This is a brief commentary on the merits of exposing via print and finally televising missing African-Americans and other minorities in this country (see above trailer) on a consistent basis. For months now, I've featured The Black and Missing Foundation link on my sidebar whose mission is 'to provide an equal opportunity for ALL missing.' This is a non-profit organization which has about the most informative website that I've viewed with photos and a synopsis of the missing across the nation and the format is user friendly. They feature closed cases and provide updates of those cases that have been solved.
It's no secret that the mainstream media is quite selective in how they determine those cases worthy of exposure and it's also quite evident that those who look like an Elizabeth Smart or a Caylee Anthony are recognized more than a 'LaShonda' or a 'DeMarcus.' With that said, in all fairness, Nancy Grace's program has featured in the past--some children and adults of color. The gravity of the situation, however, requires expanded coverage and viewership.
|Photo Credit: 2012 Getty Images|
In steps--S. Epatha Merkerson, host of TV One's 'Find Our Missing', a weekly series with enactments and the story behind the missing persons featured for that episode. What will be shocking for many viewers is this pattern of lackadaisical responses by local police when these cases are reported. The small window of time that we hear about constantly-- is very important in missing person cases and is virtually ignored by many precincts. As a consequence, an exceptional number of missing person cases in many of our communities are closed. This fact and other exclusionary tactics by mainstream media became painfully clear when 'The View' had Chris Cuomo and S. Epatha Merkerson on to discuss this issue and the program she's hosting.
This is overdue, yet, it's here and it behooves all of us to watch and support this effort to pick up the slack on reporting and becoming more conscientious about the missing and their families. I was quite taken at the end of one segment when Ayanna Patterson the mother of Alexis Patterson, age 7 who went missing in 2002 hugged Ms. Merkerson after she spoke of the anguish over the circumstances of her daughter's unsolved case . The manner of her embrace reminded me of the spirit and meaning of 'Holding On.' At last, Mrs. Patterson and other families of the missing are being heard and their resolve to not give up and to hold on until they've had some resolution has warranted wide scale recognition.