Missing White Woman Syndrome

Cultural discrimination describes the behavior of actively trying to suppress or treat particular individuals less favorably due to some aspect of their identity such as age, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. By directing a sense of hatred against a person based on perceived differences, this can also lead to cultural racism and perpetuates racial inequalities through the idea of superiority and inferiority. A notable example of this discrimination is the “missing white woman syndrome” that arose during the disappearance of Gabby Petito. The “missing white woman syndrome” is a term used to refer to the excess social media coverage from televisions to articles whenever an attractive, young white woman goes missing. However, when missing person cases involving minorities such as black or Latina girls occurs, there is little to no media coverages on the news. This demonstrates the long history of certain demographics receiving less media attention and efforts compared to victims that have more favorable and fascinating cases. 

Another example of cultural discrimination is the massing shooting inside the Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston where, Dylan Roof, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, murdered nine African Americans in order to start a race war. Following his immediate arrest, it was reported that the Shelby police officers took the suspect to Burger King and bought him a meal because he was hungry. This situation seems bizarre in a sense that these white police officers most likely felt empathy for the mass murderer and went out of their way to provide him a last good meal. However, if the suspect was a minority or a black individual, they would not have received the same treatment as the white suspect. Racial discrimination comes into play because when a person of color commits a crime, society views it as something innate or that a particular group is prone to violence. Thus, cultural discrimination and racial inequality continues to be present in the United States and around the world. 

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.