Living under the new Black Lives Matter dictatorship apparently means that white women who go missing need to check their privilege.
Following some national media interest in the disappearance of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, some leftists in that same media (along with some guilty consciences) microwaved the “missing white woman syndrome” grievance, the complaint that white women and girls who inexplicably disappear are given outsize attention relative to similar cases with ethnic minorities.
“The obsessive fascination with missing white women also leads to a slanting in sympathies,” New York Times leftist Charles Blow wrote Wednesday. “All missing-persons stories are human tragedies, and because we are all human we empathize with the people we see. But this also erases the trauma of other missing people, as if nonwhite people never go missing, when they absolutely do.”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid said Monday, “Why not the same media attention when people of color go missing? Well, the answer actually has a name: Missing White Woman Syndrome.”
Sure, without reading into the hearts of TV news producers, it’s probably a safe guess that at least part of the reason Petito has been covered so widely is that she’s an attractive, young woman who we now know is dead, a scenario that has tugged at the heartstrings for centuries.
It’s also true, though, that nothing was stopping the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC or any of the networks from covering missing-persons cases that involve minority victims. If it’s discriminatory not to cover them, we know who’s to blame.
In any event, there are elements to the Petito case outside of demographics that lend themselves to intrigue, such as that her fiance, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, had been with her before she disappeared but was safe and sound with his own family, ignoring phone calls from her parents who were looking for her.
Police knew where he was and did not take him into custody for questioning. Then he disappeared, and his parents declined to answer any questions from the media and police on the matter.
Regardless of race, the circumstances are inherently unusual and interesting. In addition, there was captivating police footage of a traffic stop prior to Petito’s disappearance that showed her in deep distress, apparently having been in a fight with Laundrie, who in that same video was very calm.
All of it is strange without Petito happening to be white. But so long as we’re talking about race, let’s not pretend that the national media are immune to homing in on specific stories precisely because a victim involved is black.
Recall the coverage for months on end in 2020 and into 2021 related to a Minneapolis man who died with a potent mix of drugs in his system during an altercation with police. There wasn’t even a gun involved in that one, but video of the incident played for hours on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the rest. Major newspapers wrote editorials against police brutality and the supposedly pervasive systemic racism that touches every corner of America.
Would that have happened had George Floyd been white? Of course not. Hunter Brittain, a 17-year-old white kid in Arkansas, was shot dead by a cop this summer despite being unarmed and there being no evidence that he did anything to provoke the officer.
There have been no front-page stories in the national papers about that one. The cop who shot Brittain was charged just this week with manslaughter. You probably hadn’t heard a word about it.
The media would justify their emphasis on Floyd’s race by arguing that it represented the rampant “systemic racism” in policing, but that’s a myth they themselves created. Choosing to reinforce it with some random, albeit tragic incident doesn’t prove their own preferred narrative, which has time and time again demonstrated to be false. (It was highly useful in drumming up outrage from the left in order to win an election, though!)
You could convince me there’s too much national attention given to any one white woman or girl who goes missing. But don’t tell me there aren’t other stories with black victims that get the exact same treatment, if not even more so.