5-Year-Old Black Girl Disappears and No One Cares


jhessye shockley
Missing 5-Year-Old Jhessye Shockley
There are several striking similarities between the disappearances of 10-month-old baby Lisa Irwin and 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley. Both children are girls, both were last seen in their homes. Lisa has been missing for over a week, Jhessye has been missing for nearly a week. Police investigating both cases have been challenged by strings of dead-end tips and a lack of evidence in general. The mothers of both Lisa and Jhessye have made tearful televised pleas for their children's safe return.

Right about now you may be wondering why you haven't heard more about Jhessye Shockley, or maybe even why you haven't heard of her at all, when Lisa Irwin's story has been plastered all over the news.

The fact of the matter is, you probably haven't heard much about Jhessye Shockley because of the one striking difference between her and Lisa Irwin:

Lisa Irwin is white. Jhessye Shockley is black.

I know it's a hard and ugly truth to swallow, representative of a reality we don't want to believe exists anymore. But sadly, nothing else explains why the country is currently obsessed with finding Lisa Irwin and largely unaware that Jhessye Shockley is even lost.

We know everything there is to know about Lisa Irwin's mother, Deborah Bradley, from the details of her divorce to what she had to drink the night Lisa vanished. Meanwhile, Jhessye Shockley's mother was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2006 for "injury to a child" and deemed a "threat to the well-being of her children," and no one seems to know or care how or why she got out of jail early.

Jhessye's three siblings are now in the custody of Child Protective Services, while Lisa Irwin's two brothers are at home, being sheltered from the press.

The main thing, one might argue, is that both girls return home safely, not how much attention their individual cases get. But when it comes to missing children, often the higher profile a disappearance, the higher the likelihood that child will be found.

The situation is already tragic. Now it's tragically unjust.

Do you think Jhessye Shockley's race is the reason why she isn't getting as much attention as Lisa Irwin?


Image via Glendale, AZ Police Department



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Mommy... Mommy4two

This is taking it to the extreme just a tad isn't it???? I hope they find both of these poor children before it's to late ....

mommix4 mommix4

I'm not sure why you say no one cares? Everyone in az (where I live) cares deeply. Not every kidnapping gets the same attention and has nothing to do with race. People think Lisas mom did it so its big news. Maybe you don't care about this sweet girl but us in az do

29again 29again

No.  There is a huge difference between a 5 y o and an infant who can't even walk yet!  And from what the OP stated, it is likely that the mother of the 5 yo is responsible for the disappearance.  I would bet the police know a lot more than they are saying, they just can't prove anything yet.  But they will.

nonmember avatar ss

I think baby Lisa case is getting more attention because the mother may have something to do with it. With the Casey Anthony case being so fresh in our minds it seems everyone wants to know about this mom who is changing her story and such. I don't think it has anything to do with race.

Logan... LoganTroyMom

again with the race card? STOP.

ChellS77 ChellS77

That's NOT the most striking difference between them ... how about, one is so young she can't walk yet, the other is FIVE years old and can walk out of her house herself, so the baby is way more baffling to police. How about, the 5 year old's mother has a record for harming a child, while Lisa's parents have no such history of child abuse/mistreatment, at least that I'm aware of. Don't go throwing this out as a racial thing, because that's disgusting. YOU, for insinuating that, are disgusting. Not everyone has heard about a 9 year old NH boy who's been missing for 2 days, and he's white. What's your reason for that? Gender discrimination? Report the news, don't start wars.


dirti... dirtiekittie

i'm so tired of this. this racism crap is in at least one (if not a handful more) of stories posted on The Stir every day. do you know why everything is still about race? BECAUSE YOU MAKE IT ABOUT RACE.

i'm seriously reconsidering visitng the stir; i feel like more articles are just inflammatory these days than thoughtful blogs.

Mrs.D... Mrs.Duncan85

Well, in this comparison, the age plus the mother's history of abuse are the "BIG" differences for me.  You are right though tthat white children do get more attention in the news then children of different colors. There have been studies on this, so debating it isn't so much important but the WHY is important. My guess (it's only a guess) is that your average news watcher is a middle class, white family. Thus, they relate more to the child they can look at and imagine as their own. They see baby Lisa and can see her as their daughter/niece/cousin/friends kid etc. Is this right or good? No, of course not, a child is a child.


Samantha Wortham

yep. I read an article talking about the shooting at Columbine, CO and how there are many school shootings in predominantly black schools that don't even make the national press and how one happened at a predominantly white school (Columbine) and it was touted as a horrific crime and that measures should be taken to never have it happen again and so on so forth. The shootings at the black schools where just a nightly news story and never much mentioned after that.

So, yea, I do think the coverage in these cases have something to do with skin color. But really this is nothing new. It has been discussed for years how missing "colored" children get less press than whit children. Also, pretty women get more coverage too. No one ever does anything about it.

sharnos sharnos

I think its getting a tad ridiculous to blame everything on race anymore.  There's more to this than just race.  I've heard of both dissapearances and am deeply concerned for both girls as I have nieces that are both ages.  Black and white, yellow and brown, it shouldn't matter.  Race is an issue when peoploe make it an issue.  

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