Last week's incident at the annual Army vs. Navy football game revealed people and the mainstream media have learned nothing from the Covington Catholic witch hunt, especially since it unfolded in the same where online outrage lead to an accusatory-style media cycle only for later evidence to exonerate those involved.
When I first saw the initial Twitter posts that accused the cadets and midshipmen of somehow throwing up the white power symbol by using the vastly more recognized "ok" hand gesture, my first reaction was to defend them because the circumstances did not make sense. Getting into either academy is tougher than your average college. Even if they were secret white supremacists, why would they throw away their careers from the investigation that would be sure to follow for ten seconds of fame?
Given how some white supremacists have actually perverted the "ok" hand gesture for their idiotic beliefs, I decided it would be best to wait for the official report on the school's investigation. Others decided to instantly condemn the cadets and midshipmen, saying they had to be white supremacists. This lead to the media reporting on the incident that left little room for the most logical explanation: They were playing the circle game.
Their tweets got thousands of retweets and likes off of accusing our accusing our future military leaders of being white supremacists without hard evidence, only a troll trend that started on 4Chan. The accusations not only came from unhinged leftists, but also from some reporters' and politicians' personal accounts.
Just want to confirm that Trump saying Jews are not American and the military holding up white power symbols in the same week is not reminiscent of anything in history we should be worried about? https://t.co/i47tec6NXm— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) December 15, 2019
Students appeared to make the White Power hand symbol during a pregame broadcast of the Army-Navy game. https://t.co/YYoxioCwsk— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 15, 2019
In the initial stories, the video tweets that were used were from biased Twitter accounts that called for punishment before the investigations had even started.
Pictured: The embedded videos included in the @NBCNews article (left) and the @USATODAY article (right) — each outlet shared a version of the video with a biased framing sourced from anonymous (?) accounts which call the students “assholes” & advocate for them to be “kicked out.” pic.twitter.com/emD4vCNYtU— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) December 15, 2019
MSNBC guest Glenn Kirschner told host Joy Ann Reid the incident means the cadets and midshipmen "should be dealt with swiftly and harshly" the very next day.
New York Magazine decided to list the Army-Navy game incident in their story titled, "A Year Inside a Growing American Terrorist Movement," with actual white power hate crimes that occurred this year, including the El Paso and Gilroy shootings.
"The investigating officer concluded that the cadets were playing a common game, popular among teenagers today, known as the 'circle game' and the intent was not associated with ideologies or movements that are contrary to the Army values," West Point said in a press release. "The investigator found that the game was being played in the stands before the ESPN host moved into the crowd. Based on the results of the investigation, those cadets involved will receive appropriate administrative and/or disciplinary actions."
The Naval Academy's inquiry reached the same conclusion.
The investigations, with the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service being involved, included background checks, combing through their social media feeds, and reviewing video footage.
Even after the investigation, there are some who have gone full "Pepe Silvia" and insist they were not playing the circle game correctly, which is hilarious since they were at first denying the cadets and midshipmen were playing the circle game at all.
This is beyond idiotic. Who were they playing circle game with? All of America? They were going to come punch all of us?— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) December 20, 2019
They were being racist because they think it's funny. Young, conservative white dudes do it all the time. I grew up with kids like that. https://t.co/Vo3sl3HpdI
The game is not always about trying to punch someone. Sometimes it's all about getting people to look at the hand. There is evidence of this since there was a whole trend on just the hand gesture on TikTok, as a simple YouTube search will show.
Others say they are grown men, how can they not know the "ok" hand gesture could also mean white power to a few, idiotic people? Well, it's probably because they are not on Twitter all the dang time and are focused on graduating an academically and physically demanding college.
It cannot be overstated that this latest witch hunt outrage cycle set out was by people to destroy men who are willing to put their lives on the line, even though they will be butter bars, because their paranoid, very online worldview has rotted their brains.