Last week the Washington Post ran a half page ad on behalf of two girls identified only as AK and MC addressed to craigslist founder Craig Newmark. As with most anecdotal portrayals of the child sex slave epidemic, little to no independent supporting information is offered. The testimony is to be taken at face value and only someone without a heart could possibly question the position advocated by these victims.
A response to that ad was posted yesterday on the craigslist blog. The response should be read in its entirety, but the following point stands out:
Hearing your accounts of being victimized by criminals who you mention also misused our site, we are anxious to know that the perpetrators are behind bars. Would you or the advocacy groups who placed the ads please let us know where the police reports were filed? We have been unable thus far to identify police reports matching the crimes you describe.
It will be interesting to see where this goes, but political smear campaigns that invoke the mantra of protecting children are almost always successful simply because they exploit people’s emotional response to claims of children being injured and they are persistent in the sense that, if you repeat something long and loud enough, people will eventually believe it.
In the end, nearly all persecution is done under the pretense of legitimacy. As state sponsored persecution of gays and African American’s is now acknowledged as inexcusable, so will persecution of sex workers eventually be recognized for what it is.
If these groups were really on a mission to prevent child prostitution, they would not be so focused on eradicating adult prostitution. They would be vigorously campaigning to make it legal with the same transparency and protections enjoyed by all other legitimate business. But, the reality is that they are not saving children. They are using children.