Letter: ‘White girls are not the dominant demographic …’

Whiter shade of beyond the pale

After finishing “Stuck in Traffic” [Jan. 9], I was confused by the author’s omission of race from her discussion of human trafficking in Marin, especially in contrast with the image used on the front of the paper. The cover of the Sun portrays a white, teenage girl trapped under a glass jar, presumably a visual metaphor for modern-day slavery. The article then goes on to discuss the prevalence of human trafficking in Marin and the Bay Area, yet the author does not once address the actual racial dimensions of the problem. Sex trafficking demographics in the Bay Area starkly contrast with Marin County’s own demographic. Most girls and women trafficked in the Bay Area are black, hispanic, and/or Asian. White girls are not the dominant demographic traded and exploited in the human trafficking trade in America. So, why show a white girl in captivity on the front of the paper? I can only assume that because of the overall demographics of Marin County, the Pacific Sun thought it would be more attention-grabbing to display a “relatable” white girl on the cover? I consider this the print equivalent of “click-bait.”

The cover, paired with the content of the article, would imply that white girls in Marin make up even a semi-relevant portion of the human traffic coming through the Bay Area. Please explain the editorial decision to run this cover image alongside this article.

Simon, Oakland

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