LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Disappointed in Thursday’s photo

Kristi Branham

I write to express my disappointment in the Herald’s choice of photograph for the January 30, 2014 cover story titled “Fight or Flight.” The photograph was taken in 2008 during an incident on WKU’s campus that was blown way out of proportion.

The image appeared on the cover of the Herald at that time and evoked much criticism from the university community. The young woman who is being forcibly subdued with a gun to her head expressed great distress after the incident. Her family also was terrorized by that image: consider how you would respond if you saw your daughter pinned to the ground in such a manner.

In addition to the personal trauma experienced by those most closely involved, the image reinforced an inaccurate account of the precipitating event while perpetuating shameful racist stereotypes. I know personally several students of color who left WKU afterwards because they no longer felt safe! , let alone welcome, on our campus.

Choosing to use this image once again smacks of sensationalism. The cover story would have been just as effective if the Herald’s editors had chosen to go with the graphic included above the fold.

Dr. Kristi Branham

Assistant Professor

Dept of Diversity & Community