When missing woman Gabby Petito made national news, I saw a bunch of posts on social media about women of color also going missing. But I didn’t get why they weren’t receiving the same attention.
Petito was a young white woman reported missing in September 2021. And after gaining major media coverage, her body was found.
Recently, I learned about the term “missing white woman syndrome.” It describes the disparity of media coverage of missing white women over missing people of color.
So as a young Black girl, I find myself asking, “If I go missing, would my story be heard? Would people care?”
There were around 65 thousand cases of missing children in California in 2020 alone. Seeing the way people and media rallied together to search for Petito — I want that for young Black, Indigenous and people of color.
Is it too much to ask for people to see our humanity — as people “deserving” of coverage? I hope we can learn from how huge this case became. Because we can do better for the next person of color who needs our help.