#MissingDCGirls: To be Young, Black and Missing

55 years later and the words of Malcolm X still ring frightfully true.

“The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.”

Of course black girls and women are magic but we are also vulnerable prey to some of the worst life has to offer. Across our nation thousands of black girls and women are missing. Some come from broken homes. Some are runaways. Some are mentally ill. Some are taken by family members. Some were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. All are people.

After months of limited news coverage and with all eyes now turned to our nation’s capital, people are finally demanding that officials find the #MissingDCGirls. More than a hashtag, the string of missing teenager cases, mainly black and Latino teens, has recently generated public outrage, and rightfully so. Our children are missing and for three months the world didn’t care, or simply didn’t know.

 

D.C Police Youth and Family Services Division commander Chanel Dickerson said in an interview that the phenomenon is not new, and that the press and social media have brought the issue to national attention. Fader reports:

“A large number of our cases are runaways and I am concerned because while they are missing, they’re without parental guidance, absent from school, and at risk of victimization,” Dickerson said.

The disparity in coverage in missing persons of color has sparked national outrage on social media. Black members of Congress also sent a letter asking the Justice Department and FBI for help locating the missing [teens] on Tuesday, calling to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.”

I wonder when the world will care about black girls. When more than just a handful of the country will realize our children deserve the right to be great. The right to be happy. The right to live in innocence. The right to have that “I ain’t go worries except for being on time for the neighborhood Double-Dutch match after school” type of swag. The right to be educated. The right attend a high school dance. The right to crush on the school quarterback. The right to talk on the phone to some big-headed boy all night. The right to come into their awesomeness and sprinkle their own, unique mix of #BlackGirlMagic on the world. THE RIGHT TO FREAKING LIVE.

It’s time to turn anger into action and bring our children home. One child missing is one too many, and 22 missing within a three month time span is both startling and saddening.

#FindOurGirls

If you have any information regarding the missing teens, contact the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099.

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