Sunday, February 24, 2008

Natalee Holloway is not a Black Woman

You would have to be dead or a castaway on a deserted island not to know that Natalee Holloway is the high school teenager who disappeared almost three years ago while in Aruba on a graduation trip. Although no one has ever been convicted and her body has never been found her story continues to be the stuff “news” stories are made of. Just last night NBC Dateline dedicated their sixty minutes to her disappearance and new evidence in the case. I watched the entire show and it ended without one iota of new evidence. So why was there an hour dedicated to a three year old story with no new or even compelling information? Because Natalee Holloway is not a Black woman.

Of course, you have probably seen the now famous graduation photo of her; smiling, youthful and with blonde hair cascading down her shoulders. But that’s just one way that you can tell that Natalee Holloway is not a Black woman. Here’s another, when it was reported that she had disappeared on May 30, 2005 not only did Aruban investigators participate in the search, there were also FBI agents, specially equipped Dutch soldiers and Dutch F-16’s. The latter being a multi-million dollar jet fighter primarily used by the United States, Turkish, Israeli and Egyptian Air Forces. When was the last time a Black Woman was reported missing on prime time TV and/or received heavy news coverage for months following the incident let alone had F-16’s dispatched?

When Latoiya Figueroa (deceased) a five month pregnant mother from Philadelphia went missing on July 18, 2005 there was no media coverage. It took pressure from her family and the blogging community to force mainstream media outlets to cover her story. Ms. Figueroa disappeared about six weeks after Natalee Holloway and was pregnant. That’s just the type of story that generally spreads like wild fire through the media. Remember, Lacey Peterson? But these are not just indicators of race, they also speak about class. The town that the Holloway’s reside in is Mountain Brook, Alabama which has a 98% White population, mean family income of $315, 500 and in 2002 was the 17th richest city in the United States. So the Holloway family had the resources and the power to make their daughter’s disappearance an issue. For the many Black women and girls who are missing, and the ones who will go missing this year, race and class will play a greater role than justice.

To find out more about missing Black women and children go to: where you can also sign a petition to force more media coverage on disappearances of Black women.

-Adisa Vera Beatty

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The artice is very well written, with concrete back ground information.