Celebs are taking to social media to draw attention to a large number of black girls who have recently gone missing in Washington, D.C.
The city’s Metropolitan Police Department recently made headlines after it began publicizing missing person fliers on Twitter in an effort to locate the people faster. The new practice revealed that an alarming number of those missing are young black girls.
The Associated Press reported on Friday, March 24, that black members of Congress are calling on the FBI to investigate the large number of missing children in the capital of the United States. More than 500 cases of missing juveniles, many of them black or Latino, were logged by the Metropolitan Police Department in the first three months of 2017.
“Ten children of color went missing in our nation’s capital in a period of two weeks and at first garnered very little media attention. That’s deeply disturbing,” Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond wrote in a letter to the Justice Department, via the AP.
D.C. authorities countered that the number of missing persons has not increased in their jurisdiction. “We’ve just been posting them on social media more often,” Metropolitan Police spokesperson Rachel Reid told the AP.
Amid the confusion and outcry on social media, several celebrities have spoken out about the missing black girls. “It is deeply disturbing that the disappearance of dozens of young girls is ‘business as usual’ in our nation’s capital, my childhood home,” actress Olivia Wilde wrote on Instagram on Saturday, March 25.
“The response that these numbers aren’t any higher than normal should only make us more horrified,” she continued. “Kids of color have been unrecognized and uncared for by law enforcement, the education system (as a whole, not the heroic teachers working hard every day for far too little pay), and government in general, for far too long. It’s a deeply rooted issue, ingrained in our sadly flawed social fabric, but it is within our power to CHANGE IT. It starts with us demanding justice, demanding equal media coverage, and voting with vulnerable kids in mind, instead of dollar signs and fear.”
Beyoncé‘s mom, Tina Knowles Lawson, also took to Instagram to react to the news. “We must make some noise !! Why are we just hearing about this . Why is this not the number one topic in America right now?” she wrote. “Let’s tweet . Facebook , Instagram , call our local news media outlets let’s make some noise people! This has got to stop!❤❤This particular girl was found . There are conflicting stories but all of these girls are not runaways!!! Dont fall for that ! It is a well known fact that a missing person of color Black , Latin or other. does not get the media coverage eqaul [sic] to a missing white person. We must not buy soo [easily] the stories that these children are all runaways . We must keep reading , researching and educating ourselves on what happened to these precious children . Most of them have not been found. ❤”