I said a few posts back that I would write a post about missing children of color and the lack of media attention given to them. In October the news was focused on a missing blond-haired, blue-eyed 8-year-old boy with autism, named Robert Wood Jr. Robert was found by a good person that did not harm him in any way. Do not get me wrong, I could care less about the ethnicity of a child when one goes missing, but not too long ago I wrote about Kathy Nicole Leath a woman mentally handicapped that had gone missing a long with her child, but was found. In the situation one could say the age difference, situation, location, gender, and so on could be a factor why Robert got media attention and Kathy didn’t, but the only difference that is obvious and that mattered is their race.
I never intended for this blog to talk about missing people or children period, but the first post about Rachael sparked my interest to talk about this.
The lack of media attention toward missing children of color is not something new; it has been going on for many years. How many people of color that grew up would hear their parents or guardians say “children of color don’t get kidnapped?” Now why would they say that or think that? Because all the media ever shows are missing white children and women, let me list the famous missing cases the media has focused on that got nationwide attention: Elizabeth Smart, Robyn Gardner, Natalee Holloway, Katherine Phillips, and Caylee Anthony.
Elizabeth smart’s case continues to be talked about along with Natalee Holloway, but silence is given when it comes to Phylicia Barnes and others like her. Right now there are four girls that I have blogged about that are still missing: Mishell Nicole Green, Jahessey Shockley, Malkia Knauls Emmy Luu, and neither has gotten national coverage, neither have been plastered on my television screen, neither of their faces have been put on the news and the only difference is that they are people of color. They are neglected and their families are left to fend for themselves without help from the very country they pay taxes to.
Where the 24 hour coverage is for them as there was for their white counter parts? Where is the exhausting of police resources the involvement of the FBI for these children? Where are our children?
Some people do not believe that the media is bias when it comes to missing people of color, but they are, the media is quicker to show a person of color being handcuffed than one missing. There is a name for this the Missing white woman Syndrome. The color of ones skin does matter in this country even if we do not do it individually or want to believe it.
This is why sites like Black&Missing along with their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bamfiorg give me hope; hope that in the coming years we can pull resources together and amongst ourselves ensure that all is done for focus to be placed on our children. That we can demand this country to give our children the protection and recognition that they deserve when they go missing. I truly believe that a lot of cases in which the people of color end up dead could have been prevented if the media had treated issue as a national issue rather than a local one or turning a blind eye to it.
I will repeat again: any child missing regardless of race I want to be found, however I do want our children, the Africans, African-Americans, Native-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and so on, that go missing to be given the equal amount of attention as their white counterparts. So please understand that when you retweet, send, mention, or do whatever possible to help get the word out for these children to be found you are doing more than you knows. Not every child can be found, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t try.
I want to get to a point where I no longer have to ask where are our children.