The invisible woman
For there to be over 64,000 black women, since 2014, to have gone missing in #America and for it not be a big topic of discussion on the lips of the majority of the bigger news organisations is criminal.
Sojourner truth asked, over 150 years ago, "Ain't I a woman?" And I still have to ask the same question in 2017.There are no marches for the missing black women of America. They have this magical power of invisibility. It seems we only matter to the feminist movement when they want our numbers, but where is our support for the oppression that we face as black women? We only matter to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a movement that is very necessary for its entirety but unfortunately, fails to protect the women who are the backbone of its operation. The women who- by fighting, squaring-up to police, and protecting their men against police brutality- make the movement what it is.
On every level, black women are being failed- knowingly or not. We are made to take the passenger seat and support everybody else's progression because we fight racial oppression and gender oppression separately. We are stuck in racial and gender purgatory and trapped within a limbo of inequality. We are the mechanism of social change but we are not equal, that much is clear. We are the black elephants in the small room that everybody sees but always look through. If the elephant were white, we would all have no choice but to not only see her but pet her, feed her and whisper into her ears how pretty she was with her blue eyes and blonde hair.
Black people go missing too?
To those who are neither shocked or disturbed by this almost impossibly high number, why is that? Allow me to break it down. Despite only representing an estimated 12.85% of the American population, Black and Missing reports that 37% of missing minors and 22% of missing adults in 2013 were black. 270,000 minorities have gone missing since 2010.135,000 of whom were black; roughly 71,000 being black men and 64,000 being black women, according to Atlanta Black Star. This number has been allowed to increase as blacks now make up for 28% of missing adults in America, and 35% of the missing population are black minors.
Sex trafficking, domestic violence and organ harvesting are some reasons why black women go missing and are often never found. The latter being one of the most unspoken reasons despite this being a huge problem in missing cases of black people globally.
Racism is power. The power of one racial group to inhibit the opportunities and negatively impact the experiences of another racial group in areas of life that are fundamental in stimulating a growth as reinforced by systems that favour the other group. This, coupled with the supported idea that one race is more valuable than another, is racism. Black people face racism and cannot actually be racist because there is not a systematically accepted and reinforced idea that black people and black skin are better than others- it is in fact, the complete opposite. We do not have the systematic power to carry it out.
There is no black system that can stop other races from having an equally rewarding experience because the perception of black skin is not positive when compared to white. Black people go missing and there is not a systematically prevalent belief that their disappearance matters because the skin colour is looked down upon as is their lives.
A global betrayal
The systematic overlooking of black women around the globe is something that has always been obvious. To deny it is to deny our existence. As a result of colonisation and the psychologically destructive result, the darker you are the less you matter in people's eyes. The mentality even still plagues people on the African continent. So we cannot talk about the missing number of black women in America without thinking about the missing black women in Africa, or the number of missing black women in Asiatic countries who face the same disregard.