Is missing teen’s lack of coverage a double standard?



    What do Chandra Levy, Natalee Holloway and Phylicia Barnes have in common? They are all young women who suddenly disappeared. Why hasn’t Phylicia Barnes’ name become part of national news coverage? Speculation is that it’s because she is Black.
    Phylicia, a 16-year-old honor student whose home is in North Carolina, went missing from Baltimore on Dec. 28. That’s when she last updated her Facebook page indicating that she was alone with her sister’s boyfriend. So far, investigators have little to go on.
    “I was going to turn this city upside down to find my child, and I was going to leave no stone unturned,” said Russell Barnes, the missing girl’s father. When ABC News asked about her daughter’s disappearance, Phylicia’s mom had this to say: 

    Baltimore Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, “I can’t see how this case is any different than Natalee Holloway. Is it because she’s African-American? Why?”
    Phylicia’s story is slowly gaining some momentum. Several Black bloggers have posted photos and stories of Phylicia on their sites, and a “Pray for Phylicia Barnes” Facebook page has more than 13,000 members. However, the news of her disappearance and search efforts by national authorities pales in comparison to what many have seen in the past when non-minority women have gone missing.

    For more on the case, visit



    –Tracy L. Scott




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