Something very serious is happening to Black women and girls all across America. A recent report on BlackAmericaWeb.com says that currently more than 75,000 girls have gone missing across the country! And according to the Black and Missing Foundation, 64,000 Black women and girls were missing nationwide in 2014. The National Crime Information Center, reported that there were 170,899 missing Black children under 18 in the United States in 2016, more than any other category except for the white/Hispanic – a combined number of 264,443.
What is happening to our children? Where are they, and why isn’t there a greater outcry about this situation? The girls seem to be of all ages, but many of them are at an age where they could be commodities for dark souls who are inclined to participate in their missing status possibly through sex trafficking. But this is just a guess.
One of the missing girls who has been missing for three years lived in the Washington, D.C. area. It is said that she lived in a homeless shelter and was last seen on camera in the company of a janitor, who later killed himself and his wife! The whereabouts of Renisha Rudd, this missing girl, are unknown, and many presume her dead.
Other missing cases have recently occurred, also in the D.C. area. Shaniah Boyd and Chareah Payne have gone missing, and there are many others from previous years. What is happening to these girls? In the case of D.C., according to BlackAmericaWeb.com, D.C. officials said that the majority of cases had been resolved with the exception of 5 percent, representing 37 girls and women. Of the 37, all were Black and Latina. This trend is not unique to D.C. Black women and girls represent about 7 percent of Americans, but over 35 percent of all missing person cases.
Black and Latina women and girls are not the only ones missing in America. But this problem is disproportionately affecting the Black and Brown communities. Some people are implying that there is a resurgence of slavery, or that the girls are snatched up for the sake of sex trafficking. Others point to the idea of organ harvesting as a motivation.
The truth of the matter is that until recently, no one seemed to care very much about the whereabouts of these women and girls except their families, or if they did, they didn’t know what to do about it. Fortunately, Chanel Dickerson, a commander of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, launched a Twitter hashtag #MissingDCGirls which gained a lot of traction on social media. As a result, a group of congresswomen has taken the lead in dealing with the crisis of missing Black and Brown women and girls. They have demanded that the FBI and the Justice Department dedicate funds and develop policies to address the problem.
How can communities of color fight this problem? One of the first things that we can do is to begin to value the lives of women and girls to a greater extent than what seems to be evident today. We can highlight how alleged sexual predators, from Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, and up to our president of the United States, have shown a disdain for them and let them know that we have their backs. Regarding the aforementioned, most of them are being held accountable now, but it took years for people to come to the realization that something must be done. This shows progress. Furthermore, we must initiate aggressive search campaigns around those who are missing. We must teach our children how to avoid strangers, strange places, and to stay clear of parked vehicles, especially vans, that could serve as an abduction scenario.
Finally, it must be said that some of those missing people, especially the teens, might be run-aways. This can’t be discounted. In this regard, we must encourage families to open lines of communication between our girls and family members so that they will be more willing to share their hopes and fears. We must teach our girls about pitfalls that might await them in the streets. We must reinforce our love for them up to the point that it serves as a barrier to any outside forces that might beckon them. We must encourage law enforcement and community residents to uplift the status of women and girls and to avoid taking them for granted. And we must let girls and women know that they are well thought of and exist in the womb of family and community protection. A Luta Continua.