Thursday, April 23, 2009

Missing Children Statistics

I've wondered this for a long time - do white children go missing more than other ethnicities, or do we just care more?

First of all, don't misunderstand me - it is a tragedy when a white child goes missing. I'm not arguing that fact. But it is a tragedy when ANY child goes missing. And there are a lot of other kids that aren't being featured.

I've been wondering this for some time and just found some articles on it. There are some examples of black kids who have gone missing and not gotten much attention here. More statistics here. And a blog post about it here.

Thanks to one of my readers who pointed out the blog "Black and Missing."

I think there are two things going on here. First of all, minority children are assumed to be living in more dangerous areas, so it's less surprising when something happens to them. Second, all children are not valued in the same way. Sure, we would all say that every child is worthwhile and has the same inherent value. But if this were actually true, we wouldn't have such a discrepancy in education, health care, and other services between white and minority children. We just wouldn't put up with it.

I'd love to hear thoughts - what will it take to actually have us value all children equally? And for us to see it as a tragedy when something happens to any child, not just a child that looks like us?

4 comments:

meloukhia said...

I was actually really surprised when I saw that post on Sociological Images, because I was under the impression that it's pretty common knowledge that missing children of color do not get as much attention as white children. As you said, any missing/abused child is a tragedy, no matter what the child's race is, but missing children of color seem to get a pretty rum deal from the system that is supposed to be protecting them.

I think that the only way to get people to value all children equally is to get people to value all people equally.

justducky said...

A nonaesthetic monument stands at the Sonoma/Marin border. Faded, childish fake flowers and a resin angel mark the place, but try to take it down, even if it's on private property, and back up it goes. Georgia, 12, looking older, Black, young, tossed around from home to home may have run away. Is that an excuse to allow the friendly young man to end her life and leave her body? And why is he not tracked down!?

Eddy E said...

There's a term for something very similar to your observations. Check out this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_white_woman_syndrome

Anonymous said...

It's the news media that makes the decision on who gets viewed most. Not normal everyday citizens. So if they are not showing your child enough than the parent needs to complain to the news channels. The more the parents complain the more news their child gets.