MSNBC calls out “media’s obsession” with missing white women

Joy Reid dismisses interest in Gabby Petito as ‘missing white woman syndrome’

Joy Reid last night labelled the phenomenon “missing white woman syndrome”, whereby missing people from Black or Indigenous communities are frequently unreported.

She was joined by campaigner Derrica Wilson, who claimed that “nobody is looking” for people, citing the case of Daniel Robinson, a missing young Black man whose father had to hire a private investigator instead of relying on local police and media coverage to help find him.

We have been sounding the alarm for nearly 14 years…when it comes to missing persons of color – men, women, and children – our cases are not taken seriously and nobody is looking for us if we were to go missing.

“The way this story captivated the nation has many wondering, why not the same media attention when people of colour go missing?” the host of ReidOut on MSNBC said.

“Well, the answer actually has a name: Missing White Woman Syndrome – the term coined by the late and great Gwen Ifill to describe the media and public fascination with missing White women like Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway, while ignoring cases involving people of colour.”

“I never heard of it until this friend of mine sent it to me. And I guess, that’s the issue, isn’t it?” Ms Reid said during a panel discussion.

Panelist Derrica Wilson of Black and Missing Foundation agreed and said, “It is definitely the issue.” Cases where people of colour, men, women and children go missing are not taken seriously, Ms Wilson said.

Systematic failure to counter racism is one of the reasons for such a discrimination in crimes, said panelist Lynette Grey Bull of the Not Our Native Daughters Foundation.

“One of the main factors and one of the key factors that a lot of people don’t want to talk about is that it’s racism. It’s systemic racism,” said Ms Bull.