Missing Black and Brown Girls and the Double Standard

Written by on 23 March 2017

“Be careful out there because if something happens to you, they’re not gonna look for you,” is something hard to fathom to say to a child, but the reality proves it to be quite valid. It just came to the public’s vision about the number of missing black girls in Washington, D.C. Sadly, this is nothing new and indicative of a wider injustice of the entire American legal system.

It’s no coincidence that black and brown girls simply don’t get the extensive media coverage that young white girls get — it just further highlights the disparity of this country when it comes to racial issues. While the blond, blue-eyed variety dominates headlines, the dark hair, brown-eyed girls are usually blatantly ignored.

Do these girls have so much less value that they can’t even make the evening news? Are they so unimportant that resources aren’t deployed to find them? For a media that’s often described as liberal, when it comes to missing black and brown girls, this hardly seems to be the case. There’s a glaring double standard that needs to be addressed immediately before we lose any more girls.

First, our girls need to be taught that they are just as valued as any other group. No matter what the world around tells them, they need to be shown they have true worth. We need to give them the spaces to talk and discuss matters that are bothering them, openly and honestly. And, if unfortunately, any of our girls go missing, we need to make it a community effort to organize search parties, get the word out, be on the lookout. After all, if we don’t look out for ourselves, who will?

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