An Army investigation into the hand gestures flashed during a broadcast of last week’s Army/Navy football game found they were not racist. Disappointing but not surprising.
According to NBC News, an internal investigation by the U.S Military Academy found that the students were playing “the circle game.” In this game, a person holds a circle below their waist and they get to punch whoever notices. In a statement issued by West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, he says, “The intent was not associated with ideologies or movements that are contrary to the Army values. We are disappointed by the immature behavior of the cadets.” The statement also noted that the cadets will be disciplined.
Look, I know America has a thing for protecting its white youth and they will wheel out any excuse possible so the Kyle’s and the Dakota’s of the nation face as few consequences as possible. This one strikes me as odd, though. The circle game is meant to be played with someone in front of you correct? The whole point is to get someone to notice the circle so you can punch them. What is the point of playing the circle game on national TV? Are they going to personally visit the homes of millions of viewers to punch them in the shoulder? These are cadets, the age group that quite likely could have grown up with 4Chan, 8Chan, and far-right YouTube. One has to wonder if these factors were even considered in the surprisingly short investigation.
White supremacy in the military is a growing problem. Given the results of this investigation and Thursday’s news about the words “white nationalism” taken out of a measure meant to monitor for it in military enlistees, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better anytime soon.