I will admit I am woefully out of touch with what's going on in the blogosphere. I've not been under 500+ articles in my Google Reader for over a month and when I do have time to read I rarely feel the pull to write. I guess that's just the life of a student. But when I was emailed this story recently, and was able to read it, I knew it was something I wanted to highlight, so while I'm not going to add much commentary... do I need to? What's happening here seems pretty clear, and it's been commented on many times before (especially by blogs like What About Our Daughters?), but I'll say it again just in case it's new to you, dear reader: the media only jumps on stories of missing white women. If you're a woman of color, you are apparently not missed. The continued media silence on the possible serial killer(s) in Cuidad Juarez show this all too clearly; hundreds of woman disappearing or dead and almost nothing said. And here it is again, multiple murders, clearly connected, and not a peep.
Read the full story here, excerpts below.
Ten women have been found slain or have been declared missing in Rocky Mount, N.C., in recent years. But the rest of the country hasn't heard about a possible serial killer stalking the young women in this Southern town of 60,000. The latest victim, Elizabeth Jane Smallwood, was identified on Oct. 12. Why have the Rocky Mount homicides been largely ignored?
"When you think about the famous missing-person cases over the last few years it's Chandra Levy, Natalee Holloway, and Laci Peterson," notes Sam Sommers, associate professor of psychology at Tufts University. All these women had a few things in common—they were white, educated, and came from middle-class families. The victims in Rocky Mount—which residents describe as a "typical Southern town," and is about 40 percent white and more than 50 percent black—were different. They were all African-American, many were poor, and some had criminal histories including drug abuse and prostitution.
"If it was someone of a different race, things would have been dealt with the first time around; it wouldn't have taken the fifth or sixth person to be murdered," says Andre Knight, a city-council member and president of the local NAACP chapter. "All these women knew each other and lived in the same neighborhood; this is the sign of a potential serial killer. When it didn't get the kind of attention it needed, it made the African-American community frustrated."
But the national media did show some interest in the story after it was revealed that five women were murdered in or around the town. "Nancy Grace called and wanted to have some of us on her show, but before it aired there was a white woman from Georgia that went missing. The Nancy Grace show was canceled," Knight says. HLN network, which broadcasts Nancy Grace, confirmed that Knight was booked for the show, which was ultimately canceled to profile the disappearance of Kristi Cornwell, a white woman from Blairsville, Ga., who went missing during an evening walk.