California Senator Proposes "Ebony Alert" System for Missing Black Women and Children

California Senator Proposes "Ebony Alert" System for Missing Black Women and Children

California Democrat Senator Steven Bradford has introduced a bill proposing an “Ebony Alert” system to specifically assist in locating missing black women and children. Sponsored by the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference, the initiative aims to launch a notification system that informs people about missing black children and young women.

The concept is modeled after the existing well-known national Amber Alert system but designed exclusively to address only those missing individuals who are black. While some have expressed concerns about the need for a race-specific alert system, others argue that communities of color should be able to support each other independently from white populations.

Senator Bradford explained his motivation behind creating this new alert: "As we know, there's an epidemic of missing black girls and boys across our nation. The Ebony Alert will allow us to quickly disseminate information on these cases so that we can bring them home safely."

Rick Callender, President of the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference, emphasized the importance of such an initiative: “We must ensure all missing children receive equal attention regardless of their race or ethnicity. This legislation will help accomplish just that.”

However, not everyone agrees with this proposal's approach. Dr. Karen Phillips-Jackson, a sociologist specializing in race relations noted her reservations: "While I understand the intention behind creating an Ebony Alert system specific to one racial group, it raises questions around equity and fairness when it comes to addressing issues related to all missing persons." She added that resources should be allocated towards improving existing systems rather than creating separate ones based on racial lines.

Advocates for people of color counter this argument by highlighting historical disparities within mainstream institutions like law enforcement when it comes providing resources for searching for African-American victims compared with white counterparts.

Darius Johnson, founder of For Our Daughters Foundation which helps locate abducted or trafficked Black girls shared his perspective: “It’s important that our community has a system in place to help locate and protect our missing Black children and women. The Ebony Alert will give us the tools necessary to make sure these cases get the attention they deserve.”

As the debate around the proposed Ebony Alert system continues, it remains to be seen whether this initiative will gain traction within California and potentially be adopted by other states.