Racial Controversy Over Excelsior Springs Kidnapping Case Cont'd

A quick perspective . . . 

We respect a statement sent our way tonight and that's why we're posting it . . . It comes by way of a local group that has done important work and we think they're speaking/writing from the heart. 

Our only fear is that we're all losing sight of the culpability of a suspect who is charged with running a horrific sex dungeon in his house. 

Sure, there are legitimate gripes with media and police about a lot of things . . . HOWEVER . . . None of the complaints are as relevant as the charges currently waged against a suspected creeper. 

Again . . .

Because we can hold two competing ideas in our head at the same time. We share this statement that's resonating in local urban communities . . .

Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet Statement Regarding Missing Black Women and Girls

The handling of the rape, kidnapping and assault case in Kansas City highlights troubling patterns when covering missing Black people.

Kansas City, Mo. — Today, Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet founder Michele L Watley released the following statement regarding the ongoing investigation into Timothy Haslett Jr. the Excelsior Springs, Missouri man charged with with rape, kidnapping and assault, and troubling patterns of the coverage of the case:

Like many in our community, I am praying for the victim, her family and for victims that may have yet to be identified. I also lift up Jayonna, a local teenager who has been missing since Sept. 9, 2022, in prayer with the hope that she returns home safe. It is deeply devastating and heartbreaking to hear about these horrific crimes. And the events surrounding how these crimes came to light are equally disturbing.

Downplaying the outcry from leaders calling attention to a pattern of missing Black women and girls in our community, police and local media dismissing community journalism as “gossip,” and local mainstream media’s one sided reporting prioritizing police statements over the community is beyond problematic and irresponsible. These factors have led to wide-spread disparities in missing persons in the Black community and why these cases are difficult to solve. These factors contribute to the disparities in sex trafficking victims, with over 40% of sex trafficking victims being Black.

Community leaders, clergy and others who step out to call attention to missing Black people are the sources we trust. Community journalism is the voice in the void where mainstream media has and continues to fail in its reporting of Black stories. And between the current federal investigation of racism in Kansas City Police Department’s hiring practices, years of unchecked abuse by law enforcement with the Kansas City Kansas Police Department in the federal investigation of Roger Golubski, and a well documented history of police in this region failing to fully and safely serve Black citizens, there’s good reason to question police departments in this region handling this case. With both sides of the state line - Kansas and Missouri - having been at the center of sex trafficking, there must be urgency when addressing claims of missing Black people.

Because of this, our community has to be the first line of defense, keeping an eye on those we love and standing tall against the systems that fail us seemingly at every turn. We have to support community journalists who are telling our stories. And we must call to task those who prevent us from keeping our communities safe.


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