Friday, May 14, 2010

Lawrence Taylor & Terminology

I'm sure many of you have seen the coverage of 51-year-old former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor all over the news in the past week. You may even have seen some of my TV commentary on the subject on Larry King Live (if you missed it, find the show link below in "Features").
If you missed the coverage altogether, here is a recap: basically Taylor was arrested for having sex with an underage child. Before you respond with “but she was a prostitute”  take a moment and think about what you are saying.  Even if a child is receiving money for sex and the features of prostitution exist the reality is that this type of sexual abuse is still exploitation. 

We all know that language and terminology matters.  Nowhere is that more true than in the area of the exploitation of children. (Recall my Huffington Post article discussing human trafficking as Problem of Language).  So here is today’s lesson: children can NOT be prostitutes.  They can be prostituted (by adults) but they can not be prostitutes. The difference in language is critical. And in order to make positive steps to protect children it is time we get our terms straight.

Taylor's attorney, of course, asserts: "My client did not have consensual sex with anyone." But this young girl describes the evening and how Rasheed Davis, her pimp, brutally beat her and forced her to have sex with Taylor. She shares in graphic detail how the condom got stuck in her during the act.?This case is an example of how child abuse, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking is misunderstood in this country. It is happening here in the U.S. everyday!   Sex trafficking is the second biggest criminal business in this country, next to drugs.

In Taylor’s case we have the alleged victimization of a child, who was  apparently exploited and sold for sex. This cannot possibly be her fault. She is not a prostitute - she is a victim. The kid cannot even rent car, vote, lease an apartment, sign a  contract, let alone have a chosen career of prostitution. 

Ronald Monestime from NY said it well, so I will quote: "in a case of this magnitude, or any case for that matter involving a celebrity, every single detail must be examined from a purely objective point of view. This means that every discrepancy must be looked at with a scrutinizing eye.  The justice system as well as the court of public opinion owes that to the accuser and the accused. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world."?
So people lets start with scrutinizing our language.  Terminology that accurately depicts these children as victims will lead to their identification by first responders as victims of domestic minor sex trafficking – prostituted children.
We certainly don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where former NFL hall-of-famers can and do have sex with children forced by others to have sex for money-- prostitutes and try to not go to jail for their acts (I'm not naming any names here). We'll see how this all plays out! Pun intended.

1 comment:

Project Meridian Foundation said...


I would like to congratulate you on bring the awareness of the crimes against children and young women.

Laws need to inforced against Johns and Janes for steeling the lives of our children (minors). They are sexual offenders.
Do the Crime serve the Time!

Since 2003, I have been in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill solely engaged on combating Human / Sex Trafficking in the U.S.A.

You are correct about the language and terminology it really does matter. I believe the language of Human Trafficking has been the missed called since 1999, by the tag line from Human Trafficking soley to "Modern day slavery".
The root word of Human / Sex Trafficking is "Corruption".

Yes, there are some forms of Slavery involved in Human Trafficking. Over this past two years as we have asked over 5,000 High School and University Students about the term "Modern Day Slavery". Their first response is this a race issue (black & white), Civil War or the same issue of African Chief selling their own people into slavery in England in the late 1800's and early 1900's. U.S. there has only been two cases in the past years that was case that was prosecuted as Slavery.

The term "Pimps" has been glorified through films and TV series like Starsky and Hutch Huggy Bear who was a "pimp" that helped Starsky and Hutch go after bad guys. Wasn't he also the bad guy? The Film industry desensitizing Pimp and Sexual Exploration of girls.

Our youth and know professionals young adults up to 26 years of age have desensitized the language of "ho" and "pimp". Which they think is cool now. Of course this language which was started by Gangs and through RAP music.

The language of the term "pimp" is truly "Trafficker". When we use this the term Trafficker vs Pimp. Then our Judaical system, D.A.'s and Law Enforcement can apprehend and prosecute the trafficker to the fullness of the law.

Who is the True Criminals? Mafia's, Traffickers, Gangs. We believe this will keep this the true criminals of the street. Instead out on bail with in less than 24 hours. By using our laws under Hannis crimes, White Collar Crimes, RICO, Telecommunication laws, Money laundering, Statutory Rape, Sexual assault (Rape,Inciting of Rape), Sexual Exploitation of a minor...the list goes on. It is all about awareness.

Johns and Janes for buying a minor for Sex. They should under go psychological evaluation to verify if they are a sexual predator or pedophile. Fines should be greater with longer sentences, seizure of assets, Public notices through local news. Send a message!

The greatest challenge is our battle against human trafficking faces is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the trade.

Spreading awareness about this issue is essential to empower our efforts to come to the aid of these victims.

Just as important, is the monetary support that provides us the resources to put our plans into action. I cannot thank you enough for opening your hearts to the plight of these victims --- our own children. Thank you.

Just some "Food for Thought!"


Nathan Wilson, CEO/President
Project Meridian Foundation