Instagram Insubordination: Private Posts Selfie, Sparks Outrage

February 28, 2014  |  

Source: Instagram

Y’all take this as a cautionary tale. Don’t let your selfie get you into trouble. Legal trouble. According to Clutch, Private First Class, Tariqka Sheffey is in a bit of hot water after posting a picture of herself on her Instagram account. The picture itself is fine. But it’s the caption that presents a problem. She writes:

“This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don’t have to salute the 1700 flag.” She continued in caps: “KEEP ALL YOUR ‘THAT’S SO DISRESPECTFUL/HOW RUDE/ETC’ COMMENTS TO YOURSELF [stop hand emoji] cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF” (Which, for those who don’t know, means I don’t give a fuuuuuu*k.)

I’m not going to lie, at first glance I chuckled. Who hasn’t experienced a time when we really didn’t want to do our job and would much rather take pretty pictures of ourselves? Sheffey is too cute; but now her photo has gone viral, sparking all types of outrage from people who believe she was being very disrespectful to the country by not saluting it flag. Sheffey, who is a member of the 59th Quartermaster Company in Fort Carson, Colorado, is now facing possible removal or being court marshaled for insubordination.

The picture was posted on the Army Times’ Facebook page and was met with all types of disgust, including racially offensive comments. One commenter wrote, Any soldier who refuses to salute the flag is in the military for the wrong reason, and should be removed by dishonorable discharge with loss of all benefits. If they won’t salute it, they damn sure won’t fight for it.”

Though Sheffey’s Instagram page has since been deleted, she did post a video on Tuesday expressing her gratitude for the people who checked her.

“I seriously just want to say thank you to everybody who stood up to me today, like seriously. That sh*t to me was not that serious. I am not a disrespectful soldier and I really appreciate you all.” 

Sigh. Like I said, I can understand not wanting to do your job sometimes. And I’m no stranger to the selfie. I would be a bit embarrassed if people saw the number of pictures I’d taken of myself. Sheffey could have gotten away with all of this had she not written that damning caption.

But the reaction to Sheffey’s picture hasn’t been completely negative. There were some who came to her defense, arguing that there’s nothing particularly special about saluting the American flag, a piece of fabric. Considering African American’s sordid history with this country, I can understand the sentiment. We hold a lot of resentment toward our fatherland. But please believe I know this about myself; and therefore, would never sign up to serve in the army. Because I understand that once you commit to the armed services, you’re legally required to do everything your superiors say and complete your service.

But Sheffey did sign up. So even if she didn’t want to salute the flag that day, she should have kept that caption to herself. What do you think about Sheffey’s selfie? Are people making it a bigger deal than it needs to be be or was Sheffey behaving recklessly?

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