Sixteen black West Point cadets who posed with raised fists that some said implied support for the Black Lives Matter movement won’t be punished for the gesture, the U.S. Military Academy said Tuesday.
The decision, two weeks before the female seniors are poised to graduate, found they didn’t violate military rules limiting political activity. But, it added that they showed “a lapse of awareness in how symbols and gestures can be misinterpreted and cause division.”
A raised fist has symbolized political resistance for generations, from Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison in 1990 to Sen. Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail. It was used by black power advocates in the 1960s and by Black Lives Matter activists.