GUEST COMMENTARY - I took the opportunity to see the movie Sound of Freedom recently, which I knew was about human trafficking, but had no appreciation for the extent of the problem. There were parts of the film that caused me to tear up, and after watching interviews with former HSI special agent Tim Ballard and Jim Caviezel who plays Ballard in the movie, I was stunned at the scope of the worldwide trafficking of children as sex and labor slaves.
Human Trafficking in California
As I traverse the city of Los Angeles for my job as a Section 8 housing investigator, this movie Sound of Freedom made me wonder why the political establishment in my city, county and state government allow women and minors to be trafficked daily on the streets of Los Angeles and elsewhere. I see what appear to be adult women walking up and down the Figueroa St and Western Ave in South Los Angeles with impunity and zero resources: no cops, no arrests, no prosecutions, no rescuing, just the daily selling and exploitation of women (mostly of color).
In April 2022, the California State Senate Public Safety Committee allowed SB 1042 to die in committee, which would have reclassified human trafficking as a California strike-offense and make those convicted of this crime subject to the same penalties that apply to all serious and violent crimes. Currently in California human trafficking is a non-serious, non-violent crime.
In July 2023, the California State Assembly voted a down SB 14, which would have included sex trafficking of minors in the lists of crimes that are defined as serious under California law, making the crime a strike under the Three Strikes law, was voted down by democrats in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
Trafficking Minors at the Southern Border
According to CBS news, “Nearly 130,000 migrant children entered the U.S. government's shelter system in fiscal year 2022, an all-time high driven by record arrivals of unaccompanied minors along the southern border.” And, although required by U.S. law, CBS reports, “the vast majority of minors received by the agency are migrant teenagers who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without their parents or legal guardians.” This loophole makes the exploitation of children at the southern border vulnerable to child traffickers.
The Fundamental Transformation of America
I’ve often been accused of being a far-rightwing extremist for ringing the alarm about the insidiousness of the normalization of aberrant behavior creeping into the American society since 2009. I remember vividly, the redefining of language to fit the new agenda of “…fundamentally transforming America,” first said publicly by Barack Obama in Columbia, Missouri, on Oct. 30, 2008, just days prior to his election to the Office of the President of the United States. I believe now, as I did then; redefining words and language to normalize deviant and criminal behavior is dangerous.
During the Obama years, I watched what I believed to be a deliberate attempt to obscure the line between legal and illegal immigration, to stop referring to criminals of color as criminals, and to demonize cops. It was the first time I’d ever heard anyone suggest police should be disarmed, jails should be abolished and cops for the most part are racist; the Ferguson Effect.
It was the first time I’d ever heard anyone suggest a biological male should be allowed to shower, urinate and defecate with biological females (all ages) in the women’s restroom, if they-the male-felt like a female but still had a penis. With help from the media the Obama administration began to obfuscate genders, advocated for men to shower and use a women’s restroom, and since then, biological men now compete with biological women in women’s sports and the media, and activists, pretend it’s all normal.
Why Words & Media Coverage Matter
According to Statista.com, in 2001, 53% of Americans believed gay and lesbian relations to be morally wrong, however, in 2022, that number fell to only 25%. Further, in 2012, only 3.5% of Americans identified as transgender, however, in 2022 that number has risen to 7.2%.
I’m not saying that gay or lesbian relationships are morally wrong, I believe people should love, marry, and build a life with whomever they want. My point is the definition or redefinition of words and language can have an impact on societal norms and public policy.
Since the in-custody death of career criminal and drug addict, George Floyd in 2020, the radical-leftwing progressive movement in America allowed and supported widespread rioting, looting, retail theft, assaults on cops and federal agents and sympathized with the burning down of police stations and court houses around the country. Vice President Kamala Harris helped set up bail funds for rioters and looters, while CNN reporter Ali Velshi called the rioting and looting mostly peaceful protests as buildings burned behind him in a live shot.
Since the officer involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of Floyd from a drug overdose, not use of force, 53% of the country believe police are racist and over police communities of color.
Media and politicians presenting George Floyd as a martyr of the oppressed and Michael Brown as an innocent hands up, don’t shoot victim are inaccurate. Many believe George Floyd died as a result of the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, which according to the coroner’s report is not accurate.
Media reporting Michael Brown was simply a poor Black man in Ferguson, buying some cigars, who after being stopped by officer Darren Wilson, put his hands up and said, “don’t shoot,” is also not accurate but people still believe it in 2023; the Ferguson Effect.
Speaking of Terminology
While the term minor attracted person was first observed in 1998 on Boychat, in 2021, Old Dominion University professor Allyn Walker, a 34-year-old transperson, was asked to step down and placed on administrative leave after their controversial argument that pedophiles should be referred to as “minor-attracted persons.”
Further, on March 29, 2023, an article, “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases,” was coauthored with Suzanna Diaz and by Michael Bailey, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, whose been a professor for 34 years, and a researcher for 40, was retracted by the publisher on June 14, 2023, due to trans activists calling for that retraction because the article and study did not fit the trans agenda.
Bailey’s study says in part, “The theory behind ROGD is that through social contagion from friends, social media, and even school, vulnerable girls are exposed to the idea that their normal adolescent angst is the result of an underlying transgender identity. These girls then suddenly declare that they are transgender. That is the rapid onset. After the declaration, the girls may desire—and receive—drastic medical interventions including mastectomies and testosterone injections.” ~ Why Is the Media Attacking Sound of Freedom.
Left-leaning media has wasted no time dismissing and even condemning the movie Sound of Freedom, The Guardian calling it, “The QAnon-adjacent thriller seducing America.” The Washington Post said, “Sound of Freedom is a box office hit whose star [Caviezel] embraces QAnon,” and Rolling Stone said, “Sound of Freedom is a Superhero Movie for Dads with Brainworms,” implying that if you believe anything in the movie you are a moron.
And although the U.S. State Department created the Trafficking In Persons Office during the Clinton administration, many in the media and progressive wing of the Democrat Party and media believe the movie Sound of Freedom is exposing the danger of the public policies of the Obama and Biden administrations, especially at the southern border, and it seems media vexation with the film is they think it incriminates and implicates the progressive movement for many of the current ills of society in America.
While I do not know why those in media are put off by a movie that brings the issue of sex trafficking and slavery-especially of children-into mainstream consciousness, I suspect there are many minor attracted persons in media, political electeds, the teaching profession, doctors, lawyers, judges, Hollywood elites, cops and everyone else in between, that do not want this topic of conversation to happen.
I think Sound of Freedom is an important film that everyone should see.
(Gil Contreras is a former police officer, Army veteran and award winning radio & podcast personality. Gil is also a California state licensed private investigator, certified K9 handler and corporate director of investigations with over 30 years of security, law enforcement and investigative training and experience.)