Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Latoyia Figueroa: not white, not found, not covered on CNN or MSNBC

Less than a month ago, Brandon expressed his frustration about the tragedy of missing persons and the disproportionate media coverage when white females are the victims of murder/kidnapping (and even "Runaway Bride" Jennifer Wilbanks, even after it was revealed she was only the victim of parental overindulgence to the point she was incapable of making rational decisions in the face of stress)
"The news media tells stories about victims that are 'likable.'[sic] Particularly, police departments and news agencies go 'ape' when a white woman goes missing. Jean [sic] Benet Ramsey, Lacy [sic] Peterson, and now Natalee Holloway just to name a few. These white women are our highest priorities. However, the black woman looking for her sister has to repeatedly contact news agencies in the hopes of generating enough buzz so as to attempt to arouse public interest in finding her family member."
Now I do not mean to minimize the pain of the victims/families of victims like Laci Peterson, Natalee Holloway, etc., but why is it that the news coverage focuses so much on the helpless white females who are missing? FBI statistics show [emphasis added]
men are slightly more likely than women to be reported as missing, and that blacks make up a disproportionately large segment of the victims. As of May 1, there were 25,389 men in the FBI's database of active missing persons cases, and 22,200 cases of women. Blacks accounted for 13,860 cases, vs. 29,383 whites
Case in point: 24-year old Tamika Huston has been missing since the end of May/beginning of June 2004 - her disappearance never received the media attention that was afforded Elizabeth Smart, Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway. Tamika is no less beautiful* than they, nor was her disappearance any less compelling but she certainly isn't the household name the others are (Huston's disappearance was eventually covered by NPR, Fox, USA Today & America's Most Wanted).

More recently (and locally for me), 24-year old Latoyia Figueroa disappeared a little over a week ago. She, too, is no less attractive than the previously mentioned females and her story is as, if not more, compelling as she has a 7-year old daughter and is 5 months pregnant with her second child. Sadly, I haven't noticed any coverage of her disappearance on MSNBC's Abrams Report (Abrams covers the missing folks with a degree of attachment that makes you wonder if he's going to have to retire before he has children of his own lest he break down crying mid-show) and there's apparently been no coverage by CNN's Nancy Grace either.

Since Nancy Grace has already received a letter from Richard at ASZ (I clicked on the contact link so I could chime to request she cover Latoyia's disappearance as well), I also sent a (poorly written) email to MSNBC's Abrams Report which included a copy of Richard's letter to Grace and link to the post at The All Spin Zone.

This is Latoyia:

She hasn't been seen since July 18 around 3-3:30 when she left her boyfriend's house to pick up her 7-year old daughter. Her family needs all the help they can get to find her and her disappearance deserves better coverage than the WWWA has provided.

ASZ has established a reward fund in conjunction with the Philly Citizen's Crime Commission for information on Latoyia.

* in referencing physical beauty I am in no way suggesting that less attractive people should be considered less worthy (especially since I fall in that category)

Tags: ; ; ; ; ; ;
; ; with ;

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: