Talking heads and amateur crime nonfiction detectives turn on cable and network news, log on to social media platforms, it’s nearly impossible to do without watching a parade while squeezing the tragic story of Gabriel’Gabby’Petit’s disappearance and demise.
Petit, 22, went missing during a cross-country excursion with her fiancée, 23-year-old Brian Laundry.
Police describe the now-disappearing laundry as an “interested person” in the ongoing murder case.
As the public outcry and captivating media updates continue to mount, Petito simply says, “american daughter“She was young, vibrant and had a social media following which was vital to her cheerful personality. She was fair, beautiful and attractive.
And she was white.
We’ve been here before – many times. Thousands of people go missing every year, including blacks, Latinos, Asians, indigenous people, LGBTQ, young, old, men and boys. Some return to their families, some remain unexplained, and unfortunately they die. Some, however, receive the national spotlight, which appears to be reserved for white women and girls.
These names easily come to mind: Lackey Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, Natalie Holloway, JonBenet Ramsey, Chandra Levy. Household names, names that are etched in our souls forever.
What are their names?
Last year, 543,018 people were reported missing, according to the Black and Missing Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about missing people of color nationwide. About 40% of them are colored.
What are their names?
The Missing and Killed Indigenous Peoples Task Force of Wyoming reports that at least 710 indigenous people (mainly women and girls) were missing between 2011 and 2020 in Wyoming, where Petit’s body was found. It became unknown.
Again, what are their names?
There is a clear distinction between news coverage and systematic bias that has been debated and denied for decades. I refuse to agree with the idea that it is not time to bring this to light again. These days correctly Time.
Especially in such cases, I often feel embarrassed to focus on the “media”. But many Americans make little or no distinction between their news sources, so I have to say this: We have to do better. Our newsrooms need to reflect American color and raise reporting standards to look beyond the latest interesting whodunit.
All missing person noteworthy
No one has dismissed the circumstances surrounding Petit’s death, and no one has diminished the pain the Petit family has endured. Like many Americans, I am annoyed. Law enforcement agencies seem to be hitting the bodycam footage, especially as they encounter Petit and Laundry in Utah.
But it’s okay to ask Petit for justice, acknowledging that the term “Missing White Female Syndrome” coined by the late journalist Gwen Ifill is also a real tragedy.
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After all, it’s not just about the race, it’s about the race. I have a missing daughter and son, a mother and father, brother and sister, friends and neighbours. They are all neat and not white. They don’t have the social media they follow. But his family deserves American sympathy and news coverage. His story is not that important. These people want their loved ones to go home. They are looking for the answer. They deserve to be closed too.