Let's Take a Closer Look at the "Missing White Woman Syndrome" Race Baiters Accuse Society Of

AP Photo/Curt Anderson

The mystery surrounding the death of Gabby Petito has caused the entire nation to become obsessed with the case. However, race-baiters can’t help but become angry and have accused society of only caring about the Petito case because she’s a cute young white woman.


The argument is that if this were a young woman of color then no one would really care if she was missing. White victims, they claim, get a disproportionate amount of media attention.

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University and author of the book Taboo, Wilfred Reilly, is actually an expert on matters such as these and has looked into how the media treats cases based on identity. On Wednesday, he weighed in on the matter to shed some light on just how much America cares about white victims vs. black victims.

“So, my thoughts on “Missing White Woman Syndrome…,” he began in a tweet thread. “First, there often IS more coverage of white as vs. POC female victims – up to 3x as much, per a paper I’ll try to dig up and link below. Then and as ~always, however, there’s a huge “but.””

“First, as always, saying this is meaningless w/o (a) basic and (b) ~universally ignored adjustments for class, prominence, age, etc. “Racism” has nothing to do with the fact that a tax-payer of any color killed by their ex in Detroit will get less attention than G. Petito,” he continued.


As Reilly pointed out, identity and various outliers do matter when it comes to media coverage. If Petito was a poor girl with a small public profile from a big city, then this probably wouldn’t be getting much attention regardless of her race. However, as Reilly shows, race does factor into media attention if the right conditions are met by the murderer.

“It’s also obviously true that members of different groups gain different levels of attention across MANY social problems,” he continued. “As I note in TABOO, the ~25% minority of Black police shooting victims receive 80% or more of all national mass media coverage of this issue.”

“As we get deeper into “can’t say it” land, there’s ONE reeeallly clear reason left-leaning mainstream media doesn’t much report on disappearances/murders of Black or Native women – almost all of the perps are non-narrative-fitting “people of color”,” he tweeted.

In other words, the reason so many disappearances and murders of people of color go unnoticed by the populace at large is because the media actively ignores same-race crime. Black on black violence, for instance, is wildly underreported by the media, however, the moment a white police officer shoots a black man it becomes a national story for months.


This is most obviously seen in Black Lives Matter protests erupting from the death of a black man at the hands of a white police officer, and usually, around the time an election is occurring.

Despite this huge gap in media coverage, Reilly pointed out an even larger gap than this.

“The biggest gap in this storyline, finally, may be the simplest: no one seems to care at all about MEN of any color,” he tweeted.

He is right. In order for the media to care about a missing or dead man he has to be killed by the right person and at the right time with the right identities to boot. However, if Petito were a white male, it’s unlikely that this story would have found the traction it has.



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