Do you ever get tired of the endless coverage of Jaycee Dugard and Natalie Holloway — pretty white women who’ve gone missing? Derrica Wilson, founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, told A-O-L’s Black Voices that the media is much less likely to report on missing white women than on missing African-American women:
Wilson says, “There is a term often used — ‘White Women Syndrome.’ In most cases, unless the missing person is young, white, blue eyes, blond hair, attractive, the coverage isn’t there. In my opinion, a lot of these media outlets are looking to see what sells or what they think people would want to hear or read about.”
This is also true with African-American children. Wilson says, “When it comes to black missing children, law enforcement automatically assumes the child is a runaway. Rarely do runaways receive exposure about their disappearance.”
According to the FBI, 255,575 African Americans were reported missing in 2008 alone. That number makes up for 33 percent of the total missing cases that year.
Have you ever had a loved one go missing? How much help did you feel like you got from the police, the media, your community?