Christians have to help Jesus Christ be manifested by their way of life, showing those around them that love, understanding, and tolerance are possible –Thich Nhat Hanh.*
Part II will take a different turn, as I wait for sources to respond to me on court decisions. I ask the reader to take this long and troubling trip with me. I need to break with the fine form and clarity of journalism.
There will be a Part III. My apologies, but sometimes journalism must be comprehensive at the cost of being concise. Here we will address the troubling myth-building those in power do for personal gain, and the danger mischaracterization and misunderstanding bring to jeopardizing our democratic republic. Such could lead to our next genocide: anyone with “deviant” sexual thoughts or actions are less than human. This section will not focus specifically on current civil commitment, but it lays out the troubling history that got us there. Part III will have a particularly potent message and follow the personal stories I promised.
I addressed how terrorism and sex panic (CP) are being used to compromise the Constitution of the United States. Such may not be intentional or it could be, but neither does genocide always start out as intentional, as historian Arthur Miller notes when discussing the drug war in The House I Live In.
The Right to Pursue Happiness, or is That Genocide?
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you –Jesus Christ.
According to Miller, whose father was a war crimes investigator after World War II, the U.S. could not make race illegal, so it made the drugs that minority groups used illegal. For the Jews, much of Europe made owning property illegal, so they were forced to live in ghettos and loan money. Yet loaning money with interest was seen as a sin, much like a black man selling drugs is today. William Shakespeare’s masterpiece play The Merchant of Venice shows how state-sanctioned hate works. Such drugs as cocaine were legal in the 19th Century, and those addicted were given compassionate care.
When Chinese workers were brought in, white workers worried about their jobs. Sound familiar? This is often used intentionally by lawmakers to drum up support. Chinese men were forbidden to bring their families with them, and interracial marriage was illegal.
Opium became illegal because, according to Miller, the Chinese used it. The same happened to marijuana, which was associated with “Mexicans” and those south of the border. Some believed that using cocaine caused people to murder others. Cocaine was seen as the black man’s drug, so it became illegal. The crack panic of the 80s was largely a farce, and Dr. Carl Hart, a neuropsychologist at Columbia University, notes that nearly 80 percent of all such drug users never get addicted. He advocates for the decriminalization of drugs in the U.S. where 1 in every 3 African American boys is incarcerated or in trouble with the law. Hart has three sons; one is incarcerated.
For Native Americans, they were forced onto reservations, and then the U.S. Army would wage war on unarmed men, women, and children within the reservations. Soldiers at Wounded Knee gunned down unarmed men, women, and children. Kids of murdered parents were sold to white families and, no doubt, terribly abused.
Soldiers received purple hearts for their heroism. Though Native Americans make up 1% of our population, they make up nearly 14% of our homeless. Abraham Lincoln may have signed the Emancipation Proclamation, but he also ordered the deaths of many “Mullatos” for “terrorism.” Author Sherman Alexie’s interview addresses the darker side of U.S. history that is censured in most U.S. schools.
Maybe Morality is the Problem?
During the War in Vietnam, I saw many communists and anti-communists killing and destroying each other because each side thought it had the monopoly on truth –Hanh.
Lawmakers and judges are capable of great harm. At present thousands of kids on our borders face emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse at the hands of our “justice” system because they are presumed to be murderers and killers, a darker skin color. This is a precursor to state-sanctioned genocide. Such support starts with the genocidal machine.
Arthur Miller lays out the process: first, we stigmatize a group (sexually deviant), then we restrict that group’s rights (skewed and bias court proceedings and laws), then we take their persons (prison, civil commitment, sex offender registry), then we try to eliminate them through lack of care in hopes they die (forcing those out of their homes, lack of meaningful therapy, feeding them only salty carbs, destroying family support); then we kill them all. That is the final step. That is the only step left for those accused or guilty of sex offenses, or what we erroneously call “pedophiles.” As one person said to a non-offending pedophile on Twitter: “I hope to God you are slowly tortured and killed. I’d be so happy.”
That is genocide. That is hatred of a stigmatized group. Twitter banned that person. There is hope, but such hope can seldom be found in lawmaking or in profit-driven entertainment media.
Censorship is the precursor to misrepresentation and annihilation. We censure those afflicted or we hate by ripping their tongues of their mouths. Then we tell their stories for them, caste as a horrific truth, though fiction. We add many falsehoods to the truth.
No, those with sex offenses are not African American, oppressed women, or Jews in Nazi camps, but they are human beings, many of which are child sex abuse and abuse survivors. Many are still kids. The Justice Department reports that nearly 90,000 children are on the sex offender registry. Such often prohibits them from going to school and living with their families. How will this help prevent abuse when this population hardly recidivates in the first place?
The process of genocide is a damning-destructive pattern of thought that we all have, a kind of formula: put the group you hate here, initiate the process of dehumanization, and kill them all. Then claim you killed in the name of Jesus or God. As the Nazi officer said after striking a boy that was kicking a cat, “Don’t you know that it is unkind to be cruel to animals?”
The Drug War, Civil Commitment, and the Pending Genocides That Could Be
Let the one who seeks not stop seeking until he finds. When he finds, he shall be troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be amazed, and shall come to transcend all things –Gospel of Thomas.
As Hart says, people will never stop using drugs. Law enforcement will always fail. I think the same is true about sex. The U.S. is a nation built on sex phobia, and such can make sexual trauma all the worse. Now that we are reducing those imprisoned for drug offenses, we need to replace bodies with other bodies.
The “modern-day” drug war unjustly targets African American men. According to the NAACP, African Americans and whites are charged similarly in drug cases, but African Americans are incarcerated “6 times” the rate of whites. When whites get charged, they usually do much less time.
After one trillion spent, the U.S. has made zero progress in the drug war. There has been no reduction. The NAACP also notes that 1 in 37 people in the U.S. are under criminal justice supervision, yet the U.S. still leads the developed world in crime. For every 100 people, there is a police officer. Though the U.S. is arguably a military state, it has dismal crime rates. In military states, the police are often the offenders.
Our prison population went from 230,000 in the 70s to 2.3 million today, and the Clintons’, beloved by African Americans, were partly responsible for the brutal and inhumane “three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy” that has put men in prison for life without parole (one had two marijuana charges and three ounces of crystal meth). It has compromised black communities and poor white communities and destroyed families.
I ask again, do you really think our lawmakers care about kids?
As one lawmaker put it, in denying clear racist evidence given by the United States Sentencing Commission, “Those people are killing our kids …” (emphasis mine). I think he meant Black people, but they are not killing our kids (white), theirs are dying in the streets due to the ugly racist actions of our racially prejudicial judicial system.
The Political Advantage of Truth-Lies
Children have little difficulty recognizing the presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that in order to enter the Kingdom of God, we must become like a child. When the energy of the Holy Spirit [what some Buddhists call mindfulness] is within us, we are truly alive, capable of understanding the suffering of others and motivated by the desire to help transform the situation –Hanh (emphasis mine).
What the drug war has in common with the sex offender witch hunt and its lifelong incarceration of SVPs is that a politician first tells the truth and then adds a falsehood on to that truth, as a journalist noted in The Place I Live In. We have to look no further than the sex offender or “pedopanic” to see our Department of Justice’s and our Courts’ troubled history of deliberate abuse and intentional misleading of the public, abuses that are now just one step away from genocide for a targeted population.
The brutal high-profile child murder cases succeeded in making “pedophiles” and sex offenders as the most hated group in America, and the movement, according to Anne Izzi, a law student at Western New England University, allowed the courts to deny basic human rights to anyone with that label.
Most of the U.S. child exploitation laws were developed when the media focused on horrific and unusual murder and sex cases involving preteen kids. These kids are Jacob Wetterling, Megan Kanka, Amber Hagerman, Jessica Lunsford, and Adam Walsh. There are several glaring problems with this list.
As noted, all are preteen, as if no older kids get abducted. All were murdered horrifically, to the shock of the nation, and all were white.
In 2017, Abbiegail Smith, age 11, was raped and strangled by her neighbor Andreas Erazo. Yet, besides local media, no one seemed to care about Abbiegail. The reason. She was African American. He was found guilty and was appropriately given life in prison. However, there are no minority kids that become high profile. The public is not getting the whole story.
According to the American Psychological Association, the Department of Justice itself reports that 60% of African American girls have been sexually assaulted as minors, and for every one black woman that reports abuse, it’s estimated that 15 do not. The Youth Initiative reports that nearly 40% of all black kids witness violence and such exposure can increase the likelihood of crime in these children’s lives. In both sex trafficking and child sex abuse cases, including domestic abuse, minority children are nowhere to be found in laws. These sex offense laws are making little to no difference for most kids because they have never been about kids’ safety.
Entertainment Media Rebuff: Democracy Dies in Prejudice
With upmost courage, Jesus taught a gospel of nonviolence. Is the church today practicing the same by its presence and behavior? Do the churches practice nonviolence and social justice, or do they align themselves with governments that practice violence and hatred? –Hanh.
We see a similar bias and focus when child sex trafficking makes its rounds in the news loops.
A few years ago, the police in the D.C. area were upset that they could not find several missing girls. They posted picture after picture of these missing girls. Suddenly panic took hold. Several articles appeared in social media and in news media noting that MS-13 is in the bushes snatching what appeared to be little blonde girls.
One mother wrote that two guys looked at her small kids in IKEA, and she knew they were sex traffickers. As one that studied child sex trafficking research, I can assure you that trying to abduct a kid in IKEA would be a very bad idea. For one, the kidnapper cannot get out and must go the whole building (many cameras included). There are multiple witnesses, and little girls are seldom targeted by traffickers. MS-13 is not any organized player in child sex trafficking rings. The group is made of kids that get their reputation from extremely violent paybacks or acts. Most sex trafficking cases are of runaway girls. When the police used to list kids as runaways, no one cared. The public response was one of no empathy for the children.
The police changed “runaway” to “missing.” Suddenly the public cared. The missing minority girls somehow transformed into white community fear.
The major supplier in sex trafficking is the foster care system where the FBI estimates 60 percent of kids feed the sex trafficking demand. Most are minority girls from 15-17 years of age. There are exceptions; however, the real issue is economic disparity and vulnerable populations, not middle-class blond girls strolling the isles of IKEA. Some wealthy girls and young boys can be involved in trafficking, but all victims are vulnerable.
Again, lawmakers care little about the wellbeing of our kids because those kids are not their kids.
In fact, in my own community, there was talk at the dance studio that MS-13 was hiding in the bushes snatching kids, that no kids could walk home alone. If these girls were being abducted, they must be a minority because that is the only way we would not hear about them.
On a disturbing side note, seeing a preteen girl online or walking down the street may become such an event that such will do more to eroticize them than protect them, a point lawyer Amy Adler made in the Columbia Law Review way back in 2001. She said that law enforcement will play a significant role in eroticizing children. Her predictions are startlingly accurate.
In a shocking and unprecedented case, author Yvan Godbout was charged with child pornography for writing an adult version of Hansel and Gretel. Such has been influenced by the United Nations’ push (of all organizations) to make non-existent victims and objects real children without any good evidence, a clear attempt to minimize real child abuse. Now, CSA survivors that write, like myself, may go to prison for crimes against children that do not exist.
We also can be civilly committed, since the SVPA laws have expanded to include those with non-contact or childhood offenses. The UN, as I note in an earlier column, is clearly violating human rights for the sake of protecting human rights. The United Nations has moved from protecting children to incarcerating real people for their imaginations. Canada is happy to go along. We must distinguish who we are pissed off at and who is a danger to our society.
The truth is that kids do get abducted, exploited, and killed; however, many facts are missing, or the stories are made to appeal to the general public, to win political points. Almost none of these trafficking stories or the stories we equate with “pedophiles” and “sexual predators” turned out to be accurate.
If Sex Offenders Lie, So Do Lawmakers: To Take Advantage
The absence of true experience brings forth intolerance and lack of understanding—Hanh.
If our lawmakers care so much about children, why not address the children so often at risk of harm and dying, African American kids?
Yet even with lawmakers’ and the media’s racial neglect-bias, the focus has seldom been on child safety. For one, all of these major laws that have been named after white children strike panic in largely mainstream, white communities. The problem is that these horrific and unusual crimes are used as a kind of baseline for all men that commit sexual offenses, yet we must ask ourselves, what can civil commitment do for violent offenders like Mr. Couey (Jessica’s killer) and Mr. Erazo that life in a regular prison cannot do? What can the sex offender registry do when recidivism rates are extremely low?
They can scare people and keep our dear sheriff and judge in office.
According to my own sex offender therapist training done by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), treatment does little to noting for two types of offenders, high-risk ones and those with low risk. In fact, the ATSA notes that giving treatment to low-risk offenders can cause more harm than good.
I think that men that do such ugly crimes to little kids deserve a life sentence in prison because this is the one thing prisons are really good at, incapacitating extremely violent offenders.
Do our lawmakers care about kids? They think they do. If they did, they would actually read the research and stop misinforming the public. Our legal system would base its decisions on valid research and unbiased expert opinions, something even the Supreme Court could care less about.
They would stop charging people for having a sex doll, story, or cartoon and pay attention to real disparities that make all children vulnerable and put the billions or even trillions they waste into effective treatment and sex education.
They would stop thinking that only bad people have sexual thoughts about kids and have the courage to see a truth that may challenge their reputation, investments, and resumes. As we will see, civil commitment is totally useless and does nothing to protect children. The evidence is strikingly clear.
Part III will cover case examples, the poor rulings of the higher courts, and the outdated, expensive and ineffective treatment for those civilly committed.
*Note: the quotes under each title and subtitle are from the book Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Earl Yarington (LMSW) is a social worker and school bus driver. He taught literature and writing for nearly 20 years and spent 3 years working in forensic social work internships with offending populations, including work at Delaware Correctional facilities and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has a PhD in literature and criticism (feminism/women writers) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Master of Social Work from Louisiana State University, and an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Arts from Arizona State University, where he studied the impact of visual image and girlhood in media/social media. He also has an MA and BS in English from SUNY College at Brockport. The opinions and analyses that Earl writes are his own and are not necessarily the positions or views of his employers, the agencies he supports, or that of his colleagues. Reach out with comments or questions.