Shaniya Davis: Child Prostitution, Sex Trafficking & Necessary Evil

I don’t like to get into discussions about “good” vs. “evil” from a religious or biblical standpoint. But who are we bullshittin’? Neither one would exist without the other; yes, there is necessary good, and then there is necessary evil as Eddie Murphy pointed out as he played the crazy looking preacher in the movie Vampire in Brooklyn. The death of 5yr old Shaniya Davis is one of those necessary evil cases – necessary to shine some light on a taboo that we often overlook: Child Prostitution, and sex trafficking of minors.

Now mind you, I’m not suggesting that the way she died was necessary in the sense that her life had no worth. Hopefully I’m not obfuscating my position. I am saying that this situation, though horrifically blood-curdling and shocking, should draw attention to a larger societal problem. Of course when you heard about a 5yr old being traded for sex by a mother it was shocking, but yet we act as if this never happens in America or across the globe. The sad truth about it, is that it happens – it’s not right, but it happens a lot more than we even imagine. And to be honest with you, it shouldn’t really be a surprise!

Hell, many of us sat glued to the television every week as America’s most feared white man, Chris Hanson, lured would be child molesters off the internet and into our homes exposing their vile and iniquitous intentions. That said, is there any surprise that there is indeed a market for sex with minors? According to the United States Department of Justice: there are an estimated 293,000 American youth who are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Yes, and many of these kids are not your typical runaways out in the streets, and are in fact just like Shaniya as far as closeness in age.

At the end of the day, while we’re all looking at the mother of this child rightfully with disgust as we are. It’s important to remember, that there are some sick individuals out there who would willingly pay money to fulfill their carnal pleasures by exploiting children. Also, we must never forget that the disease that is drug addiction, is responsible for some of the outrageous things that people do. Yes, Shaniya’s mother was just as sick psychologically in accommodating the wishes of another nebulous individual.

Which reminds me of one day back in 1997. That was the year I purchased my very first computer, and was just set to start my very first adventure surfing the web. At the time as green as I was, I needed some help installing Mind Spring as my first internet service provider. My then boss offered to help, so one day while on lunch we stopped at his house to pickup his sign-up disk which I planned to borrow.

After walking me through the process on his PC, he suggested that I add the program Picture Agent, for pics, news groups and such. I remember him being super exited about this program as he hyped me up on it. While on his PC, he was all smiles when he said “Lemme show you how good picture agent is.” He then opened the program and showed me what appeared to be 1000s of pictures of pornographic material containing children.

My jaw dropped and all I could think, was that this is fuckin insane! He was never the guy I would have ever expected to be into some shit like that. A total sleaze around the office? He was; yes, and everybody especially the females saw him as such; but child porn?!! We would have never guessed it. After that revelation I never looked at him the same, and always kept an eye on his ass at office functions whenever my daughter was around. Especially since he was one of those “touchy feely” type characters.

Years later, long after he and I had moved on from the company I questioned an old buddy from the office about him and his whereabouts. Which was funny because I did tell a few people about what he had on his PC who confronted him about it, but he saw it as no big deal and laughed it off. Well, come to find out he was doing time in prison in Florida. You guessed it… he was doing time for child pornography among some other things; uh-huh, he was also heavy into the drug scene as was Shaniya’s mother. Only difference, he was white, and made six figures annually.

 I hate that Shaniya Davis suffered this ordeal at the hands of a person who is supposed to love and care for her. But that in itself is another issue for another day and another post… unless you feel like talking about it in your commentary that is. The one thing bugging me about this, is the question: if Shaniya Davis’ father was not a white man, would there be this much coverage by Nancy Grace and all the media talking heads? I’m only asking because, well, you know little Black girls never get the same media attention when they go missing; and there lies another example of this being a necessary evil, no?

What say you?

ADDENDUM:  My longtime reader Ms. LadyDeborah of the blog FROM MY BROWN EYED VIEW put me hip to something From the Frederick Douglas Family Foundation. In an attempt to raise awareness about human trafficking:  

Congresswoman Laura Richardson from California introduced a resolution on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, recognizing December 2nd as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.The resolution also honors the legacy of Frederick Douglass and his efforts to abolish slavery. 

This important document has been designated, H. Res. 929.  It was introduced with 11 co-sponsoring lawmakers: Donna Christensen, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Phil Hare, Hank Johnson, Chaka Fattah, Steve Cohen, Sheila Jackson Lee, Gwen Moore, Mike Honda, Raul Grijalva, and Diane Watson. We expect to receive several more co-sponsors in the days ahead.

We Need Your Help

We need your help to expedite floor consideration and passage of the resolution prior to December 2nd.  You can help by spreading the word to all of your family and friends and writing your Members of Congress to ask that (s)he co-sponsor H. Res. 929.

Click here to read the resolution.

Click here to read our press release about The Abolition Day Project.

Click here to locate your Member of Congress.

(Instructions: When you reach the .gov page, enter your zip code + 4 digits in the top left corner of the page.  When you are on your representative’s page, click “send an email” in the top right corner)

It’s that simple!  

Passing this resolution will be an important step toward raising awareness about the enduring crisis of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.  On December 2nd, we’ll have an opportunity to tell the world that there are millions of slaves crying out for our help.

As always, thank you for supporting our efforts.

In Freedom,

Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.
Frederick Douglass Family Foundation