Friday, September 24, 2021

Missing White Woman Syndrome

I am not underplaying the horrific nature of Gabby Petito disappearance and now reported potential murder.  As of last weekend, roughly 50 law enforcement officers from five local agencies and the FBI were searching for Laundrie, Gabby's boyfriend, who has not been seen since September 14. Last week, if the story was not the lead on national news it was second. When the body was found, regularly scheduled TV was preemptive as the police gave a news statement.  

According to CNN: The bias the media shows in favor of covering the stories of White women who go missing is often referred to as "missing White woman" syndrome. Factors like race seem to determine not only a victim's "newsworthiness," but how their disappearances are covered. 

Bee Love Slater Murderer 2019
Burned beyond 
I have daughters and if anything happened to any one of them, I would hope that the full efforts of law enforcement would come to their aid; any father's daughter.  Sadly that is not always the case. 

According to Reuters: In Wyoming, the state where Petito's body was found, only 18% of indigenous female homicide victims get newspaper coverage, compared with 51% for white female and male victims, according to a state report.

Between 2011 and September 2020, more than 400 indigenous women and girls were reported missing in Wyoming, according to the report.  This is not far from where Gabby Petito went missing.  

Here is a crime that occurred about 30 miles from my home that receive minimal local coverage and no national coverage: 

CLEWISTON — Thirty miles from home in a neighborhood near Clewiston, Bee Love Slater’s body was found last week in her burning car. It’s unclear why the 23-year-old transgender woman from Pahokee (FL) was in the Harlem neighborhood south of the Clewiston Golf Course early Sept. 4. All Hendry County sheriff’s authorities have said is that she was “burned beyond recognition” in what they are investigating as a homicide.

According to the Advocate: Violence against trans Americans continues to be rampant, especially against Black women. Four homicides of Black trans women have been reported in the past few days — in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, while the death of a second woman in Louisiana has not yet been ruled a homicide. There are also reports, so far unconfirmed, of a Black trans woman being killed in Philadelphia. And a Black trans woman was shot in Los Angeles last week and was reported to be in critical condition. There have been at least 20 homicides of trans people in the U.S. in 2020, with most of the victims being Black or Latinx women.

Why should we care?  First, any transgender woman injured/killed is one of us.  It could have been one of us.  Second, by the press and media ignoring a crime perpetrated against someone black, Hispanic or transgender, it devalues our/all lives. 

Where is the outrage? Where are the headlines? Where is the preemptive  disruption of regularly scheduled programming for these women?    

1 comment:

  1. So the media just called themselves out. They decide what gets coverage, not the public. So the ones calling foul are actually the ones doing it. Oh the irony.