Media Neglects Women Of Color

Raquel Miller, Rookie Reporter

In light of recent events of the disappearance of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, many people are questioning our justice system and if it really values all lives. If you don’t know who Gabby Petito is, she was a young white woman who was reported missing on Sept. 11  after her boyfriend Brian Laundrie returned home to Florida without Gabby. Sadly, a body was found in Wyoming, and an autopsy confirmed the body was hers.

Now you know about Gabby Petito, but have you heard of Kimberly Arrington? Arrington was a 16-year-old  black girl and was reported to be abducted. She was last seen at a CVS pharmacy in 1998 in Alabama.How about Aubrina Mack? She was a 22-year-old  black woman and was  also reported abducted. In 2006 Mack told her sister she was going on a walk over to a neighboring street. She never returned home. Aubrina also had children. There are thousands of missing cases of women of color that are unheard of or simply ignored.They get swept away since society feels like they have no real significance to society or good social status.

Almost tens of thousands of black women and other women of color vanish each year unnoticed or get little to sometimes zero media coverage. The media refuses to cover black and indigenous women cases. You would think in light of Black Lives Matterand What happened in Canada with missing indginous  women known as (INM, Idle no more)  one of the largest Indigenous movements in Canadian history, sparking hundreds of teach-ins, rallies, and protests across Turtle Island and beyond. The media did cover it for a while, but now the trends are over.

People call this  “missing white woman syndrome.” The term is used by media commentators to refer to the observed disproportionate media coverage of missing-person cases involving young, white, upper-middle-class women or girls compared to the relative lack of attention towards missing women who are not white, and women of lower social classes.

Monycka Snowbird, director of Haseya Advocate Program (Native woman-led organization that serves Indigenous survivors of domestic and sexual violence located in Colorado Springs), estimated that around 40 known missing or murdered indingenous people in Colorado dating back to 1980. 

According to a study from urban indian health institute, there were over 5,000 missing indeginous women and girls reported in 2016. Out of those 5,000+ only 116 were logged into the department of justice database. Miscalculations  in the data make it almost impossible to know how many indeginous people are murdered or missing in America every year.

GenZ is working to rectify this issue. Young activist Autumn Perltier who is 14-years-old has been an advocate for indigenous community since the age of 8. She has spoken before Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and the United Nations General Assembly. She spoke out about realities of water pollution, Autumn was recently appointed chief water commissioner. 

EllaMae Looney who is 18 years old started a civilization Fund Act of 1819, legislation has been used to forcibly assimilate Native Americans to a more Anglo-European cultral identity; EllaMae Looney is attempting to heal this intergenerational trauma through language revitalization. Ella sets to study at a university in Oregon in hopes of better preserving these languages. 

If more information on this topic Native woman-led organization that serves Indigenous survivors of domestic and sexual violence,  Native women wilderness, Assembly of first nations. Learning three languages