Saturday, August 16, 2008

'We want our kids back, too'

From Racialicious:
Black children are disposable expectations.

Black girls are expected to become mothers too soon. Black kids are expected to be dead too soon. Black boys are expected to become criminals. Black students are expected to dropout of school. Black youth are expected to grow into the lesser-thans that we fear and secretly prefer they become.

When people have those sorts of expectations of you, an attitude of disposability follows. It has to...

...I’ve lost track of the number of black girls and boys under 21 that got abducted, vanished, or killed. I’ve lost track of the number of mothers, husbands, and children that have screamed for help from police and media and other communities only to be ignored. Outside of our blocks and neighborhoods no one cares.

Simultaneously, I’ve lost track of the white kids and white women from seemingly 8-80 that receive local, regional, national and even international attention when they are missing, molested, harmed or who aren’t allowed fulfill their “expectations.”

Everything from runaway brides to vacationing coeds to murdered military moms to snatched up toddlers and housewives. Be they rich, poor, rural, suburban or city, missing white women and white teens are valued. They are cherished. When violence befalls them it is “news”. It is a surprise that it happened to them—where they live. Theirs are the tragedies that must be covered. They are the victimized who must be championed. Their families are the ones deserving of justice and closure. Their families cannot be left to cope alone. They are the lost that must be found.

Nancy Grace doesn’t have an aneurysm on camera when LaToya goes missing. Dan Abrams doesn’t get outraged when Marcus or Jamar vanishes. Katie Couric and Barabara Walters don’t break down in tears when kids from South Central are murdered. Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann don’t interrupt your program when Jaunita is found chopped up into pieces. Magazines and newspapers aren’t tracking those cases. They’re just not news enough or “human interest” enough for all of that...

These kinds of hypocrisies and disparities drove me to look for ways to help. That’s how I discovered great child advocacy sites like Missing Minorities, What About Our Daughters? and Black And Missing. Since I used to write ads for a living, I figured I could do something they could use—and the We Want Our Kids Back, Too campaign was born.

We Want Our Kids Back, Too is a viral web campaign that combines picks of missing and endangered children of color (Black, Hispanic, Asian, mixed race/multicultural, etc.) with commentary challenging all to consider disparities in coverage, outrage and concern. Each ad highlights a different child/teen and reminds us that they are just as human just as “all-american” as Jesse Davis, Natalee Holloway, Elizabeth Smart and all the rest who receive so much focus. The ads also encourage us all to do better about giving all children a fighting chance for safe recovery regardless of ethnicity and background.

Please visit where you’ll find all sorts of fresh ads to grab and spread around and re-post. You can also find them at

Note: Posters are being updated and added frequently, as there is no shortage of missing kids of color and no shortage of parents, relatives and friends who want their safe recovery. So check back often and take the posters and spread them around as you see fit.

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