Letter to the Editor: Black lives are not Kodak moments

Photo provided by Nykeema Radway
Nykeema Radway, president of the Black Student Union

Nykeema Radway, president of the Black Student Union

Nykeema Radway//President of the Black Student Union

The Beacon chose to publish a photo of a group of students posing like the rapper, Kodak Black, with the caption stating “Students who participate in the #BlackOutFIU hosted by the Black Student Union on Wednesday, Oct. 12 take a moment to pose together during an event to show solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.” This is misleading and deceptive to readers.

The Beacon has continued to make “mistakes” that are offensive and reckless. These mistakes are inexcusable. We try to think deeply from The Beacon’s perspective when things like this occur, but it is apparent that staff at the Beacon did not consider the purpose of the event and took no consideration of the event from our point of view.

BlackLivesMatter.com states “Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all black lives along the gender spectrum.”

There is a misconception that the movement is limited to standing up only against police brutality and state violence but the Movement is about our day-to-day lives and affirming our existence, values and rights. We came together to capture a moment of unity, and to support not only the Movement, but each other and our black community at FIU. Our narratives are constantly re-written by those who don’t walk in our shoes.

The purpose of Student Media is to tell our stories and accurately depict our events. Many people were offended by the use of the photo to do so.

After sharing the concerns of many members of BSU with the editor-in-chief and to get the correct photo published, I was told that she wouldn’t re-publish the photo that accurately reflects the event, and that photo published was the best of the four pictures the photographer took.

To clear up any confusion, there is nothing wrong with the pose the students were doing. It’s a common pose people do in pictures but it does not reflect the purpose of the event. We are told to use our voices but you don’t like what we have to say.

We will continue to speak out! This was a great opportunity for the Beacon to educate our student body on the Black Lives Matter movement, instead they made it a “Kodak Moment.” This is not a moment, but a Movement.

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