The issue of missing black and Latino teens in the nation's capital has remained largely below the radar until now.
With nearly a dozen black teens reported missing in Washington D.C. this week alone, representatives in the country's capital are calling on the FBI to investigate what appears to be an upsurge in the number of black and Latino teenagers that have been gone missing in the area this year.
Lawmakers have asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to step in and "devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.”
According to Rachel Reid, the spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police, this has been an ongoing problem in the region for the past couple of years, the real increase is in the amount of social media coverage on the issue. "We've just been posting them on social media more often," she said. The police department's numbers show that the amount of teens who have gone missing actually dropped from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016, reports NBC's Washington local news.
It's becoming clear, that cases involving black and Latino teens, in particular, lack sufficient media coverage. According to the Black and Missing foundation 36.8 percent of missing children in America are black.
“We also noticed that a lot of African American children that go missing are initially classified as runaways," says Natalie Wilson, the organization's co-founder. "They do not get an Amber Alert or media coverage."
This lack of national attention is what has many outraged across social media, as many wonder why this pervasive issue has gone under the radar until now.
The issue of missing black/brown teens in DC highlights a steady trend that had gone below the public radar until now. pic.twitter.com/MY9H2cEfcv
— deray mckesson (@deray) March 24, 2017
— Diane Gardner✊? (@abronxchick) March 14, 2017
While social media definitely aids in helping call attention to such issues, if we learned anything from the 2014 #BringBackOurGirls movement, sadly, it's that hashtag activism alone, is not enough to bring our girls home.