One word keeps popping up in the Annie Le murder headlines.
The word is “Yale”. “Lab worker arrested in Yale student’s killing” blared CNN’s headline this morning. “Yale Murder: Crime of Passion? ” asked ABCnews.com. Even Britain Guardian’s newspaper proclaimed that “Yale Student Annie Le was strangled”.
But do a Google search for “college student murdered.” Lots of hits, but not a lot that appear on national news sites. “The gruesome murder of Imette St. Guillen” read an MSNBC headline that failed to mention the victim was a graduate student at John Jay College. “Hunt On For College Student’s Killer” read the CBSnews.com headline that neglected to include that the victim – an attractive young woman like Annie Le – was an Auburn University freshman.
Annie Le was murdered on her wedding day. But those weren’t the buzz words in the headlines, except when they read “Missing Yale Student Annie Le’s Body Likely Found on Wedding Day”.
Would Annie Le’s death have been any less tragic if she had been a student at Wackapoo Community College? Her murder had nothing to do the school she attended. If she had been an Hispanic cleaning woman killed on the Yale campus, would this have made national news? You know the answer.
We live in a society that is disintegrating from the widening gap between the haves and have-nots. We have already established if you’re young, white and blond, like Natalie Holloway, then your murder becomes a sensation. Now we are sending the message that society only cares about your safety if your college is at the top of the U.S. News and World Report college rankings.
My heart goes out to Annie Le’s family. Not because their daughter was a Yale student. Of all the memories that they will treasure about her, that will make them laugh or cry, her institution of higher learning will not be at the top of the list.