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Author Topic: Missing White Female Alert  (Read 12778 times)

_BP_

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Missing White Female Alert
« on: June 05, 2005, 11:23:04 AM »
By Roland S. Martin

When news reports first surfaced that Jennifer Wilbanks went missing after going for a run just days before her wedding day, it took me a quick second to conclude that this should be filed under the category, MWW, which stands for Missing White Woman.

Got a problem with that? If so, when was the last time the cable networks rushed to air the reports of a black, Hispanic or Asian woman who came up missing? Wilbanks, Laci Peterson and Lori Hacking are three women who have nothing in common, other than the media taking their local stories and putting them on the national stage. Oh, yeah, they also are three white women.

Many of my colleagues have had to answer these questions. Some have said they can't explain how the Laci Peterson saga turned into must-know TV. The usual answers were beautiful pregnant woman, handsome husband who had an affair, and all kinds of twists and turns. As for Wilbanks, she was a bride-to-be who went out running and placed a frantic 9-1-1 call saying she was abducted. Presto! That's the magic formula for getting in the national news cycle.

In the case of Hacking and Peterson, these women ended up dead, and it's not my intention to trivialize their deaths. But it is important for us to ask: Why them and not others?

Part of this has to do with the fact that many of the media decision-makers are white men who somehow relate to these women as being their wives, daughters or sisters.

It is simply the reality that white media executives, based on their view of the world, react differently to the cases of whites than minorities.

This continuing problem demands that FOX, CNN, MSNBC and the other networks examine how they cover such stories and really get at the heart of the issue. In no way is this fair and balanced coverage.
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blk_reign

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2005, 11:32:47 AM »
Definitely an interesting article... the only time that you actually hear about black women and children missing is through snail mail..and even then it's after a digital image has been produced to age the missing victim..

We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

twarga

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2005, 11:34:41 AM »
I thought Lori Hacking was hispanic, married to a big, dumb, white guy.
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jdw112

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2005, 11:39:32 AM »
As an aside, I think there is some truth to it. However, it is a double edged sword. The same white-sympathetic media absolutely torture the white men who are associated with many of these cases. Still, the lack of attention to the minorities in similar situations isn't surpising.

twarga

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2005, 11:42:45 AM »
Hey!  No fair!  What about Michael Jackson?  Oh yeah, he's a white female, too.   :-\
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_BP_

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2005, 11:43:39 AM »
I thought Lori Hacking was hispanic, married to a big, dumb, white guy.

I'm not sure if she was.  Even so, she looked white, that's enough.

Elizabeth Smarts, Chandra Levy (there was more involved, but still), daymn who am I missing?

Anyhow, here is the current media darling:

Natalee Holloway

http://premium.cnn.com/2005/US/06/03/missing.student.ap/
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twarga

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2005, 11:47:28 AM »
Oh, come on.  You GOTTA feel sorry for poor Elizabeth Smart.  The ick factor on that one is sky high!  And you forgot to mention Jon Benet Ramsey... just being helpful.
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_BP_

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2005, 11:51:37 AM »
Oh, come on.  You GOTTA feel sorry for poor Elizabeth Smart.  The ick factor on that one is sky high!  And you forgot to mention Jon Benet Ramsey... just being helpful.


Oh, don't get me wrong, I feel sorry for all of them.  I don't want to see anybody kidnapped, missing, murdered.  It's just the discrepency in attention that's bothering, like if black lives are just not worth as much.
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dbgirl

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2005, 11:51:51 AM »
BP I understand and I agree with that article,
but I feel sorry for anyone whose has a missing family member, of any race. The publicity does not bother me.
If my daughter were missing I would seek as much media attention
as possible.
When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

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jdw112

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Re: Missing White Female Alert
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2005, 11:53:35 AM »
I don't know if the same standards apply when it comes to children. I feel like I have been seeing more reports concerning minority children than ever before. This isn't to say that an imbalance doesn't exist, but it is likely being corrected. Maybe the whole amber alert thing is increasing visibility.