(This statement was delivered to the organizers during the Don’t Buy Miss Saigon Unity Event at Rice Park on October 8, 2013):
“ I’m sorry I can’t be with you in person tonight, but I want you to know I am with you in spirit.
One of my top priorities as County Attorney has been to combat the truly detrimental effects of the trafficking of young children in our community.
Sex trafficking has a devastating impact on victims, families, and on our broader community, and we are in a constant battle against attempts to minimize this crime or blame the victim.
To the extent that this production:
– glamorizes the trafficking of teenage girls, or
– sends a message to men that buying sex from girls is ok, or
– serves in any way to perpetuate negative cultural stereotypes,
it is counterproductive and undermines our efforts to call the selling of our children what it is: modern day slavery.
My office reached out to the Ordway and asked that they include information on the MN Girls Are Not for Sale campaign in their brochure and I’m pleased to know they will be doing so. But we must do more.
As home to the largest Asian American population in the Midwest, we have both a unique opportunity and a great responsibility to foster greater understanding and awareness of Asian American cultures and people in our community.
And we have an obligation to listen to those voices.
Thank you for coming out tonight – to lend your voice to the call – to take a stand against the perpetuation of negative cultural stereotypes and the glamorization of sex trafficking.
Our community is stronger because of you.”
— John Choi
Ramsey County Attorney