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Can you think of any high profile cases of missing minorities? Why do you think these cases get so little attention?

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Missing People of Color Don't Make Headlines: What 2 Moms Are Doing About It

by April Daniels Hussar

Justice Page, Missing Since: Feb 18, 2013
Justice Page, Missing Since: Feb. 18, 2013
When you think of famous missing persons cases in America, what pops into your mind? If you’re like me, probably Natalee Holloway, Caylee Anthony, Laci Peterson, or Jaycee Dugard -- four people whose terrible stories all have different endings, but who share one thing in common: the color of their skin. But have you ever heard of Tamika Huston, a 24-year-old African American woman who disappeared from her apartment in 2004, or 14-year-old Justice Page (pictured here), missing from her home in Silver Spring, Maryland since mid-February of this year?

Probably not -- and that’s exactly what motivated Derrica and Natalie Wilson, two moms and sisters-in-law, to start the Black and Missing Foundation, a non-profit geared toward helping minority families find their missing loved ones.

The story on the inspiration behind the Wilson sisters' mission left me both frustrated and inspired -- what an eye-opening read! Derrica Wilson, who’s from the same town in South Carolina as Huston, was devastated to see how difficult it was for Huston’s family to get the media’s attention over their missing girl. "It was painful watching them struggle for any kind of media coverage -- local or national," Wilson said. "This could have been one of my family members." Heartbreaking.

A year later, Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba, and you know the story -- we’re STILL talking about it. So, Wilson, a longtime cop who currently works as an investigator for a D.C. agency, teamed up with her sister-in-law Natalie Wilson, a PR expert, to launch the non-profit that has so far helped locate more than 113 missing people -- 71 of them alive.

How incredible is that? These are just two "regular" women, both of whom have their own families and full-time jobs. They donate their time, energy, and own money to making a difference in the world, helping to right a terrible injustice, and reuniting missing people with their families, or -- sadly but importantly, helping them find closure and answers. In a recent interview with Ebony.com, Derrica says that she and Natalie are "mothers first," and that she is often haunted by the stories they come into contact with, especially the missing children. 

Currently, Black and Missing Foundation has 2,000 open cases they’re working on. A drop in the bucket, but what a powerful drop. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Department of Justice, 2,000 children are reported missing in America EVERY SINGLE DAY. And the Wilson sisters’ foundation reports that of the 661,593 people reported missing last year, about 40 percent of those were minorities.

That’s a horrifying number of people, amounting to a whole lot of scared, heartbroken family members. Of course, every missing persons case can’t make headline news (unfortunately). But there’s something really wrong when the ONLY ones who do make the news are white.

I can’t even imagine the horror of my child going missing, or my sister, or anyone I love -- but how much more awful it would be if no one would pay attention to my plight, or help me, because my loss wasn't perceived to be as newsworthy. These women are my heroes.

Can you think of any high profile cases of missing minorities? Why do you think these cases get so little attention?

by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Replies (11-20):
KreatingMe
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 11:50 AM

The Natalee Holloway coverage was extremely disturbing. Her mom had to be paying or sleeping with someone. That amount of undo attention was disgusting.  I second the comment, that it has a lot to do with class.

tiffyhamm
by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM
1 mom liked this
jahessye shockley. phylicia barnes. i can name dozens of missing people of color, but they wouldn't be considered high profile because they weren't treated as such. they were either ignored or unreported. honestly, i think we aren't worthy enough of being cared for/about. cute, young white women are the "perfect victim", the ones worthy of coverage, the ones worthy of our country's attention and concern. they are the ones we should be caring about....forget the poor, people of color, and men. forget that blacks make up at least 40% of those that go missing. they should be covering these stories more, but they don't. they favor the pretty, attractive, young white victim who may have disappeared under sensational circumstances over other victims, such as the poor, people of color, and men. it simply doesn't make for "good news". i have to get information on missing people of color from social media, organizations such as peas in their pods, black and missing foundation inc, find our missing (television show, tv one), etc. the black press isn't more likely to cover these stories either. it's a damn shame. public attention, media coverage, that is what helps find these victims, every person, regardless of gender, color, age, ethnicity, etc deserves to covered...their families deserve to know that everything that can be done to find their loved one is being done.
Radarma
by "OneDar" on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I thought I read a stat that claimed the rates of runaway...familial involvement were higher in minority cases.
I also believe simplicity of a name has a big effect on what the general public can recall.
And maybe more white ppl buy newspapers?

Some possibilities to consider.
MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

There was a massive manhunt for the young  Bradley sisters that disappeared without a trace many years ago.

http://articles.cnn.com/2008-09-23/justice/grace.bradley.sisters_1_girls-diamond-myspace?_s=PM:CRIME

ms-superwoman
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM

I can't think of any.

Glad these women were able to put their resources together and help others.

AlliviasMommy
by Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Was Elizabeth Smart a runaway? 

SuperChicken
by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:39 PM

No.  She was kidnapped. 


Quoting AlliviasMommy:

Was Elizabeth Smart a runaway? 


 

smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Quoting SuperChicken:

I can.  The two little boys that were found in the trunk of a car, for example.

However, I do agree that white children, especially blonde girls, are given more attention than other children when missing.  


Look at the Sandyhook shooting and which child people tend to focus on. The cute, blonde girl.
Radarma
by "OneDar" on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:45 PM

 There is actually quite a bit of research on this topic, and here is a quick and easy read...

http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_22593387

I also applaud the ppl in the OP for DOING something about something important.

 

AlliviasMommy
by Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:48 PM

When the police found her disguise, she stated "You guys think I'm that girl that ran away." That's what i was confused about.

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