May 13, 2020
The news this past week has been dominated by the amazing escape of three women from a real-life house of horrors in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight vanished between 2002 and 2004. We now know they were kidnapped and held in sexual bondage for a decade. 52-year-old Ariel Castro is being held on three counts of rape and four counts of kidnapping. His bail is being set at $8 million. And, of course, is [it] relates to the kidnapping, one of those involved a child who authorities believe is his daughter.
Now, one of the tragedies in this case is they were hidden in their own neighborhood by someone the community knew and interacted with on a regular basis. According to the FBI, more than 265,000 minorities were reported missing in the United States in 2012. Let me say that again. 265,000 minorities were reported missing just in 2012.
Unfortunately, these missing people of color don’t get the same kind of attention that missing white people get, especially white women. And we are grateful that the young women in Cleveland are free. We can’t help but think of those who are black and still missing.
We’re talking about that today with Derrica Wilson, founder of the Black and Missing Foundation; and Tina Frundt, a survivor of kidnap and sex trafficking and founder of Courtney’s House, an organization that helps victims and their families.
Photo credit: Roland Martin