Madeleine McCann, who you've no doubt heard has been missing over in Europe, is a white British four-year-old whose disappearance has sparked a massive global media focus. Front pages of major magazines, top news stories on television and a hunt that has spanned continents. No matter how awful that is, it is hard to imagine this same scenario playing out if she was not white.
Imagine if the exact same chain of events -- daughter missing on vacation, parents distraught and searching for clues -- happened to a black family. Or Hispanic, Asian, name your race. Would the world be in such an uproar? Would the parents be invited to the Vatican to pray with the Pope, as did the McCann's recently? Imagine if the genocide in Darfur got the media coverage of Madeleine McCann. Or any one of the thousands of missing children in this country others that are so unfortunate as to be non-white. Now I am not a parent (though I am a new uncle) but I can imagine the grief one would go through having their child go missing.
However, the media focus on this case has grown to a level that is completely out of balance with reality. I'm sure we all agree that solving Madeleine's disappearance would be a positive turn of events. But until there is some parity in the world's concern about ALL missing children of EVERY race, color and nationality, a case like this only serves to propagate the mistaken stereotype that if you're white, you somehow matter more. And to all the parents of missing non-white children out there, that is a cruel and unnecessary facet of a reality that desperately needs to change.