As the disappearance and confirmed murder of Gabby Petito has grabbed headlines, many observers have pointed to the thousands of other cases — many of them women of color — that have never garnered national attention, with some referring back to the term coined by the late Gwen Ifill: "Missing White Woman Syndrome."
Jim Braude was joined on Greater Boston by Raquel Halsey, the executive director of the North American Indian Center of Boston, and Daily Beast Editor-At-Large Molly Jong-Fast, who wrote a piece this week called “What Gabby Petito’s Case Says About Cops — and Us.”
Halsey said that Native American families must often step in to support missing women and their families in her community if the police and media fail to help. “It’s an immeasurable amount of pain that we hear about from centers like mine and across the country — there’s a lack of awareness around who we are and the fact that we exist,” she said.
Jong-Fast said shas been struck by the police’s inability to address domestic violence — and reflected on how the case went viral on social media. “The Gabby Petito didn’t start in newsrooms — it started on the Internet,” she said. “The cause there is the culture that prizes beautiful very thin white women. But I also think it’s a culture that prizes a certain kind of Internet celebrity… I think those two things together created a sensation. But it’s an extremely good opportunity for us to say, we should be looking at all these other women who have disappeared.”
WATCH: Gabby Petito, ‘Missing White Woman Syndrome,’ and the role of the media