Asian hate, another challenge in the matrix
I am not naïve to the ways of the world, but at times I must be reminded of what is really going on. There has always been a notion of “US” and “THEM,” and it started when Europeans first came to North America. We were THEM in that equation and the natives were US. They were here first, but we overpowered the locals, took all their land and then became US.
The Orchids of Asia Day Spa is located in a strip mall in the small, town of Jupiter on Florida’s east coast. According to the magazine Vanity Fair, “Orchids charged $59 for a half hour massage and $79 for a full hour. Like many spas in the United States, it’s staffed by women of Asian descent.” Stand by, this will play into today’s story of white male privilege, sexual needs and the belittling of women.
I’ve had only one professional massage in my life, a gift from a business associate. The masseuse was a muscular, masculine woman and when I entered the room, she asked me, “Clothes on, or clothes off?” I took off my clothes and she handed me a large bath towel. It was an exhilarating non-sexual session. Her large, strong hands rubbed the stress out of every muscle in my body. I tipped her and thanked her for her work. Not all massages go this way.
Now, back to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. With a strongly worded warrant, a holdover from 9-11 inspired Patriot Act, the local cops expanded surveillance to dig deeper into what was happening there. It didn’t take them long to figure out that the place was involved in sex trafficking and prostitution. To bust the place under Florida law, the cops needed to prove that their customers were getting special treatment, which meant collecting evidence and arresting men who were paying for sex services. Guess who turned up in the dirty laundry?
Police surveillance video at the Orchids showed Robert Kraft, the 78-year-old owner of the New England Patriots, visited the spa on the afternoon of January 19, 2019 and bought the complete package of services from one of the workers. That made the woman a “sex worker” and it made him a “john” and he was charged as such. Now here’s where white male privilege comes in. According to NBC News, Palm Beach County prosecutors lost a key court decision that led to the court tossing the video of Kraft allegedly soliciting a woman at the spa. State Attorney David Aronberg said, “Although there was probable cause to make an arrest, the evidence cannot prove all legally required elements of the crime alleged and is insufficient to support a criminal prosecution.” Kraft dodged a bullet in the same county that let Jeffrey Epstein off the hook. The billionaire would have been forced to sell his football team had he been convicted of the crime.
Each state has their own laws regarding prostitution. While there are some federal laws which cover sex trafficking and other nefarious sex-related activities, for the most part sex offenses are a local issue. On December 23, 1959, rock and roll star Chuck Berry was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri. He was subsequently convicted under the Mann Act, also known as the “White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910.” It criminalizes the transportation across state lines of “any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.” The Mann Act, passed in June 1910, was named after Illinois Congressman James R. Mann and that “white-slave” part of the description was exactly how people spoke back then.
In some cases, sex work is regulated by specific counties. Nevada is the only state where prostitution is legally permitted, but it’s strictly confined to brothels that operate in isolated rural areas, far from the bright lights of the strip. There, stripping is allowed and regulated. When I heard about the terrible shootings in Atlanta this week, I wondered just how many day spas exist there.
There appear to be dozens! I lived in Atlanta for more than twenty years and during my time there strip clubs were the rage. They had names like “Gold Club” and “The Cheetah (I, II & III)” which, as I remember, served a fantastic free-range chicken dish. In 2001, the owner of the Gold Club, Steve Kaplan, pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and was sentenced to a three-to five-year prison sentence and charged a five million dollar fine. The federal government took over the Gold Club temporarily, you know, just to see how strip clubs operated.
I was appalled when I heard Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office discuss the Atlanta spa crimes and certain facts about the alleged shooter this week. Why would a law enforcement officer provide so much information about an open investigation? This is what he said about the 21-year-old man who essentially admitted to shooting eight people, “He was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope. Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.” It seemed more like Baker was having a bad day when he produced that incredibly tone-deaf statement. Why was he allowed to speak at all?
According to the Washington Post, Capt. Baker’s Facebook Page promoted a T-shirt saying the novel coronavirus was “IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA.” The more than 250,000 people who live in Cherokee County deserve better.
Let’s not forget that one-time president and full-time loser Donald John Trump railed against China, blamed them for the pandemic and then taunted CBS’s Asian American reporter Weijia Jiang when she asked him why he was calling it the Wuhan flu. When Weijia pressed him for an answer, Trump abruptly ended the press conference. In case you forgot, here’s how it went, “Why does that matter?” asked the reporter who was born in China and came to the US at the age of two. “Why is this a global competition when, every day, Americans are still losing their lives?” Trump barked, “They’re losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me, ask China that question, OK?” The president called on another reporter, but she forcefully interjected: “Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?” Trump replied, “I am not saying it specifically to anybody. I am saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that.” Then, he walked away, Scott free. Robert Kraft also got to walk away from his problem.
I think Captain Baker was planting a seed of doubt in day spa murder case. It’s an old trick. Woody Allen pulled it when he was first accused, get out front and make your case first. Attorney General William Barr did it with the Mueller report. Speak out before anyone else and build a defense for bad deeds. Create an excuse or a smoke screen. Defend the accused before you know all the facts. The matrix was designed by men, for men, and I’ll add white men.
We all should admire the woman who stood up and told the truth, a strong black woman who happens to be the Mayor of Atlanta. She quickly declared she would not condone “victim blaming” in the spa shootings. During a press conference, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms responded to a reporter’s question about the type of spas that were targeted in three shootings, perhaps alluding to Jay Baker’s statement that the shooting suspect said he had a sexual addiction. She heard what Baker said, she analyzed it, and she offered a smart statement to rebuke the attempted defense of a murderer. IHMO, when the police defend those who kill, we are doomed to anarchy.
So, a man worth $6.9 billion gets a hand job from an Asian woman in Jupiter Florida, gets caught and then she goes to jail. What’s up with that? I guess Robert Kraft is addicted to sex and anything he does for self-gratification is okay. It might be time to investigate Jay Baker and see what he has in his closet. The bad habits of men will probably never go away, but when does the hate end? We have a major problem when a kid from Woodstock Georgia kills those he exploits as a solution to HIS problem. Robert Aaron Long needs to stand trial and, if convicted, go to jail for a long time. I am sure the psychiatric treatment centers in the Georgia prison system will help him. Maybe Captain Baker can donate some of his salary to improving the quality of healthcare in the local prisons. This is a terrible crime and a bad time to be an idiot. The press never sleeps.
EVERYTHING WAS PREDICTED IN THE BOOK… PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON AND READ:
The book that tells it like it is…
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”