Ghosts of Christmas past? More like specters from the South’s racist past.
More than a dozen cadets at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, were in hot water Thursday after photos were posted online of them looking like Ku Klux Klansmen.
“Preliminary reports are cadets were singing Christmas carols as part of a ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ skit,” the school’s president, retired Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, said in a statement. “These images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect.”
The students involved were not immediately identified.
Calling it “offensive and disturbing,” Rosa said they immediately suspended “those cadets known to be involved” and were going after the others who were photographed dressed all in white — and with white pillowcases covering their heads that looked like KKK hoods.
On the Citadel Alumni Association’s Facebook page, there was both anger and embarrassment over the photos.
“The stupid and utterly unacceptable and deeply offensive actions of a few, should not sully a whole college,” one member posted on the site. “Shame on those who did this and thankyou (sic) to the college leadership in acting so quickly.”
But that sentiment was not unanimous.
“The Citadel is buckling like cowards,” another posted.
On the Citadel Minority-Alumni page, the consensus was clearer.
“Why would anyone think that this is ok?” one post read. “Will the administration at The Citadel let this go? This picture is a disgrace and a slap in the face. Who are the cadets in this picture and who is their cadet leadership? We’re watching to see how this all plays out…”
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.