While the National Football League’s respect-for-the-flag controversy has captured the attention of many Americans, there is more sedition brewing. Images have emerged of a US Army soldier and West Point graduate who has take the National Anthem controversy and added an even more controversial political message of rebellion.
Second Lt. Spenser Rapone, 25, posted a photograph of himself from 2016 on Twitter this week. The image shows the soldier in his West Point Cadet Uniform. The inside of his hat is turned to the camera, and a message is written inside: “communism will win.”
The image comes from his graduation from West Point. The image was posted with the hashtag #VeteransforKaepernick.
The image seems so absurd that many felt like it was meant to mock the debate about patriotism. It was not. Rapone posted a second image. This one shows him opening his jacket to show the shirt is wearing underneath.
The image of the Che Guevara t-shirt was captioned “In case there was any lingering doubt, hasta la victoria siempre.”
“Since the weekend,” The Daily Mail writes, “he has also retweeted the posts of other soldiers who have spoken out in support of Kaepernick and other athletes who have defied President Trump by taking a knee at sporting events across the country since he made the remarks last week.”
Most of the response has been negative. Many are calling for the investigation of the incident.
Not The Democratic Socialists of America Veterans Working Group. They approve.
West Point is less pleased. “Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the US Military Academy or the US Army,” they wrote in a post.
“As figures of public trust, members of the military must exhibit exemplary conduct and are prohibited from engaging in certain expressions of political speech in uniform. Second Lieutenant Rapone’s chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter.”
The 10th Mountain Division, Rapone’s current assignment, is remaining more aloof. “The 10th Mountain Division not only supports free speech, it trains every day to ensure our nation has the ability to protect it at all cost,” Lt. Col. Tonya Stokes said about the issue.
“That being said, when our soldiers are in uniform, politics must be set aside. Our uniform represents every corner of our nation and it cannot be used to promote any single ideology.”