Where Are Our Beautiful Sisters?

By Ikea Simmonds

The reality that there is a hidden epidemic of missing girls in the Washington D.C. area over the last few months and no one cares to mention it is alarming.

Many are speculating what is really happening, but no one truly knows or cares to speak about it. Is it a huge undercover human trafficking ring? According to The U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking has become the second-fastest growing criminal industry in the U.S., with children accounting for roughly half of all victims. Or does it all not link back to one another? Whatever the case may be, why is no one in America discussing it. The saddened and unspoken reality is it is not talked about because of the races of these missing females.

They are latino and black and because of this the black community feels as if police departments do not care about them going missing. It has caused an uproar in the African-American community because between the killings of blacks and the recent missings’, blacks feel black balled in their own country. Parents are terrified and children are crying on television because they feel like they can be next.

[Ten] girls were coming up missing daily and the fact that that was not an issue important enough to be broadcasted is flabbergasting.

The Late [Glenn Ifill] coined the phrase “missing white women syndrome,” when it was reported in 2014 that more than 64,000 black women were missing and their was a lack of media exposure on this. The phenomenon was made to explain the obsession that news media has on white females going missing compared to the lack thereof for missing women of color. It can plainly be described as sad and almost disgusting.

In no way is the black community trying to express that they do not care about the missing of others, but it is the neglect that should not continue to be ignored when it comes to our sisters. African-Americans receive little to no coverage regarding their slain bodies or missing attributes. According to TheGrio, The press is [four] times more likely to report when a white person goes missing vs. someone who is black or brown. These numbers are even more dire when the missing is a black woman.

Many can name the countless stories of Caucasian females who have went missing simply because of news coverage. Some have even been made into movies and documentaries that have become household names because the stories were so “intriguing,” or “sad.”

The fact of the matter is while the Jon Benet Ramseys and the Natalie Holloway stories were very sad and made a good lifetime movie, why weren’t blacks and latinos given the same exposure. Many fail to realize but the smallest exposure for these girls may have saved their lives. Our sisters may have been spotted but America will never know because they were never given the opportunity to see their faces on the screens.

“The way that media chooses to handle missing persons cases dealing with minorities directly correlates with the way that police investigate them. How often do you see an Amber Alert when the child is black or brown versus when the child is white?”

Why is it that when a discussion about this missing epidemic of black girls is brought up many are oblivious and do not even realize what is going on so close to them? Many were not even aware unless they seen it on social media. It is often said that we should be accountable for all lives in America but why do we not care about those that look just like us? Why is that the media does not want to give exposure to a scary situation happening in America? As I am finishing this, another brown sister may have been snatched but across the world no one may know.

Only on Social Media was it being talking about, reposted, retweeted, and bringing about discussions. But quite frankly, that is not enough.

How are all these girls going missing and no one is talking about it? It starts today, here, with this exposure that it must stop. The kidnappings, mysterious disappearances, and the silent whispers among the communities. We need our sisters to be safe at home.

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