A South Carolina Democratic state lawmaker attacked Army and Navy cadets last week, Dec. 14, when accusations surfaced that the young service members were flashing “white power” symbols at a football game attended by President Trump in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In a deleted tweet, state Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell wrote, “Three separate candidates making the white power symbol on television. Wonder what the culture is like for the cadet in the front? There’s no excuse and he and other minorities there shouldn’t have to deal with such a cruel and disrespectful environment.”
However, a military investigation has found that the cadets who displayed hand gestures during a broadcast were just merely playing a game and did no wrongdoing.
Both the Military Academy, in West Point, New York, and the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland, said this week that the cadets at the game were playing a game commonly known as “the circle game” and “involves someone flashing an upside-down OK sign below the waist who punches anyone who looks at it,” the Daily Mail reported.
“We investigated this matter thoroughly,” Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams of West Point said in a statement. “Last Saturday we had reason to believe these actions were an innocent game and not linked to extremism, but we must take allegations such as these very seriously.”
“However, we are disappointed by the immature behavior of the two Fourth Class Midshipmen, and their actions will be appropriately addressed,” Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck said.
Despite this, Powers Norrell has yet to issue an apology for her tweet or acknowledge that she was wrong.
Several conservative pundits also called on Powers Norrell to apologize to the cadets after accusing them of creating a “cruel and disrespectful environment” toward minorities.
On Friday, the Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra tweeted, “Will South Carolina Democrat @MPowersNorrell apologize now for smearing our troops?” along with a screenshot of the lawmaker’s tweet.
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) 20 December 2019
“Will @MPowersNorrell apologize to the brave cadets she smeared as racist this week? Totally unacceptable behavior from an elected official,” director Robby Starbuck also tweeted.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) 21 December 2019
Powers Norrell represents House District 44, which comprises the southern portion of Lancaster County in South Carolina, according to TheBlaze.
In 2018, Powers Norrell was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor but was defeated in the general election.