Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Murder of Asia McGowen and the Social Media Connection

I know I just posted on a variety of topics and mentioned the news at Feministing about the death of Asia McGowen, a young black woman in Detroit murdered by a YouTube and Facebook stalker, but now I'm sitting here and watching video at the longer post at What About Our Daughters and bawling like a baby. Believe me, it's not hormonal, it's just feeling like somebody's dropping bricks on me, the insanity of the tragedy overwhelms me.

WAOD, reporting with information from Black Girls Rock It!, says the alleged murderer, Anthony Powell, killed himself after killing Asia, and his parents say he had a history of mental illness and they tried to get help for him but didn't think he was a danger to others.

If you recall the Revelus case, the brutal murders of two sisters by their brother last month, then you know mental illness played a factor in those murders as well. In addition, it seems Asia's murderer hated black women and atheists. WAOD commentary voices concern that a Detroit Free Press story about the murder underplays Powell's threats against black women in favor of threats against atheists. Did the alleged killer murder Asia for her religious beliefs? Probably not.

While I understand the importance getting better mental health care in this country, I am more disturbed that the police were warned about the threats against Asia but either did nothing to investigate or didn't take them seriously.

I'm not going to write more on this. I strongly suggest you visit What About Our Daughters and take note of the YouTube video at the end from a man who goes by the screenname of infamoustrag, who tried to warn the Detroit police about the man threatening Asia McGowen on Youtube. He talks about people who threaten suicide on the web as well.

This story also has a Facebook connection.

Chilling. And the question that comes up repeatedly is still, are black women less important than other women given the lack of national media coverage on Asia's death? Other than her being black, the story has all the pieces media sharks love--racial hatred, misogyny, suicide by Net, murder by Net, gun violence, unrequited love, a pretty girl, and blood.



Renée aka Mekhismom said...

I suppose the racial hatred piece is even more compelling because the murderer was a black man. This story saddens me and in a week of hearing bad news on a daily basis this truly is just icing on the cake. It is my hope that national news media pick up this story.

Liz said...

Oh it is so sad. And her video is right on, so brave and cool. I'm linking and reposting her video.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Nordette,

I was checking this story out earlier...and it's like dejavu again.

Is there a threshhold on the number of murders that signals time to put a stop to this?I agree...where is the media coverage? Not enough sensation? Story doesn't have the right angle?I'm saddened that this young gilr's life was snuffed out. That nothing was done to prevent this event from occurring.

Seriously, where do we go from here?


msladydeborah said...


It is going to be on us to bring this story to the attention of the nation. It is not going to happen if we wait on the mainstream sources. What happened here is worth the effort. We have to start putting the value of us as a priority nationwide.

Marvalus said...

I read this at WAOD yesterday and like you, cried my eyes out. Especially after looking at the video of Ms. Asia looking so vibrant and sure of herself. It breaks my heart...

Vérité Parlant said...

You all are all so right. I'm with you, Deborah!

le0pard13 said...

This is just so sad to hear and read about. And if I hadn't visited your blog, I wouldn't have heard anything about it. I seen nothing from the major news sites I frequent. This shouldn't be, and it's furthering the tragedy that it is.

Gena said...

Ok, what do y'all want to do? I have been thinking about this so much my head is about to split four ways from Sunday.

Certainly we can post the video of Asia on our blogs, I tend not to want to out of respect to her family but if you want to fine.

I would like to see a group of us represent that we will not be silent. That we will not hide. I'm going over to my blog because I'm getting long winded but we could put together a video in tribute to Asia and to our long history of surviving in the face of madness. If necessary I'd post it on YT (and I hate YT) but there are other services that could be used to get the word out.

msladydeborah said...

I have already alerted some of my on line family about this incident.
I had a difficult time focusing on posting about it. I was very sad and angry yesterday. But I do intend to have a post ready tonight.

SjP said...

This is just too sad and it scares the h*ll out of me. It's hard to believe or understand why this senseless murder-suicide was not blasted all over mainstream media.

This is just maddening! Is it not important to tell this story - and others like it - to keep our daughters our children safe. I mean from the bullying that cause a child to kill himself to this - its just a little too much to bear or comprehend!

Gena said...

SjP we have to bear it. We have to carry the message forward. I'm almost at the point of forgetting about M$M and concentrating on our men folk and children by any means available.

It is like the Stockholm syndrome, identifying with the perpetrators.

We have people blaming this young woman for her own death because she wanted to express herself. "If she kept quiet, if she was invisible."

If she never was on YT or Facebook Asia would still be dead. HE stalked her. The difference is we would not have known why.

Never mind the man was insane/sane or that there is a side issue about even being willing to access mental health resources or finding them.

People in our communities and around the world are continuing to attack, assault or kill women solely because they dare to exist or declared the right of being so.

No. We can tend to our broken hearts but while we are on Earth, when we are ready we need to speak. If not for the dead then for the girl children to come.