Child Marriage in the United Stated of America

The existence of child marriage is an atrocity. The fact it is legal in majority of the United States is even more appalling. Child marriage is a crime in and of itself, yet not often discussed. The same way I have discussed that a child cannot consent to performing in pornography or prostitution, it applies here. A child does not consent to marriage; this is a form of forced marriage. (Credit to the original creator)

Child marriage is defined as "any formal marriage or informal union between a child under the age of 18 and an adult or another child," according to UNICEF. How often does child marriage occur? You would think it's a rare occurrence, but sadly, it's not. CBS News shared that between 2000 - 2015, more than 200,000 minors were married in the United States, majority being young girls married to an older man. The only states that have strict laws that do not allow child marriage in any case are the following: Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. These laws require that someone can only marry if they are of the age of 18 or older, no exceptions. Most states think this is government overreach and aren't on-board with banning the practice of child marriage.

To put things into perspective, let's look at the most extreme cases of child marriage that happened in the United States, according to World Population Review.
  • In 2010 in Idaho, a 65-year-old man married a 17-year-old girl
  • In Alabama, a 74-year-old man married a 14-year-old girl
  • In Tennessee, three 10-year-old girls married men ages 24, 25, and 31, respectively.
  • The youngest boy to marry was an 11-year-old who married a 27-year-old woman in Tennessee in 2006.
Why isn't this issue discussed enough? The idea that a young girl could marry an older man is disgusting. This is not a marriage. This is a forced marriage and possible human trafficking situation, where one party has more power and authority over the other. For the victim, it robs them of their rights as a human being. Girls who are married before the age of 18 are more likely to drop out of school, never to receive a proper education. Many are likely to experience sexual or domestic abuse. Now, I'm sure there are some who would think that if that child is old enough (i.e. 16 years old), they could have the common sense to leave or runaway, even file for divorce. Unfortunately, any legal options for a minor is limited. The child of the marriage isn't allowed to try to file for divorce, nor can they run away due to strict laws that prohibit children from running away.  

This is not an issue that happens overseas. The United States is currently allowing the marriage between a child and a grown man/woman. What can be done to fight this issue? There are two paths you can take, either one or both. First, start talking about it. This issue is widely ignored because it's uncomfortable. That's why this issue still exists. By making this a conversation, you make people aware this is an issue we must fight. Second, contact your lawmakers and representatives. The people we elect are supposed to fight for what we want, and we want children to not be allowed to be married. It hurts our most vulnerable. This article is not meant to shame anyone who was part of a child marriage or the product of that marriage. It's to bring awareness to a travesty that is allowed in our great nation. Stand up and join me in this fight. Child marriage cannot be allowed to continue in this country.

Human Trafficking and Social Media

Who remembers being taught the idea of "stranger danger?" As children, we were told never accept a stranger's request to speak with them or be alone with them. We can often remember that going into a stranger's white van was extreme danger. Social media is now used as predators and traffickers "white van." Because we are so enthralled with the technological advances we experience through social media, we often ignore the dangers of speaking with strangers or sharing personal information with unknown bodies. Targeting victims through social media has made human trafficking much simpler. Instead of having to stalk, follow, or speak to a potential victim, traffickers can click a button and find several victims at once. 

What is common with human traffickers? They're adaptable and cunning. Traffickers understand how technology advances and learn how to use it to their benefit. One FBI specialist shared with Thomas Reuters Foundation how traffickers use websites and chat rooms to target victims. "They [the traffickers] are keeping up with technology and exploiting it for their purposes, their illegal businesses. They’re not opposed to using what’s available to them."

How do traffickers use social media to target victims? To answer this question, let me ask another question: What's a common theme you see on social media? People posting how depressed or hard their life is. I'm sure at one point or another, you've posted that you're having a hard day or life is too horrible. Many minors will make similar posts, as a seemingly innocent way to get sympathy from followers and vent their frustrations. A trafficker, on the other hand, will see these posts and realize they've got a new target. Traffickers, after taking the time to read similar posts or view different photos, will "approach" that person (or child) and tell them what they want to hear. For example, a 14-year-old girl named Mary posts how she thinks she is so ugly. "Nobody will love a face like mine!" she shares. Another "14-year-old girl" comments saying, "You're so beautiful!" The self-conscious Mary contacts the other girl, thanking her for her words. Little does Mary know that her soon-to-be "girl friend" is actually a 30-something old man pretending to be a 14-year-old girl. This is just a fictional example, but this does happen. 

As stated by Fight The New Drug, "After trust is built, traffickers will convince the potential victim to meet up with them or may even coerce the potential victim to send a risky picture, which the trafficker can then use to extort the potential victim."

The Human Trafficking Institute reported that in 2020, over 50% of online recruitment cases for human trafficking came from Facebook. Even worse, the report shared that "65% of identified child sex trafficking victims recruited on social media were recruited through Facebook." Instagram and Snapchat were also responsible for online recruitment of children in 2020. This is a major problem, and it won't go away. We live in a technological era and are reliant on technology. So how do we fight this issue?

The answer, believe it or not, isn't to get rid of social media. At least in the case for adults. You can use social media platforms like Tik Tok or Instagram to educate children and teenagers. If you follow me on Instagram, majority of my Reels involve information about human trafficking and domestic abuse. Through these short videos, you can inform thousands or more on these dark subjects. Social media can also be used for good, not just evil. With younger children and even teenagers, parents have to be vigilant. It's easy to say, "My child knows better." There's no way to avoid this. It's better to be safe than sorry, wouldn't you agree? There is more hope. An affiliate of Fight The New Drug called Bark helps fight the issue of potential trafficking. There is an algorithm that alerts parents of predators contacting their children. You should constantly teach your children to not accept messages from random accounts. You should also tell your child they can trust you. Often, children victimized by human trafficking think that their trafficker knows what is best for them, instead of a parent or mentor. Constantly tell your children they can trust you. 

We live in scary times, but that doesn't mean we just have to sit back and allow it to happen. The solution to fighting online recruitment and human trafficking is simple. In order to prevent children from longing for safety from strangers, we must continue to be vigilant, compassionate, and vocal. The safety of our fellow man has never been more important.

If you suspect human trafficking or know someone in a human trafficking situation, contact law enforcement or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to 233733.

Abortion is A Black Issue

Bio: I go by the name Solomon Knight, as it represents most of my values. Being a young millennial/gen Z man, I was thrusted into the crossroads of what America will be in the 21st century. However, I have a strong faith in God and an adoration for the heroic stories that America has created, both the fictional and historic, that guides me in my decision making for the future. You can find me on my podcast: Legion Musing on YouTube (when we don't have a strike), and the after show on Rumble and Odysee. I am also active on twitter as Solomon Knight.

Two Sundays ago, my mother showed me a sermon from a local black pastor that frequents her church. In his sermon, the moral issue of abortion came up. This black pastor of a Black Southern Baptist congregation decided that banning abortion was about promoting white supremacy, and not an issue that black people should get involved in. To say it spun my gears would be an understatement. This is more dedicated to the Black Baptist Community at large as it needs to be said. Abortion is absolutely a “Black” issue, and, as Representatives of Christ, you are called to show justice to all men no matter race, sex, or creed.
 (Vanessa Williams/The Washington Post)

The fact that it was said that abortion is not a “Black” issue is horrifying within itself. To put things in perspective, out of the 335 million people that are American, roughly 12-13 percent, or 41 million people, are black. The abortion rate in the States for black women is roughly 30%, or nearly triple the 12-13% of the general population. The actual number would be roughly 20 million since Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973. Keep in mind, these numbers are low estimates for abortion rates and high estimates for the number of black people in the United States just to be generous. Even with that mercy given, the abortion rate in the black community is over 40%. This would mean abortion is the number one method in ending black lives bar none. This would absolutely make abortion not only a black issue, but the biggest issue facing the black community. Not even most scapegoats that are preached about can reach the combined death toll that abortion has on the black community. Given that abortion clinics actively target black women who are more likely than men to be in the Church, it becomes even more pressing on the pastor to be involved in policing the actions of his flock. That being said, most black pastors ignore the glaring elephant in the room.

How is a man who is supposed to preach the Word of God completely fine with the image of God being desecrated just because of past injustices? This comes as particularly jarring because of how explicitly clear the Bible is on sharing the Gospel to all nations (MT 28:19). While the human condition is that of being flawed, men who go into ministry are called to be even stricter on avoiding those pit falls. Given the context of this article, some might accuse me as coming from a place of judgment. To be clear, I am using discernment when it comes to people who say that they are speaking on behalf of the Gospel. Simply because the Bible is quite clear on church-leaders being held to a higher standard as these men will be the first thing people see when witnessing the Church’s interaction with the world. If the world sees the blatant racism and disregard for the most vulnerable images of God, then they will see Christ as a self-righteous hypocrite with the pearls of his teaching tossed to the pigs. 

This is the reason the third commandment exists, and the reason for Jesus’ warning about the only unforgivable sin in Mark 3:29. By denying the image of God while claiming to be a man of God that is blasphemy against God. Humans are predisposed to believe their first impression on a subject. Thus, if a person’s first interaction with the Gospel is from a person exhibiting the same behaviors as a non-believer, it will become ever more difficult to share the glorious meaning of the Gospel. While it is not impossible to share the Gospel to them, it will make the simplest explanation even more difficult as the person you are witnessing to is being forced to confront the lies that clouds their judgment.

That being said, this is mostly targeted to black pastors, but it can, and should be able to be universally applied to everyone who calls themselves a Christian, but excuses evil as it’s “not their problem”. Our decadent society has allowed the systematic murder of 63 million babies and shows us that we need to repent or face the wrath of God. However, in order for repentance to be true, we need to know what our sins are and measure ourselves to Christ. My focus is on the Black Southern Baptist experience because that is simply what I grew up with. However, this is really just a plea for the people that raised me to repent of our sins and rededicate our lives to Christ and stop the innocent bloodshed.

4 Ways You Can Fight Sex Trafficking

Image credit: Polaris Project

Sex trafficking is a global epidemic. Human trafficking is a $150 billion dollar industry. Sex trafficking makes up around 45% of all human trafficking cases. In the United States, nearly 640,000 people are trafficked. Fighting sex trafficking in the United States can appear impossible. Why bother trying to fight a crime that won't have any end? I understand this thinking. Expecting human trafficking to end would require every human on the planet to be against this crime, and unfortunately as long as sin exists, human trafficking will continue to thrive. We can do our part to not contribute to this industry. What can we do to fight this issue? I have come up with four simple and effective ways that you can fight sex trafficking.

#1: Refuse to Pay for Sex Trafficking.

The porn industry is inexplicably connected to sex trafficking. People involved in the porn industry may not always be victims of sex trafficking, but sex trafficking does exist in pornography. You don't know who is performing consensually or if the content is legal. There's also the potential that a trafficker uploads content on pornographic websites of their victims "performing." Porn normalizes sex trafficking. As described by Fight The New Drug, "Clicking, downloading, or consuming videos and images sends the message that sexual entertainment is acceptable at the cost of sexual exploitation, and funds advertising dollars that in turn can fuel trafficking and exploitation." If you or someone you know is struggling with porn addiction, check out Fortify or Love Always Ministries. Do not line the pockets of traffickers and owners of porn sites.

#2: Learn the Red Flags.

Knowing the signs of sex trafficking is an important task in fighting this issue. You can find several stories of normal civilians rescuing victims of sex trafficking, just by knowing the signs and red flags. OnWatch provides training in recognizing and understanding sex trafficking. You can also visit sites like Polaris Project or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to read more. In learning these facts, you can also teach your friends and family what to watch out for, thus making more people aware of the crime. 

#3: Donate to Anti-Trafficking Organizations.

This is an easy way to fight human trafficking. Donate what you can to trustworthy organizations. You should be cognitive of who you are donating to, but that's why I wanted to include this. To provide a list of organizations you can easily donate to. The Tim Tebow Foundation, O.U.R., Fight The New Drug, and Deliver Fund are all excellent organizations to donate to. All these organizations are doing incredible work to fight sex trafficking in the United States and worldwide. Check them out!

#4: Take Pictures of Hotel Room.

This one definitely threw me off. The more I read, the more I understood why this is important to know. A common human trafficking myth is that the crime only occurs in illegal or underground industries. Hotels and motels are common places for human sex trafficking to happen. Unlike apartments or businesses, a hotel or motel room provides traffickers anonymity. The ability to pay cash, the ability to change locations quickly, and underprepared staff makes hotel rooms an easy place to make money. How does taking a few photos of your hotel room necessary in fighting sex trafficking?  In many cases, victims are advertised online in these rooms, but many hotel rooms appear the same, making it impossible to find where a trafficker and/or victim were staying. Fortunately, there is an app called TraffickCam. This free app is available for iOS and Android. You can upload pictures from your hotel or motel room onto the app. Law enforcement can view these photos, learn where human trafficking has happened, and track down the victims and their perpetrators.

Please, familiarize yourself with the signs of human trafficking. I cannot stress this enough. Polaris Project reported that 22% of reported human trafficking cases in hotels or motels came from the victim. The rest of the reported cases came from guests who suspected suspicious activity or came in contact with the victims. Change begins with one, and that "one" could be you.

Sex trafficking is everywhere. There is no way to avoid this. This problem will not magically disappear. I believe as long as sin exists, human trafficking will exist. That doesn't mean we have to stand down. This is a global fight, and it will take many to stop these evil men and women who chose profits over people. It isn't easy, but it's worth it. Will you join me in this fight?

If you suspect human trafficking or know of someone in a human trafficking situation, contact law enforcement or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to 233733.

The Link Between Fast Fashion and Human Trafficking

Fast fashion has become an intricate part of modern society. Everyone loves the uses fast fashion has. You can get the cutest clothes at a decent price fairly quick. Nothing appears out of the ordinary, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Not many people know this. I didn't even know of this, until I read an article from Stop Modern Day Slavery. Fast fashion and human trafficking have a direct link to each other.

What is fast fashion? Merriam-Webster describes fast fashion as "an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers." Some companies that produce clothing through fast fashion include the following: Nike, Forever 21, Fashion Nova, H&M, Victoria's Secret, Guess, Fashion Nova. I'm sure you know at least two or three of these companies, and they're all guilty of using fast fashion to make a profit. Now, how does fast fashion tie into human trafficking?

Let's revisit the definition of human trafficking. Human trafficking involves "the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act," according to the Department of Homeland Security. Clothing produced by fast fashion are not meant to be worn several times. They're not made for that. They become worn out. That's why they are sold at cheaper prices. Consumers then purchase the clothing, even when they don't need it. How many of us are guilty of that? Nothing to be ashamed of. Again, how does this tie into human trafficking? Human trafficking is about supply and demand. In this case, the demand is clothing.

Globally, we consume 400% more clothing than nearly two decades ago. Think about that. Two decades wasn't that long ago. That was the 1990s. It's insane. When there's such a large demand, there has to be someone supplying the demand. That's where you see sweatshops, forced labor, or child labor come in. In many countries like India or China, people are forced or coerced to work hard hours in a sweatshop for little to no pay. These individuals also work in dangerous conditions, such as breathing in toxic dyes which contain lead or work with heavy machinery. Dressember shared that, "Garment workers work 96 hours per week, often in unventilated spaces where they are forced to breathe in toxic substances. When garment workers fail to meet daily quotas, they may be denied breaks or forbidden from drinking water." The impact of fast fashion on humans is terrible. Sweatshops do go under forced labor. Stop Modern Day Slavery stated, "Children and adults who work in fast fashion are often coerced, forced, or tricked into working conditions that barely supply them with enough money to survive and place them in dangerous working environments that pose a threat to their safety."

If you've ever read that your clothes said on the tag, "Made in Bangladesh," "Made in China," or "Made in India," there's a good chance that the item of clothes you are wearing was made by a victim of human trafficking.

This isn't an issue only affecting third world countries, for the record. This is also happening in the United States. Places like Los Angeles or New York has long been known for containing sweatshops, yet nobody seems to know this. Hard to believe! Sweatshops do exist in the United States.

What can be done to combat this issue? It's definitely difficult, I won't lie. Everyone can't afford designer clothes at major brands or make the time to go in-store to shop. Fast fashion makes it easy for you to get a nice outfit at an affordable price. Nobody says you have to give up fast fashion. Of course there are occasions where you need a nice outfit quickly, but you don't have the time to go to the mall and look. You can avoid the brands that use fast fashion, despite knowing the impacts it has on the environment and people. Buy clothes from brands who are either certified by Fair Trade or B Corporations. Get clothes you can wear for years. This eliminates the need to buy new clothes so often. It's easy to be manipulated by what you see on social media. Don't listen to what influencers or advertisements try to sell you. What I have described are simply, but effective, ways to fight trafficking in the fast fashion industry. Remember: Change begins with you. Everyone has the power to fight modern day slavery!

Understanding Child Trafficking

Image credit: WFTV9 Facebook page

Dark subject, I know. As May 25th is National Missing Children Day, first proclaimed by Pres. Ronald Reagan in 1983, I thought it was time I discussed this lesser known (but equally awful) form of human trafficking. Child trafficking isn't a subject for the faint of heart, but with how the woke sick monsters are pushing to sexualize our children, we cannot ignore these topics any longer, lest the woke mob continue to prevail. In honor of this holiday, I want to explain what child trafficking is. More importantly, why this topic matters and how you can fight back.

What is child trafficking? Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, child trafficking is when someone who harbors and recruits an underaged victim to perform labor or sex through the use of coercion, fraud, or force. As horrible as it is to read stories of labor and/or sex trafficking to an adult, it's more heartbreaking to hear this is happening to children. Children who are missing are likely in a trafficking situation. Why are children, of all groups, trafficked? Simply put, we live in a broken world. 

In today's society, we crave the latest items. The newest cellphone, the trendy outfits, tasty foods. These are products of labor trafficking, and children are often used to mass produce the items needed to create technology, food, and clothing. That's why I encourage people to be ethical and conscious buyers. These simple practices are important. Children are subject to hard, long, and dangerous work conditions. This is not in addition to the low pay they receive. Children are easy targets because they will do what they are told. It's awful.

What about sex trafficking? This is a topic I discuss often, but pornography heavily fuels child sex trafficking.  You can easily find stories of parents or friends who found someone they knew from porn videos. Missing children have been found through porn videos, uploaded by their abuser or trafficker. Sometimes, that person is both. Numerous porn sites have come under fire for never ensuring children are unable to access their website, nor ensure the content uploaded is legal. Porn fuels the demand for child sex trafficking. Pedophiles and perverts crave sexual entertainment, especially from children. The United States is the largest consumer of child porn. Not one of the largest, not some third world country, no. The U.S. consumes the most child porn. If that doesn't sicken you, I'm not sure what will. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported their cyberline received an increase in calls of online exploitation by 35%. 

It's appalling to hear people actually say children can be porn stars or prostitutes, to blame them for "choosing" to do these things. Let me make one thing clear: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CHILD PORN STAR OR CHILD PROSTITUTE. THEY ARE GROOMED INTO DOING THIS.

How can we recognize these signs? It's important to note three aspects when looking if a child is being trafficked: their physical appearance and their behaviors or actions. According to Stop The Traffik, here are some signs to be vigilant of:
  • Dressed in clothes the child, nor the parents, could afford or allow them to wear. 
  • Branding marks (i.e. tattoos)
  • Signs of physical abuse (i.e. bruises or red marks)
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Unwilling to speak with authority figures
  • Fearful around other children or adults
  • Unable to speak for themselves; an adult or older person speaks for them
What can be done to fight this issue? 

The best way is this: TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN. If you do not warn and teach your children of these dangers, guess what? The world will. Hollywood, which basically shoves porn down your throat, will teach your kids. Pornography will teach your kids. Public schools will teach your kids. We all see the disregard for parental rights in their child's education. Parents, according to the mainly childless woke mob, are not allowed to have any say in what their kid is taught. Fight back! Educate your children.

Will Johnny Depp Win The Defamation Case?

We are entering the final week of the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard court case. While this case has had its share of ups and downs, memeable material, and amazing roasts, there is something that isn't being discussed enough. Who will come out victorious in the case? Will Johnny finally get his justice, or will Amber once again win?

: Why are men underrepresented in human trafficking?

In my honest opinion, I don't have 100% hope that Johnny will win. Do I hope he wins? 100%. For the past 6 years, his name was dragged through the mud. He lost his career. He was a true victim of cancel culture and toxic femininity. Unfortunately, the problem would be that the jury would still find that the op-ed Amber wrote in 2018 still contained true stories, which doesn't count as defamation. Despite this going back and forth of who was the abuser, while I believe it was Amber alone, the jury may find both Heard and Depp were abusive. I don't know what will happen. There have been more testimonies and reliable evidence produced by Depp's team, proving he was abused by Amber. Amber and her team, on the other hand, has not produced enough evidence or spoke with witnesses that corroborated her story. Not to mention Amber has not been a helpful or reliable witness. The body language and facial cues indicate she's not telling the truth, and I hope she gets pressed for perjury. That might be wishful thinking, though.

Now, does this mean I think Amber will win? Not necessarily. As I previously mentioned, she has not provided enough evidence to prove she was abused. Instead, the majority (if not all) of the "proof" and "reliable witnesses" she provided made Johnny look better. Even her own sister's testimony (compared to Amber's) doesn't add up. Not to mention whatever Whitney's former employer provides in court could provide more evidence of Amber's abuse. We shall see.

The fact she was caught admitting to punching Johnny (which she claimed was "hitting"), scaring his children, and daring Johnny to tell the world he was a victim of domestic abuse, should be enough to prove she was the abuser, despite what the supporters of Amber state. If you use common sense, you would observe how her body language doesn't align with what she says. It boggles my mind nobody notices this. Not to mention how her statements, in addition to her witnesses' statements, sound rehearsed. Seriously, take the time to watch her body language and you'll understand what I mean.

Related: Johnny Depp and the case for male victims of domestic abuse

No matter what side you are on, however, the important issue in this case is learning to recognize domestic abuse. I think people should understand what domestic abuse entails, and how to recognize the signs. (Credit to the original creator)

No matter what happens, I think Johnny himself knows there is a large chance he won't likely win. That wasn't the point of taking this to court. He never had the chance to publicly defend himself. Everyone turned on him. Nobody in the media was interested in his side of the story. Now, he had the opportunity to do so. He could finally tell the world that he was the victim of domestic abuse. Even if he should lose, he has told the world his story. His fans are on his side, and numerous others have joined him. Johnny should be proud of what he accomplished.

If you or someone you know is in a situation involving domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence at 800-799- SAFE (7233) or text START to 88788.