by Laura Ng, Executive Director
Though the victims he had under his control likely now have life sentences of mental and emotional trauma, according to a reporter on NPR, “we’ve kind of forgiven [Snoop Dogg] for his past as a self-professed pimp and hustler.” The reporter goes on to describe present-day Snoop Dogg as “lovable.”
Believing in someone’s redemption and complete change in character is a wonderful thing. Most of us would not be able to move forward in life without the gift of grace. However, when that forgiveness ignores the fact that someone has never been held accountable for their actions and those actions likely had severe consequences on their victim(s), is “forgiveness” really the right word? It seems more like we are happy to have the wool pulled over our eyes and stare back through rose-colored glasses rather than deal with the horrors of the past.
Through an increase of endorsements from powerful media sources like Martha Stewart to the network channel TBS, we continue to push forth a notion that being a pimp is about power, money, and even mainstream financial success and popularity. We at Traffick Free tell people often that dressing up like a pimp for Halloween is pretending to be an abuser and manipulator. Unfortunately, how society has treated Snoop Dogg and other self-professed pimps like him flies in the face of truth and stores continue to be able to sell the fantasy behind pimp costumes for just $39.99.
According to Rolling Stone, Snoop Dogg let the women in his stable keep their money but the way he refers to them, how he sold them, and his general demeanor in not showing remorse for his actions only point to his pride and the fact that he continues to see nothing wrong with having been a pimp. For this, we have forgiven him. However, it was not our forgiveness to give. We were not the ones being sold to football players for sex. Perhaps it is also not our judgement and condemnation to dole out either but there is something inherently wrong in our society when we simply move forward.
At Traffick Free, we do our best to address the services needed for trafficking survivors, the demand behind trafficking in the first place, and the root causes of exploitation in all forms. We know, along with many of our local and national partners, we are making headway at influencing public perceptions of “prostitution” and cheaply-made goods. Sometimes, though, we also pause to address moments like these because simply moving forward cannot continue to be the answer.