K. plaque in the report. “When we find something that’s wrong, but it’s not within our remit, we wanted to tell the secretary of defense about that.”

“It was shocking for most people to see the image,” said Aundrea L. Matthews, a former arts director at West Point and president of the Buffalo Solders Association of West Point, adding that people questioned why the plaque was on the campus because, in her view, it was deeply at odds with West Point’s present-day reality.
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Dr. Matthews said that people at West Point had long discussed the plaque and its origins, which remain unclear, but that she also did not want it to overshadow the academy’s strides toward diversity and inclusion.

Last year, she said, West Point unveiled a monumental statue of a Black soldier astride a stallion — a tribute to the famed Black calvary called the Buffalo Soldiers — in the likeness of Dr. Matthews’s grandfather, Sgt. Sanders Matthews.

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The other two plaques above the entrance to the science hall specifically commemorate Confederate figures, including Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart, the commission found. They were recommended to be modified or removed.
General Seidule, who is also a professor emeritus of military history at West Point and teaches a course on the Civil War at Hamilton College, wrote a book last year trying to understand why the Military Academy still displayed a portrait of Lee, who graduated from West Point but resigned his Army commission to fight with the Confederacy. The commission unanimously recommended that the portrait of Lee, in Confederate uniform and displayed in Jefferson Hall Library, be modified or removed.
The Naming Commission, established by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 following a national outcry over the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police in 2020, suggested new names last year for nine Army bases that honor Confederate officers. That effort led to the renaming of a street in New York City’s only Army post after a Black officer who died saving other soldiers in Vietnam.
The commission’s first report, released earlier this month, focused on Army bases. A third report, due before Oct. 1, will include recommendations for all remaining Department of Defense assets. The secretary of defense has until Jan. 1, 2024, to implement a plan submitted by the commission.
The commission recommended several monuments, portraits and engraved images that depicted Confederate officers to be removed, relocated, renamed or modified at West Point and the Naval Academy.



The cost estimates to implement the changes at West Point ranged from $1,000, for modifications, to $300,000 for the removal of monuments and engravings at Reconciliation Plaza, which was built in 2001.

Before making its recommendations in its recent reports, the commission examined an inventory, created by the Department of Defense, listing assets throughout the country that were named after Confederate officers or that contained images depicting Confederate officers, General Seidule said.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who co-sponsored a measure that would require the secretary of defense to remove anything that commemorates the Confederacy, said she would work to ensure that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III implements the commission’s recommendations.
“I am supportive of the findings in the report and will continue working with the Naming Commission and D.O.D. to remove these harmful tributes that uphold the legacy of Confederate leaders who killed thousands of American service members in order to preserve the institution of slavery,” she said in an email. “It’s a disgrace and damaging to our nation.”
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, whose district covers West Point, and who wrote a letter in 2020 to then-Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper arguing for the renaming of military buildings and facilities with Confederate names, said he supported the commission’s unanimous recommendations.
“We cannot allow bigotry of the past to be perpetuated and celebrated in the same halls that educate our leaders of the future,” he said in an email. “It is essential that West Point’s campus and culture be one that is welcoming to students of all backgrounds.”

 
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Hoosierhawkeye

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Christ,.. 10 minutes and a 4" angle grinder would fix this.

The problem is that it's not an isolated case. It's just the most blatant and obvious case.

The other issue at hand is that it's technically government property and making changes to or eliminating federal government property usually takes a long process.

When it comes to government property no one person usually has complete control.
 
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goldmom

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The problem is that it's not an isolated case. It's just the most blatant and obvious case.

The other issue at hand is that it's technically government property and making changes to or eliminating federal government property usually takes a long process.

When it comes to government property no one person usually has complete control.
I’d take it down ASAP
and ask for forgiveness later.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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I wonder if there are any statues of slave owners at West Point?

There may be. My view on statues and things like that is based on the question of what we are honoring.

Historically some slave owners and people who supported slavery made the history books for reasons other than supporting slavery. Washington for example and most of the founding fathers. I see no reason to tear their statues down.

However there are a lot of statues honoring people who only made history because they engaged in the fight to defend the institution of slavery. People like Lee, Thomas Jackson, Jefferson Davis. These are people we should not have statues of.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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Doesn’t Robert E. Lee place near the top for all time academic recognition?

He was number 2 in his class.

I know he graduated with no demerits but sources seem to differ as to if he was the only person to achieve that feat or not at West Point.

Apparently Jimmy Carter achieved that feat at the Naval Academy.
 
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Rifler

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The problem is that it's not an isolated case. It's just the most blatant and obvious case. The other issue at hand is that it's technically government property and making changes to or eliminating federal government property usually takes a long process. When it comes to government property no one person usually has complete control.

You just do it and if necessary beg forgiveness,.. Phuck these governmental procedures, it would be resolved before they were even aware if it.
 
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Hoosierhawkeye

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Do you think the Commandant of the US Military Academy would face any backlash whatsoever for taking it down?

It's the military so I think there would be career backlash for exceeding your command authority in any regard.

I don't think there would be much public backlash. But the career backlash could be bad.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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You just do it and if necessary beg forgiveness,.. Phuck these governmental procedures, it would be resolved before they were even aware if it.

Doing that when you are in the military has a tendency to end your military career.

That might work in the civilian world in a lot of times.

I mean if it where possible to do with no career backlash don't you think it would have been done by now by one of them? They tend to change commandants every 2 years too so it's not like there has only been a few commandants between when this would have been clearly viewed as unacceptable and now.
 

Rifler

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Doing that when you are in the military has a tendency to end your military career. That might work in the civilian world in a lot of times. I mean if it where possible to do with no career backlash don't you think it would have been done by now by one of them? They tend to change commandants every 2 years too so it's not like there has only been a few commandants between when this would have been clearly viewed as unacceptable and now.

I would be willing to accept the heat coming from a military bureaucracy attempting to argue in favor of a KKK plaque,.. By the time the smoke cleared I'd be wearing a medal.
 
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runkpanole

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Do you think the Commandant of the US Military Academy would face any backlash whatsoever for taking it down?
Not from normal thinking people, but as we’ve seen, there are a lot of people who don’t think normally.
 

lucas80

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Time to get rid of this legacy of the democrats.
Who did David Duke support in the last two presidential elections? Which party currently has the support of far right white supremacy groups? Maybe if you tried harder in life you'd have a job right now, instead of sucking off of the teats of the taxpayers.
 

Colonoscopy

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Why should today's cadets have to pay for the mistakes of past racists?
 
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Kinnick.At.Night

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Soo….West Point is located in New York. And it serves as the United States Army’s elite collegiate institution. Why would Confederate plaques/ideals ever be represented there? The Confederacy probably would have burned the college to the ground if they’d had the chance.
 

lucas80

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Soo….West Point is located in New York. And it serves as the United States Army’s elite collegiate institution. Why would Confederate plaques/ideals ever be represented there? The Confederacy probably would have burned the college to the ground if they’d had the chance.
Why do you think the plaque is there?
 

The Tradition

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He was number 2 in his class.

I know he graduated with no demerits but sources seem to differ as to if he was the only person to achieve that feat or not at West Point.

Apparently Jimmy Carter achieved that feat at the Naval Academy.

Jimmy Carter thought "lusting after women" was a bad thing. I can't imagine him breaking a rule if his life depended on it.
 
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NorthDSMHawk

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When the collective brainpower of HROT (lol) can figure out what to do with the plaque in 10 minutes, but the US government needs to create boards and hold hearings for review....

Really shines a light on how efficient our government is, doesn't it?
 
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hawkland14

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Who did David Duke support in the last two presidential elections? Which party currently has the support of far right white supremacy groups? Maybe if you tried harder in life you'd have a job right now, instead of sucking off of the teats of the taxpayers.
The leading white nationalist in America voted for Joe Biden in 2020. Your slipping lucas.

 
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