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British Army Under Fire for Tweeting Blackface Image Deemed Racist, Explained as Camouflage

Irish Guards train in Belize (British Army Facebook)

Irish Guards train in Belize (British Army Facebook)

The British Army sparked harsh criticism Wednesday after it tweeted an image of a soldier who seemed to don blackface paint.

Minutes after the photo landed online, users flocked to their accounts to criticize it as racist because a white soldier appeared in blackface.

“Being a soldier in the jungle requires a robust sense of humor,” the caption read.

British Army Twitter screenshot

British Army Twitter screenshot

Many expressed their disapproval over the post. Bl*ge felt unsurprised by the message but still called out the blackface imagery.

https://twitter.com/THECAROLDANVERS/status/788680345549991936

@NaturallyTiss pointed out her family members in the army and said she had “never seen this sort of ‘humor’ from them.”

https://twitter.com/NaturallyTiss/status/788679794066071552

RTJ called the camouflage method “ineffective” unless the group is attempting to go unrecognized by “armed racists.”

Still, some defended the image.

Mike Weverly said the war paint is not black but green.

https://twitter.com/MikeWeverly/status/788871594802372608

CantFinesseMeAgain thought anyone offended by the image was “overdoing it.”

@massonboy said anyone who believes camouflage is racist should “wear a hi-vis jacket next time you’re being shot at.” The reflective outerwear features a bright yellow hue.

The British Army issued a statement after removing the offending message. It explained the fighter was “wearing camouflage and concealment measures.”

“We apologize for any offense caused by the tweet,” the statement began. It noted the pictured soldier was a member of the Irish Guards who performed jungle training in Belize.

“We can see how the picture and the title given to it may have made the image open to misinterpretation,” it continued. “And we have therefore immediately removed the tweet.”

The statement went on to point out the “extensive imagery and video from the Irish Guards’ jungle exercise” across their web platforms.

“We would urge the public to view that imagery to set the activities being undertaken by these soldiers in context.”

Early this morning, the army shared a video of training actions on their Facebook page.

The clip shows how soldiers “learn the art of invisibility” with the help of camouflage cream.

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