Monday, September 10, 2007

The Curious Case of The Missing Black Male College Student

If you've followed this site for any period of time, you know it really pisses me off that when black people go missing, the media attention is seldom (never?) as broad as it is for missing whites. Case after case has proven this bias. Chandra Levy. Jessie Davis. Elizabeth Smart.

So what other conclusion am I to make when a black male college student goes missing on a road I travel everyday and I only hear about it when he's found?

A college student who was missing for more than a week before he was found on the side of a Prince George's County [MD] road Saturday is in good condition at a hospital, but his brother said yesterday that family members won't coax him for details about what happened until he has recovered.

Julian McCormick, 18, disappeared Sept. 1 after he left Bowie State University, where he is a first-year student, en route to his girlfriend's dorm at the University of Maryland in College Park. He never showed up, and his family and friends began a massive search that ended about 6 p.m. Saturday when a passenger in a car noticed him lying next to a guardrail near Powder Mill and Soil Conservation roads, close to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near Beltsville.

McCormick's Honda Civic was found upside down in a deep creek bed that runs under the road where he was found. His father, James McCormick told reporters Saturday that it took his son more than a week to force open the driver's side door and escape. Authorities have not revealed the extent of McCormick's injuries, and many questions remain about how the 6-foot, 175-pound student survived last week's potentially deadly heat without much food or water in a cramped front seat.
First and foremost, thank God that this brother didn't give up. Being trapped in a car at the bottom of a ravine, without food for an entire week, yet freeing yourself and living to tell about it is the ultimate in gully. This brother is truly blessed. He's the true definition of a "survivor".

But what does it say that in an area full of affluent blacks, in the media capitol (this is DC) of the free world, that a young man from a well-to-do family, without a jail record, who is in college, trying to better himself, barely registers a blip even on local media outlets, let alone national?

For the record, the local news did report on this story, but a 2 minute featurette isn't enough. I watch NBC-4 every evening, and read the Post daily, yet I didn't hear a word about this story until the guy was found.

I suspect this is perhaps just as much of an issue with the police than the media. The family immediately reported his absence to the authorities, but since he is over 18 and has no history of disappearance, the police would not classify him as a "critical missing person". What kinda bullsh*t is that? Common sense (to me at least) would dictate that such a person going missing would make this case critical. The fact that this occurred in a majority black, moderately affluent (PG County is the richest majority black enclave in the US) county makes the lack of police (and subsequent media) attention even more puzzling. PG Police Chief Melvin High was a lot of explaining to do. The family basically had to do much of the searching, and push for media attention on their own.

This whole story stinks. Considering the fact that I heard more about that missing BYU student last week than I kid lying face down in a creek just 10 miles from my house, I can't help but feel very, very sick to my stomach.

An maybe I'll consider getting that GPS chip implanted in AverageBaby's neck while he's still young. Reality is, if he turns up missing, I damn sure ain't gettin' any help finding him. He better find himself.

Father: Missing Student Was in Car Wreck [WaPost]

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