|Photo by Mike Linksvayer|
Pimp culture has always been a strong stitch in the fabric of Oakland’s ghetto culture. Rappers like Too $hort and Dru Down often had some sort of "pimps up, hoes down" theme in their songs. The whole situation makes me sad, but there’s hope. People have held protests. This weekend I went to a community summit on human trafficking at Allen Temple Baptist Church. I could write a dissertation on all of the information I learned. Three people spoke: Nola Brantley, executive director of MISSSEY; Melissa Farley, executive director of Prostitution Research and Education and Officer Jim Saleda. My mouth hit the floor when Officer Saleda said serving in Iraq paled to what's happening to girls in Oakland's streets. Our society finds money to pay athletes and reality stars. But when it comes to our women and children, especially those who are poor and minorities--it's a battle. We MUST save our girls from Oakland’s streets. WE MUST.