America doesn’t care if scores of black and brown girls are missing unless we tell them to, and that’s what’s wrong

Young girl holding skateboard and preparing for a ride

In a world where what you are brings certain advantages that some others don’t have based on the society they live in, people want to point out the unfairness that comes with it. In many cases, we bring up ‘what if’ questions if it happened to the ones not so ‘privileged’ to point out double standard bullshit, and it will continue until changes are made that brings the same about of respect and dignity to everyone and not just a select few.

The uproar over reports of numerous missing black and brown girls in Washington D.C. is one of those cases where we point out that if they were white girls from middle and upper class neighborhoods, the media and criminal justice system would be in a frenzy telling the country to give several damns, develop feelings over the crisis and help find them. But it takes a considerable effort to make the same media and criminal ‘justice’ system so much as take a hint that girls of color are going missing to make them realize that their lives are worth something too. That’s the problem!

Yesha Callahan of The Root describes how her past article about the issue picked up steam:

On March 12, 2017, I wrote about the number of black and Latino teens who have gone missing in the Washington, D.C., area since February. At the time, 10 teens, including one young man, were missing. The Metropolitan (D.C.) Police Department reported that a few had been found, but there were still missing cases open.

Before I wrote that initial article, the only mention of these missing teens had come in a couple of tweets from individuals expressing their concerns, as well as tweets from the Metropolitan Police Department. After the article caught the department’s attention, the MPD noted that sometimes it fails to update its social accounts with information about teens who have been located.

Within two days, other websites, like Teen Vogue (which directly quoted my article and used a similar headline), wrote about the missing teens, too.

On Wednesday, there was a town hall meeting held in D.C. in response to the missing girls. The room was filled with black men and women who wanted answers. But of course, even in a city noted for its rising gentrification, there was not one white face in the crowd.

I’m not surprised by that last statement. Expecting white people to care is like expecting to see actual proof of the Loch Ness Monster’s existence. And making some of them care can be as painful as a root canal without anesthetics. But the main thing is that we care. And many of us do as missing children of color being ignored that been an issue for years not restricted in the D.C. area.

Shaun King of the New York Daily News weighs in:

The stories of young black girls and women who are missing don’t get the Elizabeth Smart or Natalee Holloway treatment. We don’t see primetime television specials on them. Their images don’t become permanent fixtures on Twitter. Their names don’t get hashtags or trending topics. Nationwide manhunts or search parties don’t ensue. Crying black parents, pleading for their children to be found, don’t interrupt our sitcoms as breaking news.

It appears that having blonde hair and blue eyes, and having white parents in suburban America, makes it far more likely that a story of a missing young girl will be told.

He’s not wrong. The Western news media has what’s known as the Missing White Girl Syndrome, which is a name coined by social scientists to label the mainstream media’s extensive coverage focusing on the disappearances of white middle and upper class women. I don’t think there’s a need to reiterate what would happen if even one white girl from richer suburbs vanishes. The news and law officials expect everyone to be emotionally charged and help locate her. But in this case, hundreds and thousands of black and brown girls from poorer neighborhoods are missing across this nation, almost two dozen from D.C. alone in recent days. And America seemed not to be slightly worried until concerned people started talking and screaming for answers and, more importantly, for their safe return. If all of us are expected to feel and pray for the whereabouts of missing white women, then those same people telling us to do so should have the same feelings for missing women of color.

Please click on this link from Hello Beautiful to find out how you can help.


11 thoughts on “America doesn’t care if scores of black and brown girls are missing unless we tell them to, and that’s what’s wrong

  1. The only way I found out about this was black social media sites otherwise I had no knowledge about this. I am not surprised that it wasn’t mentioned in mainstream media. Black Lives don’t matter in America or anywhere else.

  2. I was surprised when I seen the clip of those people speaking about the girls/young women in Washington DC on Good Morning America but I’m still not impressed.

    I just see this as media’s way of just trying to pacify us. I will guarantee that they will not focus on those people or the girls again. It also bugged me how they labeled as of these girls as ” Runaways ” and that was the reason that the Amber Alerts wasn’t sound off.

    First of all, I don’t believe that all of those girls are runaways and even if they all were, they are still MISSING. To be missing means that you’re not at the place that you say that you say that you’re going to be at a certain amount of time. Their Mayor said that their Amber Alert system haven’t working. Man..I’m really trying to swallow that one..oops..I forgot…their police commissioner( I forgot his title) is in his own quagmire for child molestation/rape crimes… If that is the case, it really shows you how much Black Childrens/young adults life is worthless to them.

    When you hear about White girls/young women disappear they can be runaways, kidnapped or not appear at a certain time yet you don’t see media getting one large paintbrush and calling them all runaways. They all are still missing individuals. That nonchalant smear tactic ( which is getting old and obvious) reminds me of what happened to Timothy Caughman. Here they man is a victim of a hate crime and dies by a White terrorist yet all media did with him was smear him with a age old crime that had nothing to do with the hate crime whatsoever and wasn’t deserving of media’s put down. It’s the same thing with these girls/women.,media, and law enforcement quickly used the ” R” word( runaway) to let society know that they’re not interested in locating them but they’ll never stop occasionally asking the viewing public about Jon Benet Ramsey or the 15 Tennessee girl and her teacher. You also haven’t hear about the BringBackOurGirls in god knows when.

    I wish media would be concerned about Black/POC girls/young women as they are with them.

  3. As Brothawolf possibly unintentionally points outs or, at least alludes to, this has less to do with race than it does where the missing girls are from. People missing from the inner cities draw less care than those missing from supposedly safe neighborhoods. Face it, someone suddenly going missing from a “nice” area is far more shocking to most people than one going missing from “the hood.”

    Also, aside from a few high profile, high ratings cases, I don’t really see that much coverage of White girls either and almost none for boys of any race or culture.

    Then again, there may be something akin to racism going on. The MSM is for-profit, needs to sell ad spots to survive, and the advertisers are far more concerned about rating among “useful” demographics than anything else, i.e., are the viewers their target market. Hence, it wouldn’t shock me to find out that coverage is effected by that, even if unconsciously.

    1. 1. America is a racist society. So, whenever something like this happens, there’s a chance that race plays a part in it given how the media and police deals with these cases.

      2. I also mentioned how class also plays a role. A white girl from a poor neighborhood would get less attention than a white girl from a higher class area. Most of the girls recently missing in the D.C. came from poorer neighborhoods.

      1. What’s up Mary?? Where you been? You used to drop by my blog all the time. You were one of my earliest supporters when I started blogging. I hope you’ve been well.

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