A friend posted the following on Facebook,
“Please don’t judge me, but I had to give my 12-year-old daughter mace because I’m worried she won’t make it to and from school safely. Please pray and watch our little girls.”
No, my friend wasn’t afraid of gangs, drugs and/or drug dealers, bullies, or even stray bullets. She wasn’t concerned with stray dogs, older boys trying to get in her daughter’s pants, or even a specific person bothering her child every day. She was worried that her daughter might just disappear one day and never be heard from again; snatched off one of the many streets inside the beltway circling the nation’s capitol. Missing girls are becoming all too commonplace in the Washington, D.C. area streets. This is an area known to have a serious sex trafficking problem, see here. Our missing DC Daughters
Thankfully, now we live in an age of instant information.
Thank God for Facebook, Twitter, and all of your other favorite social media platforms. Thank God for the websites designed to inform our communities of local danger. These are places where people can spread their issues and concerns instantaneously rather than wait on local and national news to tell their stories. As you can see, waiting on others to get around to telling our stories and expressing our concerns can come much too late. It should have never escalated to TEN MISSING LITTLE BLACK AND LATINO GIRLS, and still not a blip on the national radar. As of last count, there are 10 girls missing—one is sixteen-years-old, three are fifteen-years-old, and the rest are younger. Why isn’t the mainstream, large public media taking this on and talking about it? Is it because all 10 girls are either Black or Latino female children from the DC Metro area? Are these little girls who are being TAKEN from their families treated as disposable, similar to the way we treat the disappearance of the homeless? Would the non-publication of our abducted children be taken in stride if these were 10 young white girls? Further, would this be taken in stride if these were 10 young girls of any color but came from families of wealth or power? We all know the answer to those questions. Absolutely not! Why is this acceptable for ten missing Black and Latino daughters? Is it that people outside of these communities don’t care?
Have you ever heard of the term, “Missing White Woman Syndrome”?
It is defined as, “a phrase used by social scientists and media commentators to describe the extensive media coverage, especially in television, of missing person cases involving young, white, upper-class women or girls. It is defined as the media’s focus on upper-middle-class white women who disappear, with the disproportionate degree of coverage they receive being compared to cases of missing men, or women of color and of lower social classes.” Is this a case of Missing White Woman Syndrome? The reality of the current lack of coverage says it is.
Please, understand how television works—this includes News Programs both local and national, especially Morning News Programs. Television is run by ratings. The higher the ratings, the more the cost of advertising during those program will be. In translation, the more eyes a television program gets, the more money the broadcaster can make off of it. Knowing this, the question is: Are little Black and Latina girls not news-worthy, or are the primarily white, middle-aged, women who watch morning news shows not interested in the trials of a neighborhood they would never enter. Would the faces of ten Black and Latino missing children cause them to lose interest and turn the channel? Are these young Black and Latina girls not news-worthy enough for the cable news channels and your local news shows? Is their plight not worthy to be covered, or do the decision-makers say, “those little girls won’t make me any money”? Do the decision-makers think in contrast, that covering this story would cause them to lose money because nobody cares about these little girls? Once we realize that the news is not all about the dissemination of information, but rather that it is about making money, then you’ll understand why these little girls are so unimportant to them. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m saying these are the facts.
Please, every person who reads this page, watch out for your children, for your daughters, and for the daughters of your neighbors.
We have to get back to being a community rather than an individual in a community. To my friends, in the DMV you have my thoughts and prayers. Be vigilant with your children. Make sure they are aware of their surroundings at all times. I’m also asking for every man to step it up. Watch out for these precious little girls. They’re out there stealing our next Gwen Ifills, Sonia Sotomayors, Ellen Ochoas, and Michelle Obamas. Don’t allow it to continue happening. Not on your watch.
If you know anything about the missing girls in and around the Washington D.C. area, please contact the Washington, D.C. Police at (202) 727-9099.