". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It Can't Happen Here, In Small Town Midwest America

Oh yes it can, and it does. We are speaking of child prostitution, children kidnapped and raped repeatedly by small town fathers.

If you can stomach the story go here to a story investigated and broken by the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette.

This particular girl is 13 and was kidnapped from Minnesota.

[ In this massive project, no passage stands out more than the opening paragraphs in part one:

In the basement of an ordinary-looking Williamsburg home, the 13-year-old girl was given a choice. Either she would have sex with two men nearly twice her age or she would be given back to her kidnapper. Already in the week since Demont Bowie told the suburban Minneapolis girl she belonged to him, he'd beaten and abused her, starved her and deprived her of sleep. He traded her body to his friends and even a mechanic. When Demont told her to do something to someone, she did. There was no refusing. He'd said he'd kill her, kill her family, if she tried to leave. She believed him. ]

[ Based on your reporting in this case, how widespread do you think this kind of child exploitation is in rural America?

Hemmingsen: I don't think it's unusual at all. Betty Thompson started prostituting in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when she was young. She had previously been convicted of prostituting an underage Cedar Rapids-area girl in Milwaukee. While the series was running, I got a phone call from a man who said one of the other "escort" services that had previously advertised in The Gazette was offering young girls, although I don't have proof of that. ]


Renegade Eye said...

The extent of how civilized a society, is measured by how children are treated.

Graeme said...

I don't know what to say other than I hope they rot in jail.