Bill Maher on Cleveland Kidnapping: ‘There’s AMBER Alerts – There’s No Shaniqua Alerts’

May 13, 2013 - 4:11 PM

Bill Maher

Bill Maher, a stand-up comic and political satirist (AP Photo)

( – Comedian Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” compared the Cleveland neighborhood where three young women who had disappeared 10 years ago were discovered alive last week to the “unincorporated regions” of Afghanistan, claiming that if the victims were in a “richer neighborhood,” they might have been rescued sooner.

“It reminded me of when we were going into Afghanistan, they talked about these areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan called the unincorporated regions, where it was lawless, and we couldn’t control…” Maher said. “It seems like there are some unincorporated areas of America where we just don’t go, we don’t know, where people disappear very easily, and it is kind of a two Americas thing, because there’s AMBER alerts; there’s no Shaniqua alerts.”

Kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were freed last week after Berry tried to escape through the front door with the help of a neighbor, Charles Ramsey.

“I get the feeling that it’s like a two Americas thing when you look at that neighborhood,” Maher said.

“And I wonder if that has to do with why this wasn’t uncovered earlier. If they were in a richer neighborhood, would they have spent 10 years in that basement?” Maher said, referring to neighbor,” he said.

According to statistics from the Justice Department, 1,315,600 kids under 18 went missing in 1999. Of them, 428,800 were white, 149,700 were African-American, and 163,900 were Hispanic.