You know, I’ve been writing about human/child trafficking for the past 14 years. Whether the trafficking is done through online classifieds platforms like craigslist and Backpage or through social media, hardly anyone normally cares about child trafficking. The stories I post about trafficking are usually the ones that garner the least amount of traffic, ironically.
It reminds me of a panel from the graphic novel Watchmen when the original Minutemen meet in the 1940s and the character of The Silhouette suggests that the group of heroes should go after child traffickers. The leader of the group, Captain Metropolis, then proceeds to tell her that people wouldn’t want to read about their exploits because child trafficking is ‘too sad’.
As some of you may know, I inherited a website a long time ago that was about child abuse. At the same time, I had another site about crimes as they related to craigslist, where a lot of child trafficking took place. Which one do you think was more successful? It turns out that people would much rather read about children being abused by their own parents than they would children being sold into sexual slavery. I guess child abuse isn’t ‘too sad’.
Enter Jeffrey Epstein. I first found out about the story of Jeffery Epstein when my boss at my day job asked me to write about the situation. This was before Epstein was arrested the second time and a US District Judge had ruled that federal prosecutors had broken the law by not revealing the non-prosecution agreement to victims and by telling the victims the investigation was still ongoing. I highly recommend reading the Miami Herald’s Perversion of Justice investigation.
At this point, sone people cared that a monster like Epstein was able to essentially escape justice while serving a ridiculously light sentence in Florida where he could still bicycle to work and only had to be in an actual cell at night in the Palm Beach County Jail.
Then his arrest in New York happened and his subsequent suicide (you heard me) then all of a sudden everyone cared.
I guess I have to address the elephant in the room before progressing. Epstein killed himself. Everyone that mattered in the judicial system had a hate-on for this guy. He was probably going to get a multi-century sentence and be known as the Bernie Madoff of pedophiles. Suicides in jail do happen. People who had a lot less to lose than Epstein have taken their own lives in jail while facing much lesser charges. Do I believe that New York police turned a blind eye both physically and electronically to Epstein’s suicide? Absolutely. But this is where the problem really started.
As I’m sure most of you know, Epstein had some connections to some pretty important people, to say the least. The people most associated with Epstein in the minds of Americans are the Clintons and Donald Trump. So, many people on the right think that the Clintons had Epstein killed while many people on the left think that Trump had him killed. The majority of these people who buy into the assassination conspiracy theory are more concerned about being ‘correct’ in their political affiliations than the plight of the victims Epstein abused. Call it ‘the smug factor’, if you will.
The other reason why I think so many people are vocal about this specific instance of child trafficking is that Epstein’s victims were white. Now I don’t say this to try to lessen the tragedy that Epstein inflicted on his victims. They deserve justice just as much as anyone. However, children of color are more likely to be trafficked than white kids as children of color are lured into being trafficked with promises of a life without poverty. Too many people see ‘usual’ child trafficking as ‘a ghetto thing’ and too many people who say ‘All Lives Matter’ seem to be saying with this that only white children matter.
Here’s the truth of the matter. Child trafficking happens every day. It doesn’t just happen when only some rich dude gets caught doing it. It happens constantly on social media like Snapchat, Kik, and Instagram. It even happens on your precious Facebook. It sure as hell doesn’t happen in your BS conspiracy theories.
In my opinion, you either care for all the victims of trafficking or you don’t.