There is a scene in a movie that is sure to bring a tear to my eye. In the movie To Kill A Mockingbird Gregory Peck plays a southern hicktown lawyer defending a Blackman accused of sexually assaulting a young teenaged White girl. As he leaves court, defeated, the balcony filled with Black sharecroppers and family begins to stand. A sign of respect Peck never sees but done anyway hat in hand.
At times we need to stand. Stand for what's right, stand for those that stand for you. We need to get up off of our couches and stand up for Justice.
Interesting that one of the posters was told the FBI would have jurisdiction over this Dakota Fanning case.
Title 18 of the United States Code governs child pornography. See Chapter 110, Sexual Exploitation and Other Abuse of Children. 18 U.S.C. § 2256 defines "Child pornography" as:
"any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where -
(A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(B) such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(C) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
(D) such visual depiction is advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is or contains a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct . . ."
Section 2256 clearly defines images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct as "Child Pornography." It also, however, adds to that definition images that appear to depict a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and images or advertisements that suggest images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
I am sticking to my story, there is an investigation. But then I don't have to answer to the public. Maybe a lesson was learned back a few months ago when a candidate for office had his candidacy, his career, his personal and family life tainted (to say the least) when word came out in the press that he was being investigated for a particularly heinous offense.
Certainly (tongue in cheek) there must be caution to protect the investment Wilmington and the State have in the film maker and her film and you would imagine all the other movie companies considering Wilmington as a desination for their next film. There are jobs and millions of dollars at stake. After all it is only a child, and it's not our child. (so they say)
The idiots making deposits at the Tourism Bank & Trust think it is grand that people visit Wilmington to see where the stars of One Tree Hill hang out. You know the TV show about high school teenagers drinking and having sex. Wouldn't want to ruin the reputation of Wilmington home of Bastard Out of Carolina, Lolita, Blue Velvet, Brandon Lee's death in the movie The Crow, drug capital of the Southeast, home of the Wilmington 10 and the 1898 bloodbath. Nope wouldn't want to have to yank our heads out of the sand long enough to squawk at a teensy bit about child exploitation. After all who has it hurt? No one hears Dakota crying out rape or abuse ... yet.
Yet. What does a child of 12 know anyway? Just wait, she will grow up, and wise up, she will know what people have done to her all these years. Ask Brooke Shields.
It is important for law enforcement to take the role of advocate when a crime has transpired. The elderly, many times, have no idea they are victims of crime. Children, many do not know the difference between love and abuse, they wouldn't know what to report even if they wanted to. Sometimes a victim is unconscious, brain damaged, defenseless. Sometimes the victim needs someone to step up for them, their rights, and give them justice. Give us all justice.
Just because Dakota is not crying foul does not mean she is not a victim worthy of protection. I remember a case in the news lately when a 14 year old pregnant girl was protecting her 30 something lover, the supposed father of her unborn child. I remember she was so dead set on protecting him she chose to take the life of her unborn to protect their "love", I remember how tragic it must be and have been for her to be under so much pressure. The protection she needed came in the form of a hammer, crushing the spirit out of her. She needed an advocate, someone who could have the patience to talk with her, guide her into the right thing rather than make threats and judgments against her. Likewise there needs to be an intercession with Dakota by law enforcement to protect her with kid gloves by dealing with this properly and swiftly. She too is under pressure, imagine how difficult it must be to have her mother and folks she has trusted and lived with indicted for abusing her.
But it has to be done, we don't need little Dakota wannabes playing dress up games of rape because well "Dakota did it."
Whether or not any of the crew will step forward as an eyewitness is uncertain. In this business it doesn't take much to be blackballed from any future work. No one wants a whistleblower working for them. Especially in the film business when there are so many safeguards in place already to protect the personal lives of the moviestars.
Hollywood is extremely powerful, Mel Gibson found that out recently. I doubt anyone wants to step into an arena to face the all-star ACLU defense team and the onslaught of "expert witnesses" that will be diving in front of every reporters notebook and of course the liberal media pundits yammering about freedom and liberty and about how backwoods and puritanical Wilmington is. Think of the Duke Rape scandal and the amount of press that generated. Now imagine the angelic face of this blue eyed blond haired brilliant child defending her right to do as she pleases for art sake. Imagine Disney, and all the other companies that have DVD's on shelves staring Dakota with no one wanting to be reminded of her role in Hound Dog, imagine the big guns pulled out of mothballs to attack a piddlely little prosecutor with Mike Nifong's stink on every microphone shoved in the faces of every official within 100 miles. Imagine the inner strength required of the man that stands up against all that. The David with the slingshot facing mighty Goliath.
Makes you disappointed doesn't it? Because you know there aren't many men in this world holding positions of authority that would step up to the plate on this one. Too much of a downside to fight for justice on this. Too expensive.
Ain't it always the case?
I have a feeling though that this time it is different. Someone is out there sticking up for justice. Ready to confront the bully. Standing up for our children and our community. Someone with the right encouragement from a groundswell of support will face the mighty Goliath, and slay him once and for all. And he will do it for our children's future, not for any other reason.
May God protect him. God be with us all.