What's Actually Happening With The Missing Black Girls In DC?

What's Actually Happening With The Missing Black Girls In DC?

Everything is not what it seems.
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Earlier this year, the DC Metro police department began publishing their missing person's flyers on their social media pages, including Facebook and Twitter, in hopes that they would gain more traction and these people will be found. Since March 19, the DC Metro police department has published 20 missing person ads, 10 of which belonging to minors. However, last week social media erupted in outrage after an Instagram post reported 14 African American girls have gone missing in Washington DC in the past 24 hours.

The post has since gone viral, sparking the #MissingDCGirls hashtag on Twitter. And people have demanded that the DC Metro Police Department do something to address this epidemic of missing girls. However, Metro Police spokesperson Karimah Bilal recently confirmed to NBC Washington that there, in fact, has not been a report of 14 girls that have gone missing in a single a day. While there have been roughly 500 missing youth cases reported to the DC Metro Police, the report of the 14 missing girls is false. Many investigative reporters also researched and confirmed that some of the girls featured in the viral post have been missing for several years, and others are not from the DC area.

Overall, the numbers of missing people have decreased in the recent years. But by using the power of social media, police departments like DC Metro are posting older reports in hopes to find individuals who have been missing for a longer period of time; creating the illusion of a sudden epidemic of missing people.

However, it is statistically proven that of the total number of missing youth reports, 36.7% are African American; making them the largest demographic in this group. And many organizations, such as the Black and Missing Foundation, feel that missing African Americans do not get the same amount of media attention as Caucasians, calling this the "missing white woman syndrome."

Lawmakers, however, are not waiting around to see if this is a false viral trend. DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond have recently written a letter to FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate these claims.

And for us at home, the best way to find these missing people is to stay updated and repost the missing people ads from your local police department's social media pages. With enough participation, we may come closer to bringing these people home.

Cover Image Credit: BET

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Sometimes You Have To Stalk Yourself To Realize You're A Gosh-Darn, Kick-Butt, Girl Boss

I'm not wasting my life, but I'm not appreciating it either.
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The other day I decided to stalk myself on all of my social media accounts. I feel like so many people do this, but very few people admit to it because they fear being viewed as vain or conceited. When I stalk myself, I'm usually doing it to give myself a pat on the back. Is there really a problem with that?

Here's the thing, in the past year I have lived through some amazing experiences, but never took the time to stop and appreciate them. I don't know about you, but I've been trained to always focus on the next goal, to complete the next task. With my laser beam focus pointed straight ahead I rarely take the time to cherish the moments or awknowledge what I have already accomplished.

Recently I've found myself easily falling into this rut where I feel like I'm wasting my time. I see everyone around me running around. They're all busy with parties, friends and jobs. I know people who were invited to New York Fashion Week, I know people who are spending the next 6 months in countries across the world, I know people who have started to build their own businesses, and I know people who are becoming financially independent adults.

I find myself sitting in my dorm room alone and watching all of these amazing things happen through social media. I feel like I'm always checking off a to do list that never seems to end and watching a whole lot of Netflix while everyone else is experiencing the world. Sure, I spend many days following to-do lists and watching videos, but when I stalked myself I realized there are so many details I am missing.

I'm not wasting my life, I'm just not taking the time to appreciate it.

As I stalked my accounts I decided to make a list of every amazing opportunity that has come my way since last February. Let me just say, it's a pretty freaking long list. I've gotten promotions, written for newspapers, gone to concerts, been contacted by companies, made great friends, spent quality time with family, navigated NYC with only a little help via text message, and I've learned so much about myself. That's just the summary!

This whole time I've always felt like as long as there's another goal on the horizon I can't stop and smell the roses. Here's the problem with that, nobody's perfect. There will always be room for improvement.

There will always be another goal.

If I don't take the time to slow down and appreciate my accomplishments as they happen, I will never take the time to appreciate them. While I often still doubt it, I've come to realize something about myself. I'm actually the best gosh-darn, kick-butt girl boss there ever was, and it took me stalking myself to even appreciate it.

This month I started a journal to keep track of everything fun or successful thing I do. Night out with the girls, write down something that stuck out from it. Job interview? Promotion? Concert? Write it down. When you see the list of everything you've experienced, it becomes a little easier to stop feeling like you're wasting your life away.

Sometimes you have to stalk yourself like you stalk your favorite girl boss in order to see how amazing you really are.



Cover Image Credit: Erin Alzapiedi

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