by Michael Lowrey
The Huffington Post and Creative Loafing Charlotte have combined to produce a piece titled “Charlotte’s Underworld Awaits The Democratic National Convention.” It’s a 2,000 word (!) mess of sloppy, poorly-sourced journalism that’s notable only in how it uncritically presents the human trafficking narrative while otherwise completely ignoring women in particular and common sense in general. Not that we really should expect more from either publication…
An example of the silliness:
In Charlotte, law enforcement has recently targeted liquor houses, resulting in multiple arrests. But delegates, journalists and convention volunteers needn’t worry about a shortage come early September. Temporary replacements have begun popping up in higher-income neighborhoods, including Lake Norman, where partyers will take over a McMansion and turn it into a free-for-all of drugs, sex and alcohol. Hosts of such late-night parties often serve as pimps as well.
Debbie Hancock, a co-founder of Compassion to Act, a faith-based trafficking outreach center in Charlotte, says local law enforcement and nonprofits are preparing for a spike in the number of suburban liquor houses during the Democratic convention.
“There are these million-dollar homes in places like Norman and [Lake] Wiley,” she says. “We understand that people will be renting them, and girls will be bused in and bused out during the conventions.”
For out-of-towners with enough cash and the right contacts, these upscale temporary brothels amount to sex tourism, tacked on to an otherwise official trip to a political convention.
Obvious problems: 1. Weak sourcing. Hancock says she “understands” that something is happening but doesn’t provide anything to back this up. And that Hancock’s view might be biased is not something that authors Christina Wilkie and Ryan Pitkin have even considered.
2. Note how this equates late-night party animals with those that frequent prostitutes. The two need not be and very often are not the same thing.
3. This builds on the stereotype that guys in general and especially guys out of town doing all sort of crazy things. It ignores that a lot of late-night party animals are actually women. And by that I mean women that aren’t prostitutes.
4. Women that aren’t whores really don’t like partying down in a brothel.
5. It’s not obvious why someone attending the DNC would end up at a McMansion somewhere up at Lake Norman. Awful long drive.