Black women are scary! No matter what they do, they are a threat to public order — even when they’re ostensibly sworn to uphold it.
Take the 16 black female cadets currently under “investigation” at West Point for posing in a much circulated photo with raised, clenched fists. Such a gesture, though unremarkable in every way, is as symbolically ominous as that fist bump by the Obamas that Fox News reported as a “terrorist fist jab” way back in 2008.
America has been on high alert for black women operating as disloyal elements in our national fabric ever since Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 halftime performance. Police unions across the country denounced the entertainer’s show as “anti-cop” because of its Black Panther-inspired fashion sensibility.
All those black women dancers in leather moving on the field in sync with Beyonce was such a terrifying sight, Fox News talking heads quickly concluded that America’s favorite gladiatorial sport had been infiltrated and taken over by the Black Lives Matter movement. What could be more sinister?
In responding to Beyonce’s recently released “Lemonade” album, no less an uber white man than former CNN anchor Piers Morgan has called upon the singer to give up her “black militancy” and re-embrace entertaining “for the sake of entertaining” again. “I [prefer] the old Beyonce,” Mr. Morgan said. “The less inflammatory, agitating one.”
Obviously, some of that “Lemonade” militancy has trickled down to the 16 cadets in the photo raising their fists. Alarmed white men of the Piers Morgan variety have raised questions about whether the women, who are two weeks from graduation, should be punished for allegedly “engaging in partisan political activity” while in uniform.
According to those who want to see the young women taken down a peg or two for their militant uppityness, a raised fist in America is always a symbol of resistance against the government. In our time, Black Lives Matter has cornered the market on clenched fists — and we all know how scary those folks are.
Just because these 16 cadets have spent years at West Point imbibing the ideology of American military dominance and training to be elite officers in that vast war machine doesn’t mean they aren’t signaling a willingness to lead an uprising against the country they swore an oath to serve and protect.
People who don’t know these women or what they stand for can tell from looking at one photograph that they’re Manchurian Candidates waiting to be “activated” into service by the next Ferguson or Baltimore.
They may be women of spirit and discipline who have done everything asked of them by their military superiors, but that doesn’t mean they’re above suspicion. In a military culture where white supremacists are common, these women are the ones who are suspect.
In a military culture where an unconscionable number of female (and male) soldiers report being sexually assaulted every year, these 16 black women have generated an inquiry.
Obviously, there’s nothing more deserving of an investigation right now than 16 women who had the audacity to pose with raised fists at having survived everything life in a military academy could throw at them.
Could these women have simply been showing sisterly solidarity and pride of accomplishment? Of course not. They’re black, which by definition makes them radicals. They may be more patriotic than the average American who will never serve in the military, but that doesn’t mean their patriotism can’t be questioned by civilians who know black radicals when they see them.
Last week on an airplane ready to take off from Philadelphia, a woman became alarmed by her swarthy-looking seatmate, scribbling a weird language in a notebook. Turns out that the Italian-born economics professor was making math equations, but the woman’s expressed fears got him hauled off the plane and questioned. Like her, those who complain about the 16 black cadets recognize potential terrorists when they see them.
During the same photo session, the 16 cadets also posed with their swords and sabers held high. Those more traditional photos attracted no suspicion whatsoever. It is only the one featuring 16 strong, fearless and accomplished black women quietly signaling their eagerness to take on the future with raised fists that freaks everyone out. What, in the world, could be more deserving of a military inquiry than that?
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Tony Norman: [email protected] or 412-263-1631.