The focus on Gabby Petito highlights the silence on missing Black people
I haven’t talked much about Gabby Petito, a young woman whose story has dominated the news cycle for days. Petito went missing during a trip with her fiancé, who returned home without her, and claimed he didn’t know what happened. Eventually the fiancé stopped talking to police, and then he went missing himself, and now the story has reached an inevitable and tragic turn. Police have found what looks like Petito’s body in a national forest in Wyoming.
My prayer is that they find the fiancé, and he tells what he knows about what happened to Gabby Petito. My prayer is that her family finds peace. But I have one more prayer beyond that. I pray that the Black women and girls who go missing in America get half the coverage that Petito and other white women have received. Because if they do, their cases will be solved. Their locations will be known. Their lives will be saved.
I know it’s uncomfortable to talk about the fact that the media only cares when the missing are blond haired women. But more people go missing than Elizabeth Smart and Natalee Holloway. They don’t all look like Jayme Closs of Gabby Petito.
Black people go missing, too. And they have names. Pierra Price was 15 when she went missing in Chicago in 2014. She was last seen wearing a light blue shirt, khaki school uniform pants and carrying a book bag. Diamond and Tionda Bradley were 3 and 10 years old when they went missing in 2001. Their aunt is still searching for them. La’tyrien Gray went missing in Memphis in 2001. She was wearing a pink hoodie at the time.