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I read about this little boy over at Angry Black Bitch’s blog. It depressed me no end.

Whenever I hear about children who have gone missing, I can’t even begin to describe the anguish that overtakes me, and when I hear that the stories aren’t important enough to warrant front page spots in the local rag, I hate the press just a little bit more.
Apparently Hassani Campbell has been missing since Monday, but with the exception of Nancy Grace – God bless her right-wing soul – apparently there hasn’t been much interest in the case.

ABB ponders the vagaries of a media that doesn’t seem overly interested when black children go missing.

She writes:

Hassani’s story has not caught the imagination of the media.

In not covering this story, the press…who postured a while back about why they don’t cover missing children of color worth a shit…has once again demonstrated that they don’t cover missing children of color worth a shit.

It’s not that I don’t value the Michael Vick story. I have three rescue dawgs in my home that are living examples of society’s cruel disregard of animals…I live in a state that is shamefully successful in maintaining a thriving puppy mill industry…and I know that the return of Vick to the NFL runs the risk of diminishing the horror of his actions even as it has the potential of jump starting a discussion of animal cruelty in communities where dog fighting still happens.

But Hassani Campbell is still missing.

The Vick story is just going to have to wait.

Hassani Campbell was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and gray pants.

He is 5 years old.

Hassani, who has cerebral palsy, has braces on his legs but they may not be noticeable.

Hassani Campbell is still missing.

I would like to think that all children who go missing, no matter their colour, get equal attention, but I’m pretty sure that’s not always the case. The thoughts of such cruel disregard for a missing child makes my heart hurt.

If anybody out there has information about this case, please contact the Oakland Police on 510-238-3641.


  • Janean
    August 21
    12:51 am

    Oh how sad!

    You know it is true that all of the recent high profile cases of missing children that I can recall were little white girls. I would like to believe that it is because there are more kidnap victims that fit that profile in general, but somehow I doubt that’s the reason.


  • How heart breaking. 🙁 All the crap in the world that gets media attention and a little sweetheart goes missing? that doesn’t count as newsworthy? Heaven help us.


  • So let us spread the word.

    Off to post this elsewhere.


  • Lorraine
    August 21
    2:50 am

    I live in So Cal, read the L.A. Times daily and haven’t heard or read anything about Hassani. It’s pitiful. Already his life was difficult with his health issues. How much more is he now suffering?


  • Poor little sweetheart.

    This is horrifying. A missing child only warrants 4-5 short paragraphs in a newspaper 500 miles away? Very sad.


  • Samantha
    August 21
    4:03 am

    They have actually ran his story several times on fox news, in the morning and evening on the general news (not the anchor shows).

    I still haven’t seen anything local about him though and he went missing all of 50 miles or so from me.

    You would think if anyone was covering this poor kids disappearance it would be the local stations getting the news out to people who might could be of some help. But everything I have heard about the case it does sound very fishy to me that anyone would take him or that he could run away.


  • Samantha, his foster father has had to undergo a lie detector test. I’m eager to find out the results of that test.


  • katieM
    August 21
    11:01 am

    Let’s hope this isn’t another Marcus Fiesel. Well, it’s not because the instant he was reported missing the whole city was out looking for him.



  • I saw this on the news, but I agree, if we had access to the stats, it would be an eye opener. I keep a tiny clipping (about 3 sentences) of a little girl killed in downtown Baltimore many years ago. She was caught in gunfire, and her death garnered 3 sentences.


  • HeatherK
    August 21
    1:04 pm

    Lie detector tests aren’t always accurate. Many things can affect the outcome. That’s why they aren’t admissible in court. So failing the test doesn’t necessarily equate to guilt.

    It is quite pathetic how the media picks and chooses which child is worthy of making the news when abducted. The callousness of some reporters and the way they relentlessly hound grieving families is part of the reason I decided not to go into journalism. If that’s what is required of a person to be a reporter, then I wanted no part of it. I still remember how they treated the families of those who died in the Westside shooting here in Arkansas. It made me sick to watch the way they treated those families.

    Each day that goes by, the chances of finding a child unharmed decrease. The media has wasted valuable, precious time by not running the story more than what little they have (and I’m not just talking locally). This is why the Amber alerts were put into place, because the sooner the public is informed, the sooner (hopefully) the child can be found.

    I hope he’s found alive and well.


  • But have you ever stopped to think of how pitiful the media coverage is for stories of missing black people of any age? How about people over the age of 50? Young men? Nope, you don’t see these either.


  • Karen Scott
    August 21
    1:44 pm

    But have you ever stopped to think of how pitiful the media coverage is for stories of missing black people of any age? How about people over the age of 50? Young men? Nope, you don’t see these either.

    I call it The Katrina Effect, although the indifference to black victims of crime, was there way before the hurricane came.


  • Kathleen O'Reilly
    August 21
    2:18 pm

    This was in the SF news today. Thank you for the coverage, because (as was the point of your post), I hadn’t heard. He looks like such a sweet kid. No kid should be ignored.


  • Maybe it’s the Mommy in me, but when I came across this post, Karen, and saw his photo, all I saw was a beautiful little boy. When I read about the lack of reporting of his case I do see where the media will often focus on a missing child but when you stop and think, yes most of the time it is a white child. If Fox news and America’s Most Wanted have covered it, why can’t the other sources? Children are children and every single one of them precious. I pray he’s found very soon.


  • The data file for Hasanni at America’s Most Wanted is located here (and there’s a link that lets you leave a tip if you believe you’ve seen this little boy):
    There is a page that gives his physical description.
    AMW’s Missing Child home pages and links to archives can be found here:http://www.amw.com/missing_children/


  • Mostly, the media gets on stories about missing white children and teens–especially female. Oh, and white pregnant women or white moms. They can really get the coverage. Oh, and they have to be goodlooking. Even white people are ignored if they’re ugly. It’s disgusting and it infuriates me. I pray they find Hassani soon–and alive and well.


  • willaful
    August 22
    12:53 am

    Christine, I was immediately put in mind of the best Onion headline ever: “Ugly Child Dies, Nation Fails to Mourn.” Hideously true.


  • sallahdog
    August 22
    1:11 am

    The only thing that irritated me about this article is that they are calling this guy the “foster father”… He isn’t married to the fiance yet, and so is NOT the foster father, unless he attended and completed training as a foster parent, had a background search, and had personal references….

    Sorry, there are enough cracks in the foster system and crap does happen with abuse, but as a foster mom, who completed a great deal of training (and has ongoing training every few months) I cant stand that this guy, who in my state wouldn’t even be ALLOWED to babysit this child (in my state anyone looking after a foster is at the very least subject to a background check,though I am sure this is often overlooked), is called the foster dad…

    I hope they find this boy… I think probably another tragedy in this story is that as a foster child, he doesn’t have well off birth parents to call for publicity… It seems that a lot of the time, the parents are the ones who drive the media.. So sad…


  • sallahdog
    August 22
    1:17 am

    A neighbor in Fremont told police that Hasanni had not been seen for about two weeks before Ross reported him missing.

    Oakland police Officer Ross Tisdell wrote in the court papers that the relationship between Ross, 38, and Campbell, 33, “appeared to have some instances of domestic violence.”

    Ok, more that bothers me… If neighbors hadnt seen him for a few weeks. and there were incidences of domestic violence in the home, why in the sam hill was this child even IN this home? The foster Mom is not above suspicion either if she allowed someone who had threatened the child to watch over him…


  • I know I’m a bit late to this, but another reason so little coverage was given to this case is also probably where the boy is from. You don’t hear about the kids that get shot or hurt or violated in places like Oakland, Compton, East LA. There’s a serious apathy because the attitude is that it happens all the time there. Or that people who live there should expect it.

    To a degree, they do. They mourn, but they are never surprised.


  • >I was immediately put in mind of the best Onion headline ever: “Ugly Child Dies, Nation Fails to Mourn.” Hideously true.

    Willaful, exactly! When I read your comment, I laughed really hard. I read in a book on writing humor that comedy is truth and pain. Your quote really brought the definition home.

    And the more I read here about Hassani’s situation, the more hopeless it looks. I hate that.


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