Guess what? There’s another young pretty white woman missing. This time it’s Natalie Holloway, an 18 year old girl from Alabama who disappeared during a graduation trip to Aruba. She’s been missing since May 30 and so far, it looks like half the male population of Aruba has been arrested or held for questioning.
Across the country, hundreds of thousands of people are reported missing every year. Like Ana Luisa Aceveda Galeano or Tia Anderson. They are both young. But Ms. Galeano is Hispanic and Ms. Anderson is African American.
By the way, Ms. Galeano is a local girl, from just up the road in Castle Hayne, NC. I remember some segments about her on Channel 6, when she disappeared in January, but not a word in months. The networks didn’t even bother with this story. Ms. Galeano is not pretty, she doesn’t play the harp and her parents are not wealthy enough to keep her name in the news.
Sometimes I wish the news anchors would be honest and say “Out of the thousands of missing girls out there, we’re going to focus on this one. The pretty white one.”
Now Ms. Holloway did happen to disappear in exotic Aruba. I’m sure that has something to do with the amount of airplay she’s getting.
Which brings me to what is really bothering me about her disappearance. I want to know what possessed the parents of 136 graduating high school seniors to allow these kids to go to Aruba. Alabama is part of the Bible belt, for God’s sake! I can see a trip to Six Flags Over Georgia or Disney World, but Aruba? If it were my daughter, the answer would be “Not in this lifetime, sweetie.”
And it’s not because I’m paranoid about her being abducted and murdered by person or persons unknown. I’m concerned about more mundane tragedies, like alcohol poisoning, or date rape, or finding out three months later that she’s cavorting half naked in the newest “Girls Gone Wild” video.
Okay, there were chaperones. Seven of them. Do the math and that’s 19.4 kids per chaperone. Ever try to keep track of 19.4 teen-agers? In Aruba? They’d be off clubbing as soon as your back was turned. Now, Ms. Holloway’s mother says she does not blame the chaperones for her daughter’s disappearance. In fact, all the kids on the trip signed waivers saying they would behave responsibly and if anything bad happened it was their own damn fault. Most of them were 18, legally adults.
I’m sure there are hundreds of trips like this, considered a reward for high school seniors who’ve worked hard and deserve to let off a little steam. But maybe Ms. Holloway’s disappearance will cause a few changes, like more chaperones and less bar hopping.
How about a nice little trip to Cypress Gardens?