DEBATE. The case of Zipporah marked by mistake after mistake. Despite repeated cries for help, several variations and many tears, they have failed to do what could have actually made a difference in this case, namely to listen to Zipporah and her family. Instead, they have let prejudice take over and made decisions that have led to Zipporah today still disappearing without a trace.
Warning signals were present
Zipporah was clear that she was feeling unwell, and that she wanted to escape, the social services already knew. How they handled that knowledge shows how they valued Zipporah. They stood and watched while a twelve-year-old girl ran away in the middle of winter, without money and with a mobile phone without a SIM card. A child who, due to his skin color and gender, is particularly vulnerable. Did they not feel the panic of seeing a child run away and risk falling into the wrong hands?
How can you find a girl that people barely know is gone?
The fact that Swedish society makes a difference between children and children and between people and people is even clearer when the police are involved. It takes two whole weeks before you call for Zipporah on the police website. Two weeks when the family’s home searches several times. And meanwhile, the chances of finding Zipporah are only getting smaller and smaller.
Black people are being questioned
Black people are often portrayed as criminals, drug addicts, violent and beneficent, to name just a few of the stamps we carry. Society indoctrinates to be vigilant against black people and to primarily question what we say. Whether we seek care, talk to the school or are in contact with social services and the police, the premise is that we are lying.
Not even when we have a clear case where the result is that a twelve-year-old girl gets sick is abandoned those prejudices. It has been over a month since Zipporah disappeared and neither the social services nor the police take responsibility for the mistakes they made, the case is noticed in “Wanted” only after Alexandra Pascalidou interviews the police. The majority of the largest news channels in Sweden have not had her downfall either. Time goes by and it just gets harder and harder to find Zipporah. How can you find a girl that people barely know is gone?
Unfortunately not the last time
The case of Zipporah has affected me enormously and I hope and pray that she may come home unharmed. I feel an enormous pain and sorrow for Zipporah’s parents who are just now going through a trauma that most people dread.
I’m disappointed with the society that has let Zipporah down again and again. But most of all, I’m not surprised or shocked. Far inside me there is a voice that reminds me that Zipporah stacks everything is black and that this will unfortunately not be the last time something like this happens.
By Aysha Jones
Entrepreneur and founder of Black lives matter Sweden