Carlee Russell – Co-Founder Of ‘The Black & Missing Foundation’ Urges Public Not To Let Recent Hoax Discourage Them From Assisting Real Victims: ‘There Are Far Too Many Missing People Of Color Who Actually Need Our Help”
The fallout from the staged kidnapping of Carlee Russell shouldn’t overshadow real victims and their stories!
A woman who’s dedicated her life to finding missing people of color spoke to this truth during a recent interview with journalist Phil Lewis.
Natalie Wilson, who co-founded the non-profit organization The Black and Missing Foundation said Carlee Russell’s case should no longer be receiving attention. In case you’re unfamiliar, the 25-year-old Alabama resident is potentially facing criminal charges for lying to police and family members about a kidnapping she staged herself. Carlee, born Carlethia Nichole Russell, released a statement through her lawyer yesterday (July 24th), admitting her story was a hoax, and has come under fire by social media users everywhere.
However, Natalie Wilson shared that the work that she and her sister-in-law, Derricka Wilson, have dedicated themselves to goes far beyond Russell’s case. In fact, the public relations professional said everyone should stop giving Russell’s situation any further energy altogether. During her interview with Lewis, she explained:
“Now that we officially know the truth, we can no longer give any more energy to this case. While Carlee’s revelation is disheartening, we will not be dismayed.”
Authorities said Monday that Alabama woman Carlee Russell confessed to fabricating a story that she was kidnapped on July 13.
“My client did not see a baby on the side of the road,” the statement from her attorney read. pic.twitter.com/P4l93CCyjs
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 25, 2023
“There are far too many missing people of color who actually need our help and are counting on us to help bring them home. We are calling on our community not to let this single incident undermine our efforts to help us find us. We have shown that we have the power to make our cases a priority too, and we must move forward and build upon this momentum.”
According to the foundation’s statistics, despite Black people only accounting for 13% of the nation’s population, they make up nearly 40% of missing person cases. The Wilsons shared they founded The Black and Missing Foundation back in 2008, in efforts to bring more awareness to missing people of color. More information about the organization can be found on their site and in their HBO documentary about the pressing cause, which was released last year.
As many social media users have pointed out, the issue of people of color not receiving sufficient media attention is part of the intense criticism Russell has received. Many have commented, stating they won’t ever pray or try to help any other potential missing victims because of the way the nursing student’s ordeal unfolded. However, Wilson cautions against this attitude. Concluding the interview, she added:
“There are thousands of other missing people. Let’s not forget the Keeshae Jacobs, the Joniah Walkers, the Tiffany Fosters, the Jennifer Blackmons, the names go on and on. Their families are desperately searching for answers. All it takes is one person to come forward with that information to help find them, or at least provide the families with the answers that they deserve. We can’t do this work alone. We need our community to get involved and don’t let this one incident deter our efforts.”
Do you agree with Natalie Wilson’s stance on the Carlee Russell situation? Tell us in the comments!