Find Missing Women of Color

Target: Ms. Muriel E. Bowser, Mayor of Washington D.C.

Goal: Launch a large task force to address the disappearance of black and Latina girls and work on its reasons.

Cases of missing black and Latina girls have not been receiving enough attention from Washington D.C. authorities. Rallies have recently been held in the city to demand that the police and the city administration seriously approach complaints of missing girls of color, without simply dismissing those kids as errands, runaways, or trouble-makers. Though the reports of missing children have declined over the past year, black and brown kids and teens are a persistently vulnerable population that remain off the radar of public officials and the media. Addressing the disappearance of black and Latina girls and working on the reasons for why they go missing is addressing the racial divide in a city increasingly hit by tension.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 35 percent of the missing children and teenagers in the country are black, and almost 20 percent are Latino, which makes up more than half of the nationally missing youth. All the open cases of missing young people in Washington D.C. involve minority victims, and half of the cases are of black and brown girls. Community organizers and human rights advocates based in Washington D.C. accuse the police and other authorities of a “blame the victim” mentality, telling families to take better care of their daughters/relatives or delaying the investigation of recurring cases. Organizers and advocates also complain that missing black and Latina girls do not receive the same solidarity and sympathy offered to missing white kids.

It is easy to dismiss the #MissingDCGirls campaign as a social media cacophony and belittle the problem by presenting cold statistics and statements claiming that there is nothing out of the ordinary in Washington D.C. However, doing that is turning a blind eye to the fact that even when a girl returns to her house, she may still be in danger. Besides cases of abduction and sex trafficking, events of runaway kids and teens or the revolving door of going home and leaving home are also strong signs of abusive households or social and economic vulnerability. That is why a task force should be launched, and it should encompass welfare and counseling services as well. It is not only a matter of finding black and Latina girls, but also guaranteeing their safety in a hostile city. Sign the petition to demand that these girls are forgotten no longer.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Bowser,

It is critical that the public outcry around the cases of lost black and Latina girls is not taken as a social media cacophony or dismissed as an ordinary situation. Girls of color are the highest contingent of missing young people in your city and nationwide, black and brown children and teenagers make up more than half of the missing young people population.

I demand the launch of a large task force that addresses the disappearance of young girls of color and locates their whereabouts. It is crucial that the reasons for the relatively high rates of missing black and brown girls in an extremely racially divided city are considered and solved. These girls should be forgotten no longer.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Johnny Silvercloud

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2 Comments

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    latina? mexicans are not latinas, they’re part of the nican tlaca race according to mexica movement. if you want more information, please go to http://www.mexica-movement.org

  2. It’s unconscionable that the disappearances of these girls are being treated in such a callous and coldhearted manner by law enforcement.
    A similar thing is happening here in Canada with the disappearance of “way more than 1200” – according to a government official – aboriginal women, as well as other people. The police just DON’T give a care at all.
    There are murderers, kidnappers and sex-traffickers actively committing horrendous crimes against thousands of girls and women, and boys and men as well, and law enforcement and other government agencies are hardly doing anything. This is an absolute OUTRAGE.

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