I recently began recording the second season of the podcast series here on We Are Respectable Negroes. In our first conversation--which took place today--I learned that there are White Supremacists who are adopting black and brown children in order to study the particular ways of we colored folks. Once the White Supremacist adopted parents are done with these human lab rats, they are to be abandoned.
I was shocked by such a revelation: I should not have been surprised given the capacity which human beings have for evil.
Reading The Atlantic, I then came upon a confessional by David Goldberg about his struggles with (and subsequent arrest for) pedophilia. It is hot here in Chicago. The air is heavy. I desperately want and need a cold beer to chase my can of Coke. My mood is not a good one. In all, the climate and my need for drink have made me especially vulnerable to the dark and judgmental and intolerant part of my personality.
The last three paragraphs of David Goldberg's essay on his sexual attraction to children may have just pushed me over the edge:
I am not advocating the cross-generational lifestyle. In fact, there is never an instance when an adult should engage in sexual behavior with a child. But until we as a society learn that help for those who view child pornography is a far better alternative to incarceration, we are doomed to see the continued proliferation of this problem. Scientists don’t know for certain if there is a correlation between viewing child pornography and offending against children. Wouldn't it be nice to get pedophiles help before we find out for certain?
Despite my arrest, I am one of the lucky ones. Because I was arrested in Canada, I was only given a 90-day sentence. Had I been arrested in the U.S., I could have served many years with hardened criminals. My family and friends stood by since my arrest and love and accept me, despite my sexual flaws.
How many millions of pedophiles throughout the world aren't as lucky as I? How many will never seek help, too scared of the legal and social consequences? How many will continue to create the demand that fuels a malicious child pornography market? Is locking them away for a while the answer? Will the day ever come when we, as a society, reach out and offer them the help they so desperately need?I am not a psychologist or a clinician. Nor, am I an expert in human sexuality. To be sexually attracted to children in a society where such behavior is considered a crime must be a particular type of curse. Moreover, American popular culture and advertising sexualizes children by (often) presenting them as adults (see the beauty pageant phenomenon for girls). Alternatively, young adults are depicted and visually "framed" as children (see the company American Girl or J. Crew). The taboo is erotic. Sex sells.
Is pederasty (or a sexual attraction to the relatively young by those somewhat or much older) rooted in the same impulses as pedophilia? I do not know. I hope that there are some smart readers who can educate me by commenting on the subject.
David Goldberg's "I, Pedophile", also forces a moment of personal reflection. What of those folks, like myself, who in high school had older teachers sexually proposition them? I did not refuse because of any moral or ethical compunctions. I simply did not have the self-awareness to realize what was being offered.
Was I a "victim?"
What of the criminal sexualization of children and teens, as well as acts of pedophilia, that are under-reported both in suburban and urban communities?
David Goldberg's essay reminds me of a story told by a friend who is a counselor working with teen mothers in black "ghetto underclass" communities. If she is right, and I have no reason to doubt her experiences or training, no small number of teen mothers are impregnated by adults in the black and brown community. Some of those adults are older relatives. White rural, suburban, and "middle class" America has the same demons too. None of these communities want to have a public discussion about such a private shame.
Goldberg wants to be "The Woodsman". Neither Kevin Bacon's character nor David Goldberg are victims, per se. The real victims are the children. Even the most passive participants in the pedophile subculture are de facto supporting the sexual exploitation and abuse of the most vulnerable and innocent among us.
David Goldberg's use of the phrase "cross-generational" lifestyle to describe the sexual attraction of adults to children is a dodge. A truthful statement would be more direct and transparent: David Goldberg is sexually attracted to and wants to
Sexual orientation is a complex mix of nature and nurture. One can grant and accept that fact while still being deeply disturbed by the prospect of adults having sex with children. Attraction may not be physical action. But, it is a type of premeditation and animating force toward such a goal if the opportunity made itself available, or were made to be available by a given agent's action(s).
I find the notion of "thought crimes" to be intellectually objectionable. However, in reading Goldberg's explanation of his own desires--and the comments on his piece--I may have to make an exception.