Monday, November 28, 2016

Louisiana: About a Girl

Image: “Plaque from a Casket with a Dancing Woman” by Coptic via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0


A phone was stolen. A couple of videos created. Unbeknownst to the child-director-actor, automatically uploaded. Seen by the owner of the phone, someone I know. Reported, same day as the discovery, to four child-protection or law enforcement agencies in two states. Persevered over several days to push an investigation.

The videos: Graphic, disturbing, alarming, no ambiguity at what occurred.

Responses by the agencies: Indecisive, vague, incomplete. Dismissive, even.

I think about this young girl, age unclear. Ten? Twelve? Fourteen? She is a girl of color. There is zero doubt that she has been exposed to things that no child should be exposed to, and the same holds true for at least one young child in her circle. When I say zero doubt, I mean that. The videos make that clear.

The sheriff's office referred the caller to the city police although the video was filmed in the parish. The city police tried to refer the caller to the sheriff. The child protection agency in Louisiana determined insufficient cause - without even looking at the videos - for investigation. The child protection agency in the reporter's state referred the reporter to Louisiana. The city police assented to look into things, but there was a delay until the appropriate detective could talk to the caller about it. There was a further delay while the city detective decided how to accept or view the videos.

It all ended up so ambiguously. The child would get counseling, apparently. Or maybe the family. Or both. For what, one wonders. Unknown.

Everybody seemed to have missed the point.

This girl, albeit the actor on a superficial level, was clearly in an environment of abuse, present or past.

One person, among the numerous consulted during the reporting chronology, made a throw-away comment about the sexual precociousness of girls these days. Like them being the aggressor with the boys, etc. This, despite the fact that I had described graphically what was on the video. That this girl is a child.

Here are some perspectives about the vulnerability of young girls of color: 

Sex Crimes Against Black Girls Exhibit Uses Art to Confront Incest

Why Are Black Women Less Likely to Report Rape?

Sent Home From Middle School for Reporting a Rape

Sexual Abuse and the Code of Silence in the Black Community

Why Does Our Culture Sexualize Young Black Girls?

Marvel Pulls Sexualized Riri Williams Cover After Backlash

The Onion Tweets That [a Nine-Year Old Girl of Color] is the C-Word


Updated information

The Truth About How People View Young Black Girls is Disturbing



This young girl in South Louisiana, whose life intersected with mine, briefly. What is she doing today?


A song from one of my favorite artists, Rhiannon Giddens, At the Purchaser's Option:





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