Black and Missing

Onyx Contributor:  Asher Primus

Watching Get Out was a well-crafted horror film that told the truth on whether black lives matter, especially those who are missing and were never found.

Black people have to heavily rely on their own voices in social media to get the word out that a fellow love one is missing.  We see that black bodies are not a priority for local or national news.  Respectability politics prevents the word from getting out as the media fears that the missing person does not live up to their perfect standards or moral philosophy.  There will always be that doubt in their minds if that person was deserving of sympathy.  When we are missing, we are deemed by society as rebellious, troublemaking and promiscuous.

This tone was brought to my attention in the summer of 2016.  It was an energetic day as Atlanta celebrated Caribbean culture and heritage.  Through time, I began growing bored and tired.  I just lost my food to ants while I was asleep.  I later noticed that my little brother was nowhere in sight.  For a couple hours, this turned into a major problem, but I remained calm and searched for him in the crowd.  Then I began to worry.  Eventually, it got dark and I needed all the sunlight I could get because he did not reappear within a two-hour search nor was his phone working.  It was a getting bad.  So, I asked the police to assist in finding my brother.  Two white officers dedicated their time to help me.  The older of the two was helpful, yet condescending at the same time.  No one wants to be lost or cause a panic with their family, so we did not need a lecture on how effective the buddy-system is in new places.

The younger white officer did not question my brother’s misfortune.  He suggested that we look around the corners and allies around the neighborhood.  With no luck, I ran around the block so many times that I did not care if I ruined my favorite shoes.  I then ran into a group of black police officers.  I told them the situation.  From shock and disbelief to what I was hearing, my brother’s disappearance was no concern to them.  They sarcastically suggested I consider searching through the rougher areas because he is probably smoking weed, having sex with a prostitute or just acting out.  Yet, they did not know my brother.  He does not smoke, he is a respectful young man and does not look for sex from strangers.  They kept suggesting that this is common behavior from missing tourist, yet I refuse to even entertain the thought.  It was an insult to my upbringings.  We were not raised to be naïve enough to follow any stranger around an area that we are not familiar with, yet my brother is black, so let us throw in me knowing my brother since forever straight out the window.  One of the black officers told me to relax and that my brother will come up and that I should let him have his fun with the prostitutes.  They did not care, we were not from Atlanta, so that was not something we could just do and overlook his disappearance.

It was embarrassing and I understood black life was a joke.  We are told that our mishaps and bad luck were things we deserve.  The laughter from the black officers reminded me of a scene in Get Out where Rod reports Chris as missing.  Rather than taking the information as something tangible to start an investigation, it ends up being a running joke of how a black man’s life is worthless.  Luckily, within the dead of night my brother was found in the hotel.  He was safe.  It turns out he had walked back to the hotel with the assumption that we left without him.  I would like to thank the two officers who helped in the search, but this incident has deeply severed my trust with the police.

Articles submitted by freelance writers. If you would like to submit an article to the Onyx Truth, please click on the SUBMISSIONS link at the very top of the site for more info.
%d bloggers like this: