A few years ago when I was a freelance Legal Advocate for women and girls that were in prostitution, a young girl (15) called me and wanted me to meet with her alone. I agreed to meet with the young lady and she was in tears and didn’t know what to do. She confessed that she was involved in prostitution and she thought she was in the wrong not a victim. Shortly after I hadn’t heard from her, when I called her phone the person that answered said she committed suicide. I went to the funeral to pay my respect to her and an adult woman who happened to be her caseworker gave me the young girl’s diary. In her diary she shared her deepest secrets of how she became a child prostitute and how a teacher’s aide at her school coerced her into it. I went to the school and approached the school counselor and said I’d like to be a guest speaker at your school about trafficking and stranger danger awareness. The school counselor said to me that there was nothing wrong with their school and there is no child prostitution going on.
I made a bargain with the school counselor and said, “I have a DVD of a popular music video “PIMP” By 50 cent, if the students are not familiar with the video I will pack up my things and will not show my face again. The counselor agreed so we set up a time and date for me to speak at the auditorium. I TV was front and center, I placed the DVD in and the music video popped up, the music haven’t even been played yet and as the students walked in, they cheered with glee cause they knew what this music video was about. I looked at the school counselor and she stood there in shock. Let me remind you that this was not a public school it was a Christian Private High School. I didn’t play the whole video just the beginning, just enough to see how many students were familiar with this type of music.
When the students sad in the bleachers, I challenged them to get a pen and paper and to draw a line in the middle. Write woman on one side and man on the other. I told them if they were familiar with the video to describe to me in one word list what they believe the music represented. Then I asked for 6 volunteers (3 girls/3 boys). The amazing thing was they ALL had the same answer: woman (half naked, dog chains around their necks, silent, behind the man); man (front, center, kings, master, fully clothed) after reviewing what they wrote, I told them when they listen to these types of music and see no harm they are encouraging slavery.
I then pulled out a large poster of the Atlantic Slave Trade of a Master that was fully clothed, front, center, status of wealth and a cane, in front of the slavemaster, was the slave: half naked, silent, dog chain around their necks.) The children gasped with surprise. I told them that the word “Pimp” is nothing of fashion, but a contribution of slavery. After the presentation, few of the girls came up to me and confessed that someone in their school had promoted prostitution through a record label deal. I encouraged the girls to share this information to the school counselor and after wards we had the police involved. We don’t realize what is circulating in the media or what our children are watching and when we say it’s harmless, it only becomes a stepping stone of encouragement of that type of behavior. I wanted to share this with you to help you realize that even something so small as a music video can encourage a young child’s mind that slavery is ok.
Note: Due to confidentiality, I did not note the person’s name, school or whereabouts of the school, but all is true and this is just an FYI that we need to encourage schools to join in the fight of slavery.