Not lost on us

Overdue TV series examines plight of missing African-Americans

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We don’t know how the national media decide on which missing persons cases to latch onto and obsess about. It seems pretty arbitrary and scattershot – as in, no one has a plan.

But we have noticed, as have many others around the country, that the major media – which think themselves enlightened and way above average in racial sensitivity – focus almost exclusively on missing white women. If you’re blonde, all the better.

One program is aiming to make up for that: Find Our Missing, a 10-part series on missing African-Americans that began airing Wednesday on cable network TV One in conjunction with the Black and Missing Foundation.

“African-Americans represent 12.6 percent of the U.S. population, but 33 percent of its missing people, according to 2010 Census and FBI statistics,” says a report on Reuters.com. “You would never know it from news stories about missing people that focus almost exclusively on young, white women.”

Derrick Butler, whose sister Pamela disappeared around Valentine’s Day in 2009, said the show could serve several purposes at once.

“Hopefully someone will come forward who saw something,” he said. “But if not … it gets the story out and it lets people know that we’re not getting coverage. And hopefully somebody else’s family will be helped by it. Maybe the mass media will look at it and say, ‘We can do a much better job than what we’re doing here.’”

The unfortunate message sent by the media’s apparent obsession with missing white women is that some lives are more valuable than others. Tell that to the Derrick Butlers of the world.

In addition, solving such cases sometimes
hinges on getting the word out.

The black community shouldn’t have to start
its own show – on a network aimed at blacks – to get the correct message out: that every one of God’s children is a treasured part of the kingdom and an integral part of the lives of relatives and friends and the greater community. But we’re glad that the story is at least being told somewhere. Finally.

It’s bad enough that someone has gone missing. Their plight shouldn’t be lost on the rest of society, and certainly not because of race.

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augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 01/22/12 - 11:42 pm
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I can't even imagine how

I can't even imagine how horrible it would be to have a family member missing, my heart goes out to the families living with it. May the Lord bless them.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 01/23/12 - 12:44 am
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We discussed this on the old

We discussed this on the old forums a couple of times. It is true that minority missing persons get short shrift when it comes to media attention. I can only suppose that the reasoning is since the population is ~75% white, they will draw more readers/viewers with the white cases.
I hope they are mistaken. In the cases of children in particular, all "missing" cases are heart wrenching and interesting to follow.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/23/12 - 10:41 am
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The Chronicle is also amiss

The Chronicle is also amiss for not emphasizing crimes against blacks enough. Others in the local media are even worse breaking down the crimes by race and saying they only kill each other concerning gangs, drug dealing and so on.

The murders of the two black teen girls during that record breaking murder year in Augusta represented the double standard well. No matter the lifestyle of these two girls, they were shot in the head. A horrendous crime.

The murders would have been written about for months if it had been two white girls. The Chronicle would have examined how the teens got themselves into that lifestyle. What went wrong. How their parents felt and so on. Many follow-up stories on the matter would have been written.

Instead, when it’s blacks, the Chronicle can’t wait to shove it under the dead files rug.

harley_52
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harley_52 01/23/12 - 11:28 am
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There's no denying the press

There's no denying the press pays less attention to tragedy in the black community than the white. I'm not sure why. I've tried to figure out the reason for quite some time and have not succeeded.

The race baiters would claim it's because the press is racially bigoted. I could believe that if it were only one paper, or one network, but it's not. It's widespread. As Riverman points out, it's even observable here in Augusta.

I'm not saying these are the answers, but I'll give you a couple of possibilities. First, is the overall crime rate (including murder) among the black community is MUCH higher than among the white community. It's possible that it's just not considered as newsworthy because it's relatively common. Without digging too deeply here, it's pretty obvious to me that the lack of fathers around the house and the government's paying for people not to work gives young men a lot more time to do nothing, or to do things they shouldn't be doing.

Second, it's possible that black on black crime is often much more difficult to investigate and, therefore, the crimes more difficult to solve. There seems to be a tendency, particularly among some young black men, to distrust law enforcement officers and to withhold information about crimes either out of fear of reprisal, or to maintain some sort of solidarity with the criminals against law enforcement and/or white society.

Another possibility is that the media is sensitive to charges made by some black "leaders" that the media adds to the negative opinion about blacks because they over-report black crime and give the false impression that it's worse than it really is.

One source said ""Many attendees complained the main coverage of black Pittsburghers was at murder scenes or courthouses. "I'm tired of turning on the news and seeing a sister with her hair all over the place, five teeth missing and looking like she just stepped out of the bedroom. That's not something I want to see every time an African-American is interviewed on the news," one BPEP activist said."

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/pittsburgh/1259209-black-leaders-want-loc...

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/23/12 - 11:57 am
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Harley, sure, that's all part

Harley, sure, that's all part of it. It's not a simple thing. I do think we all tend to ignore matters in the black community, though. That's where 90% of the crime in Richmond County happens. But I'll never forget what my elderly aunt said many years ago that stuck with me.

She was a fine lady in most ways, but there was a fire in Aiken County where a black family all died. We had a family get-together over at our old farmhouse in the country and when my Uncle Rabit told everyone about it, she wanted to know if they were black or white. The young teen boy there, me, pondered that question and why she asked it for a long time.

harley_52
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harley_52 01/23/12 - 11:58 am
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Why do you think she asked

Why do you think she asked it?

seenitB4
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seenitB4 01/23/12 - 12:12 pm
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river....If this happened

river....If this happened when you were a teen it is possible she was thinking...Who are they---are they someone I know---years ago they didn't have 24 hr news-tv all day---etc.
When she asked that she was narrowing down the question....(maybe)

I know many elders would go out of their way to help any family in trouble.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/23/12 - 12:14 pm
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Harley and SeenIt, I have my

Harley and SeenIt, I have my thoughts why she asked their color. But I'll just leave it with everyone to draw their own conclusions and think about it as I did.

harley_52
21747
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harley_52 01/23/12 - 12:47 pm
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Well, since I don't know the

Well, since I don't know the lady it's impossible for me to draw any conclusions at all.

I will say this.....I don't think it's an unreasonable question to ask and it's one that could be asked for many different reasons. If the same thing happened in my own neighborhood it's a question I'd probably ask myself.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 01/23/12 - 02:44 pm
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In my youth it was a common

In my youth it was a common question to be asked. The seriousness of the event seemed to be based on the answer

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 01/23/12 - 07:34 pm
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That is true Carleton, but I

That is true Carleton, but I think it was twofold.

1. A lot of people didn't give a flip if it was involving a black person, and

2. If it was a black person, odds were excellent that you wouldn't know them anyway due to the segregation of the times.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 01/23/12 - 07:50 pm
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Liberals take note of the

Liberals take note of the concern here and terminate Bearing False Witness of racism against Conservatives.

My parents were Conservative Republicans and tireless anti-racists.

Their gone now but their ideas live on.

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