The Missing D.C. Girls have become a hot topic on social media, and have sparked public outrage.

A tweet gone viral exclaiming that over a dozen black young women have gone missing from Washington D.C. within the past several weeks has raised major anxiety and outrage from the general public. Until yesterday, no major news networks had reported on the missing teens, social media users being the first to catch wind of this apparent issue.

Today, news networks are addressing the trending hashtag #MissingDCGirls, and they are making every attempt to debunk the crazy viral theories that are currently floating around the internet, most of which are stemming from the recent reveal of Jordan Peele’s social thriller, Get Out. Which earned over 100M in the box office since it’s premiere, and has resonated exceptionally well with the black community.

According to official news networks Washington Police made a statement, and were careful to make it known that they are NOT down playing the number of missing persons cases they have on their plate, but apparently, the number of missing persons has actually decreased in comparison to the same time last year and there is no evidence to support the theory of a sex trafficking ring.

While this may be true, we still have a very real issue at hand to deal with. That issue being, racial injustice. Why is it that it seems no more effort other than pushing out 140 characters of a tweet is being made by the police force to find these missing children. No Amber Alerts, no press conferences, no media coverage. Nothing. Nothing but a tweet by the police department. Productive? Yet I, as well as most of the rest of the world, am pretty willing to bet that if these teenagers were privileged white young women that their faces would be spanning news networks not only city wide, and state wide, but more than likely nation wide. Not to mention that if the same pattern was occuring (the high number of abductions in a short period of time in the same location) instead with white teenagers, you bet your ass the FBI would have been notified a lot sooner!  This is a HUGE problem.

Missing persons who are people of color are often written off as runaways, or delinquents, therefore not much attention is given to their cases by police forces, leading to a lack of media attention. Casey Anthony, Natalie Holloway, Lacie Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, do those names ring a bell? I’m sure they do. Those are just a few examples of missing persons cases that have gone not only nation wide by international. These cases were shoved down our throats by the media. I was only 10 years old when Natalie Holloway went missing in Aruba, and I clearly remember the constant media coverage, and details of the case. Yet, I bet you have never heard of Relisha Rudd. I hadn’t. Relisha Rudd went missing 3 years ago from a homeless shelter, while the police and FBI believed they knew her killer, they were unable to find her body. The search went on for months, and years later, her case was even reopened. Yet, I cannot recall any news coverage of this case, and I’ve never even heard the name Relisha Rudd before. Did I mention this young girl is black, and she was living in a homeless shelter? A far cry from a middle class white girl like Natalie Holloway.

Though there is no sex traffic ring in the works, or a group of psychotic white people kidnapping black folk for brain transplants, the lack of attention to these cases is still an issue society needs to address. However please be rest assured that the number of teen girls who have gone missing in Washington D.C. recently was grossly over exaggerated by social media. Since the beginning of 2017, 501 missing persons cases have been opened in D.C. of those only 22 cases are currently still open.

Washington police have reported that they will be taking the initiative to assign more officers to these open missing persons cases, as well as grow their missing persons website in order to bring more attention to the cases. While this is a step in the right direction, a lot of progess needs to be made. The missing D.C. girls phenomenon has been eye opening to our nation, and we will continue the cry for equality.

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