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We Have to Care About the Two


Missing Black Boys in Milwaukee
Raising Awareness About This Case Won't Be Up to Nancy Grace or Rita Cosby

AOL Black Voices News Staff


While there is no reason to doubt that the police claims that they will continue to do everything possible to find the boys, we can never allow the missing and lost children to be treated as a routine feature on the landscape, especially not in poor black communities where the the larger question of the value of life looms so large.

Eleven-year-old Purvis Virginia-Parker and his 12-year-old friend Quadrevion Henning have been missing for more than two weeks, since they left Henning's home in North Milwaukee March 19, headed for a nearby playground. As the mystery of their disappearance drags into its third week, the fever to find them that followed immediately after they vanished -- the fever that should follow the disappearance of any child -- seems to be breaking. This is not acceptable.

The Milwaukee Police Department, with help from the FBI, has been searching the boys' neighborhood.. They have scoured the neighborhood parks and ponds and lagoons. They have dragged the Milwaukee River looking for clues, or worse. Talk about your no-win proposition.

This week, the emergency command post that cops set up in the neighborhood around N. 53rd and Hampton streets where the boys live, was shut down and the investigation moved to the department's Emergency Operation Center. A frustrating lack of progress is forcing the case into the realm of routine investigation.

There is no reason to doubt police claims that they will continue to do everything possible to find the boys. But we can never allow missing and lost children to be treated as routine features on the landscape, especially not in poor black communities, where the larger question of the value of life looms so large.

The Rev. Donald Jordan, pastor of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and father of an 8-year-old girl, cut right to the pain of the issue in an interview with the local newspaper: "Lord knows, I have children of my own, I could not possibly imagine my daughter being gone that long. We are talking almost three weeks here."

And it cannot go unnoticed how generally silent the 24-hour cable channels have been on this matter. While wall-to-wall media coverage is of very little comfort if your child is missing, kidnapped or worse, it is not hard to imagine a different reaction to these events if these kids were white. It is a societal value-judgement that is hard to stomach.

You can find glimpses of who these children are in the media coverage, but with these pert pre-teen black boys, living in a poor part of inner city Milwaukee, the story is a different one: there are overtones and undercurrents written into the story. The father of one of the boys, Purvis Parker, stood in front of his father's house to deny rumors that he owed money to drug dealers or that such a debt could be connected to the disappearance of his son, also named Purvis Parker.

Parker had just gotten out of jail for a parole violation: "I wouldn't see my worst enemy taking my son," he said, according the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "If they wanted to get me, they could come up and shoot me in the head. I'm out here every day, all day."

The police are asking, begging, for help with clues in this case: Last week investigators subpoenaed videotape of television interviews with relatives of the boys, but they also think people are holding out: "We have reason to believe there are individuals with information that is pertinent to this investigation who for reasons unknown to us right now aren't coming forward," said police department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz.

And last Friday, the Journal Sentinel ran a very sad story about how the reward for return of the boys, which had reached more than $60,000, might not be enough: "Snitching stigma could outweigh $62,000 offer," the headline read in part. If this is true, more than just two boys are missing.

There is, of course, a hotline and a Web site. The reward money keeps growing: If you know anything call the police (1-877-628-3804). But more than that, though, we have to care that they are gone and we have to want them back, really want them back. Whoever took them needs to bring them back, right now! And whoever has the job of finding them needs to act as if searching for their own children.

© MBM

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quote:
"We have reason to believe there are individuals with information that is pertinent to this investigation who for reasons unknown to us right now aren't coming forward," said police department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz.


Ugh!!!!! sad

The length of time that they have been missing is not encouraging. I do wish the people that write these articles would pay attention to the Amber Alert sites for a day or so. Every hour a kid goes missing, black, white, brown. You will not see MOST of them on anything other than your local TV news.
Missing Milwaukee Boys Found Dead in Lagoon
From Times Wire Reports
April 16, 2006

The bodies of two Milwaukee boys missing for almost a month have been recovered from a park lagoon near where they disappeared.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-br...n&ctrack=1&cset=true

Purvis Virginia Parker, 11, and Quadrevion Henning, 12, were last seen March 19 when they asked Quadrevion's grandfather if they could play basketball at the nearby park.

Police said the boys accidentally drowned. They speculate that Purvis, who could not swim, somehow fell in and that Quadrevion, a strong swimmer, jumped in to try to save his friend.

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