Unveiling the Harsh Truth: The Ominous Neglect of Missing Black American Women by Media and Justice System

Wayne Ince
ZORA
Published in
4 min readSep 9, 2023

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Photo Credit: Author

In recent years, a disturbing trend has emerged, shedding light on the disproportionate lack of media attention and perceived indifference by law enforcement towards missing black American women. This unfortunate reality has raised questions about the role of racism in investigating crimes against Black Americans. By examining statistics, available FBI data, and historical context, it becomes evident that prejudice and systemic racism continue to adversely affect the search for missing black women. Why does the Media not provide equal reporting to minority victims?

Lack of Media Attention

Media coverage is pivotal in reaching a broader audience and aiding investigations regarding missing persons cases. Unfortunately, black American women who go missing receive significantly less media attention than their white counterparts. This disparity worsens an already dire situation and perpetuates the narrative that the lives of black women are deemed less valuable or newsworthy.

According to a Black and Missing Foundation study, nearly 40% of missing persons’ cases involved black individuals, yet they only comprised a mere 7% of media coverage. This staggering discrepancy indicates inherent bias within the media industry, contributing to public apathy and hindering the urgency needed to bring awareness and resolution to these cases.

Perceived Lack of Interest by Law Enforcement

Law enforcement often serves as the first line of defense in finding missing individuals. However, the experiences of many families indicate a perceived lack of interest from law enforcement agencies when black women go missing. This perceived indifference suggests that systemic racism may inhibit a severe and thorough investigation and deprive families of closure. In my state, the search continues for Cynthia Jean-Pierre a Florida resident. She has been missing since at least 2016. #missingblackwomen

FBI data shows that missing persons cases involving black Americans remain unsolved at a disproportionately high rate compared to cases involving white Americans. This alarming trend raises questions about whether biases within the criminal justice system potentially hinder investigations and subvert justice for black women. Our Girls sheds light on the alarming plight of missing black women. All missing people create a deep hole in families and loved ones who yearn to find their missing person. Why the lack of attention towards minorities and what role could racism probably play?

The Role of Racism in Investigating Crimes against Black Americans

Racism undoubtedly plays a significant role in investigating crimes against African Americans, including missing black women. Throughout history, countless instances of racial bias in law enforcement have been exposed, eroding trust and preventing marginalized communities from receiving equal protection under the law. Recently, Florida Governor Ron Desantis was booed by a black Air Force veteran during the governor’s intimate speech with constituents. The black Air Force veteran like many others who have served their country have been discharged or retired to return to a civilian world that sees their skin color rather than their humanity and honorable military service. The governor’s childlike response lacked empathy or accountability to address the racial issues; he simply yelled, dodged, and whined. He is not Presidential material but made of straw and dust smothered in disdain.

The 2012 case of Trayvon Martin and the more recent murders of George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor are just a few examples that highlight the systemic racism perpetuated within the criminal justice system. The public execution on a neighborhood Georgia street of Ahmaud Arbery that occurred on Feb 23, 2020, by three white men reminds us of how far we have to go to attain equality in justice. Victimization experienced by black Americans, including missing women, is shaped by this long-standing pattern of racial bias, leading to inadequate investigations, less comprehensive search efforts, and delayed justice.

The alarming lack of media attention and perceived indifference from law enforcement towards missing black American women is an issue that requires immediate attention. Racism continues to cast a shadow over investigating crimes against African Americans, hampering their chances of receiving the justice and resolution they deserve. Stop killing us Mr. Officer, a walk to the store or a drive home should not end our death. To rectify this, we must collectively address the systemic racism within the media and law enforcement, ensuring the equal treatment and protection of all individuals, regardless of race or ethnicity. Our indigenous, Latino, and Asian community suffer as we do. Only then can we hope to eradicate the disparities and create a more just society for everyone. Let’s come together and form a powerful force against social injustice and evil racists that threaten to divide and conquer us.

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Wayne Ince
ZORA

I write about social justice, mental health , politics, and marginalized communities. Editor of BreakingRanks. PHI THETA KAPPA