Strike the roots

We need to revisit Tony Ortega and Backpage’s crimes because some things injustices are just too monstrous to let slide. One important question is, how could all the disgusting dealings of Ortega and Backpage slip by with minimal attention and zero convictions in court?

It’s not reckless nostalgia to say life in the 90‘s was pretty great for folks in the West. Economies in the developed states boomed, trust in public and private institutions were relatively stable, and happiness indexes were on the rise.

Since the turn of the new millennium major upheavals derailed all of that. In the dust of these avalanches, many barbarians ran their games with impunity, thriving in the shadow of our collective losses.

9/11, the Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, Penn State football coach cover ups, the failure of Katrina, the housing, credit, and financial crashes, the worst unemployment since the 1930‘s… the US is in crisis across all social and economic strata. At an unprecedented moment in terms of loss of trust and confidence in private and public perhaps it’s understandable people like Tony Ortega can continue to avoid courtrooms. 

Yes sex trafficking took center stage in the last few years, but what came of it? In 2012 there were 350 bills introduced on the state and federal level and more than 40 attorney generals called for Backpage dot com to fix the gushing hole allowing pimps and predators to thrive. So with all this heat, what happened? Who did what and how long are their prison terms?

Netting $23 million a year ensures Backpage and its champions can afford some good lawyers and PR spin doctors. Even with buffers at his disposal Ortega was brash enough to proudly defend Backpage’s facilitation of pimps and young girls being sex trafficked across the land.

If your business is supports and facilitates widespread sex trafficking, the destruction of thousands of teenagers manipulated, beaten and sold into bondage, if more than 40 attorney generals demand you change just one simple thing on your site to fix this issue, how in the name of all that is good can you escape justice?

According to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Government projected approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked internationally each year, in which half of those victims are said to be under the age of 18. Out of those victims, 80% are females trafficked internationally and 70% are trafficked into the sex industry, which is also reported by the U.S. Department of State.

And yet, Tony Ortega claimed that underage prostitution is far from a widespread and rapidly growing problem and is instead a small problem. What was Ortega’s cut? Was he paid to keep his mouth shut because he knew too much? Regardless of the answers Ortega is as guilty as his former employers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.