Black Army Cadets Attempt To Change Racial Policy at West Point

Black cadets at West Point say they were subjected to racism and weren't taken seriously when they reported it.

Their testimonies were included in a 40-page policy proposal to address "uprooting the racism that saturates its history" and to remove honors for Confederate soldiers.

Nine former West Point cadets submitted the letter to the academy.

"We encourage you to read this proposal in its entirety in order to understand the prevalence of racism at the Academy and our vision for its elimination," the officers wrote in the letter. "Though we are deeply disturbed, we hold fast to the hope that our Alma Mater will take the necessary steps to champion the values it espouses. Now is the time for action."

The former cadets outlined three core failings: the continued presence of "systemic racism;" and the absence of anti-racism education and "anti-racist space."

The proposal offered solutions, including hiring a full-time diversity chair; the creation of a mandatory class that teaches "the intersection between race, ethnicity, gender, and class;" launching an investigation of West Point's donors who may have had ties to white supremacist organizations; and the removal of "all names, monuments, and art honoring or venerating Confederate figures."

The military academy has symbols honoring Confederate leaders and while efforts to rename the barracks were spearheaded and the campaign has gained momentum amid the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the country.

Photos by Getty Images

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