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Newsom ratifies 'Ebony Alert' law, implementing a race-based version of the Amber Alert system that prioritizes finding missing black youths
Photo by John Nacion/WireImage

Newsom ratifies 'Ebony Alert' law, implementing a race-based version of the Amber Alert system that prioritizes finding missing black youths

California has introduced a new race-based alert notification system for missing persons.

Although the nation already has the underutilized Amber Alert System, leftists in Sacramento appear convinced that it hasn't sufficiently prioritized black children. One Democratic lawmaker's proposed remedy was to further segregate concern and investigations.

All 32 Democrats and eight Republicans in the state Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 673 last month. On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law. Accordingly, the "Ebony Alert" law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

"This bill will establish the Ebony Alert system to aid in the location of missing Black youth, including young women and girls, who are reported missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances," Newsom said in a signing document. "I thank the Legislature for highlighting this important issue, addressing well-documented disproportionality in the number of children of color who go missing every year."

While happy to sign the bill into law, the governor admitted that the "criteria in this bill are expansive and do not align with the criteria in existing alerts such as the Amber Alert, Endangered Missing Advisory, Feather Alert and Silver Alert."

The law's author, state Sen. Steven Bradford (D), argued there was precedent for such an alert system, noting that as of last year, the state already had an Indian-focused alert system called "Feather Alert"; a geriatric-focused alert system called "Silver Alert"; and an alert system concerning attacks on police officers called "Blue Alert."

While Amber Alerts — which have helped recover 1,127 children as of January — ostensibly already cover many of those whom Bradford's Ebony Alert would purportedly help, SB 673 suggests that missing black kids are "disproportionately classified as 'runaways' in comparison to their white counterparts and do not receive the AMBER Alert, which ultimately means that fewer resources are allotted to safe return of Black children."

According to the legislation, "When a missing child is listed as a runaway, they receive no media coverage, and fewer police and government resources are available for their recovery."

It would appear that the two alert systems will partially overlap. However, whereas Amber Alerts are used for missing persons 17 years or younger, the Ebony Alert will be issued for missing black individuals ages 12 to 25.

Radio, television, cable, satellite, and social media systems will be encouraged to cooperate with disseminating information contained in an Ebony Alert. Additionally, California Highway Patrol may assist in amplifying the message if a vehicle is involved in the missing person incident.

"Today’s bill signing represents a historic breakthrough, guaranteeing that Black children and young Black women will receive the attention and protection they need when they are reported missing," Rick L. Callender, the president of the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference, said in a statement. "This is a great first step to mitigating the racial inequities when it comes to Black women and children when they go missing."

Bradford told NBC News. "We feel it’s well beyond time that we dedicate something specifically to help bring these young women and girls back home because they're missed and loved just as much as their counterparts are."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was among the many to denounce the law as discriminatory, writing, "Why do liberals LOVE to discriminate based on race? If an Hispanic kid or a White kid goes missing, CA won't send out an alert?!? Here's a crazy idea: Look for EVERY missing child, regardless of race!"

Mike Davis of the Article III Project wrote, "Beyond parody. Beyond racist. Beyond unconstitutional. @GavinNewsom is a total clown."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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