Monday, June 25, 2007

Nobody Gives a @#*! About Black Women

Not that we didn't already know, but the media's fascination with missing white women only tends to underscore another point: it doesn't give a shit about black women.

To wit, in a search for yet more recent info about Stepha Henry, I only came across a several weeks old USA Today blog, bemoaning the fact that her story isn't being well covered. Blogger Mike Carney saved me the trouble of doing the saddening research:

Stepha Henry is still missing. But since yesterday, Google News has indexed just three stories that mention the 22-year-old black New Yorker who disappeared two weeks ago in Miami.

During the same period, the site found 525 stories that mentioned Kelsey Smith, the white girl who was kidnapped and killed in Kansas, and 6,581 news stories that mentioned "Paris Hilton," the celebrity who is famous for being famous. Even Natalee Holloway, the Alabama girl who went missing in Aruba two years ago, earned more mentions than Henry.
I should note that the blurb above was well before (June 12th) the Jessie Davis story grew legs, which pushed poor Stepha even further down the totem pole of public interest.

This, is of course sad, but nothing new. Similar developments of missing minority women have been raised during the media hailstorms of Natalee Holloway, Laci Peterson, and Elizabeth Smart. But in all cases, the focus was just as this USA Today blog: more about the cases being under reported than actually rectifying the issues by adequately reporting them. It's the consummate "treat the symptom, ignore the cause" type of knee-jerk journalism that perpetuates the feeling, valid or not, that major media outlets don't care about black women (word to Kanye), or black people in general.

Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that the few "black owned" media outlets that do exist haven't done any better of a job. BET actually has added a few somewhat credible "news" programs to their summer schedule, but since I never watch the channel, I couldn't tell you whether or not there was any coverage. TV One, which I frequent far more often, has been silent, which is pretty consistent with its' radio-based brethren, the music-centric Radio One (which I honestly don't listen to), and the talk-oriented Syndication One, which I practically have tuned in 24/7. If Cathy Hughes can't take a break from her celebrity butt-kissing (TV One on One) to help a missing sista, we've got trouble.

My favorite black web portal, doesn't have a single link to a Henry related story. Except for a small blurb on the BET site, which looked to have been an AP feed, this story has been practically non-existent in the BLACK-owned media.

How the hell can we be upset that Bill O'Reilly doesn't care about Shaniqua when our own folks don't give a shit either?

You still don't know about Stepha Henry ... [USA Today Blog]

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