Searches are far more urgent for missing women when they are white

Originally published at: Searches are far more urgent for missing women when they are white | Boing Boing


But but but we’re all equal in the USA? /s


Systemic racism in law enforcement (and media) isn’t just about which people are targeted for harassment, assault and arrest. It’s also about which people are deemed important enough to spend resources trying to protect.

The term “white slavery” was a common euphemism for forced prostitution for generations after chattel slavery was officially ended. The implication being that human trafficking was only a problem when it happened to white people.


yeah even on the boing.


I was going to say the same thing. As of right now we’ve got over 120 comments in the Gabrielle Petito thread. Interest in the case is justified to an extent, but it is definitely disproportionate to the Boing Boing coverage on other missing women in the area.

(Edited for clarity)


I think any case that reached this level of national media attention would get this level of resources. Whether the national media attention is related to race and/or other factors is the real question. This couple was open on social media and that helps boost the general media attention.

femicide is an international issue.


This is why I would love for someone to do a more detailed statistical analysis of the phenomenon.

I would speculate that when you control for media attention, social media profile, and a host of other factors, that it still holds true that pretty blond white girls get more attention from the media and police both.


I suppose, but I for one don’t need detailed stats and analysis to tell me that that the cultural white supremacy that my eyes are seeing is what my eyes are actually seeing.


It’s a two-way relationship though. Yes, law enforcement is likely to dedicate more resources to a case that’s getting more media attention. But the media is also likely to spend more energy covering investigations when law enforcement is feeding them information via press releases and off-the-record interviews to show what a good job they’ve been doing. It’s a systemic problem on both sides of that equation.


I suppose I still have the vain hope that the people who don’t see it, will be able to see it when provided with sufficient evidence.


IMO - the murder cases that get the most attention are white middle class/wealthy women.

Public interest starts to wane if you have one or more of the following factors.

Not white.

Not a woman.

Are poor.

It’s sort of like the Joker speech, where when bad things happen to people we expect to be involved in bad things, we are numb to it. When bad things happen to people that aren’t supposed to be involved in bad things, we loose our minds.

The scandal that a suburban mom or kid can be killed is just the right dosage of pearl clutching to make it interesting.

Though I do note that at least locally, I have seen more reports for black and Hispanic missing person on the news.

Also, if the victim is under the age of ~12 or so, then those factors above can be overridden. I know of several local stories where tragic stories with small children sparked concern and outrage.


The cases that get this level of attention tend to be focused on white women. It’s a snake eating it’s own tail. I think we should ask ourselves, why the very high number of Native women missing ISN’T big news in the first place. Over 700 women, just missing, and we’re not talking about that as a national issue!


Jesus Christ. One blonde lady was literally given more attention than 710 indigenous women combined. That quite starkly illustrates how much the society, and in particular “authorities,” values certain lives over others… in a disturbingly quantified way.

Yeah. I always think about how America’s most prolific serial killer didn’t just go uncaptured for many decades, but no one even knew he was one, as all his (marginalized) victims were ignored by police to the point where they didn’t even bother to determine if their deaths were homicides. He’s almost certainly not alone in that. I was reading about cases where it’s an “open secret” that certain police officers are in fact actual serial killers but because, again, their victims are sufficiently marginalized, nothing is done about it.


And of course, Joy Reid is getting trashed by wingnut media for calling out that very syndrome now.

(Not a link because why give clicks to shitheads.)


Missing white women generate clicks and ad revenue for the networks. It’s truly sad that over 700 missing indigenous women didn’t rate.

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God forbid that a single white woman or child go missing. By golly law enforcement and the media will not waste a moment…

If you’re black or brown? Go take a number and sit by.


To be fair, many of the posts in that thread are specifically about the reality of racism and sexism at the core of this issue.