It’s time to stop using young children to make the political and social statements of adults.
We see this during campaign season, typically online. Scriptwriters craft edgy and sometimes even nasty phrases for little kids to say, concerning things that they (the kids, and sometimes the scriptwriters) know virtually nothing about. We’re getting used to watching it. But now that two little boys, one black and one white, have been used in an atrocious rap video that I can describe only as “hate porn,” I say it’s time to stop using kids this way, period.
We have strong laws against child porn. Our society has agreed that using a child in this way for adult entertainment is the worst kind of child abuse. But putting children way too young to give consent into a shocking depiction of obscene violence to make someone else’s social statement is abusive as well.
Perhaps you’ve seen the video in question, the one in which two little boys stand quietly onstage with a noose hanging between them. (I won’t reference the name of the sick “artist” who made this.) The silent question is, “Which boy do we hang?” Then the noose is slipped over the white boy’s head and around his neck, and he is lifted high enough so that only his legs are seen dangling. His legs kick and then become still.
A few viewers --- including the white child’s mother who gave consent --- say they “understand the vision” and that the boys are there to represent innocence. But most have been deeply disturbed and angered by what they see as a detestable, wretched, perverted message. The internet is forever, and those two boys are going to be a part of that sickening “vision” for as long as they live.
According to a FOX News report, the casting director for the project admitted it was challenging to find a parent who would give permission. Well, there’s one small thing to be glad about.
But this video went up on Facebook and has been viewed many thousands of times. If social media are serious when they profess to have a social conscience, it’s time for them to stop facilitating the exploitation of children in this way. Let’s make our own statement about the innocence of children, by protecting them from the vulgarity and hate of those who would exploit them.
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