These are the show notes for episode 001.
Welcome to the Red X Podcast’s first episode, “Sharks with Badges”! Lance Olive introduces the very first episode and raises the curtains on plans for this anti-human trafficking podcast. The goal is to empower you, the listener to become knowledgeable about the issue of trafficking and to help you connect with your local municipality as well as local organizations to give prevent victimization and to give survivors second chances. New episodes will be published every couple of weeks and you can give feedback here, on our website.
Nicole Bernard, the director of Second Life North Carolina who will be hosting. Nicole is the mother of four. She initially learned about human trafficking on the international scale but discovered that trafficking was happening in her own community about five years ago. Nicole served Transforming Hope Ministries, which has now merged with Second Life North Carolina.
Lance, the Mayor of Apex, NC and host of the Apex Roundup Podcast, reminds the listener that the topic of human trafficking can be massive and that attending conferences or seminars can leave us overwhelmed and wondering what can be done. This podcast is designed to help the listener to be able to approach the topic of trafficking in “bite sizes” so that you can easily introduce the issue to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers easily and encourage action at a local level.
Lance has known about human trafficking for years but for him personally, his knowledge crossed the threshold, pushing him to action in 2017. Lance’s sister had first brought trafficking to his attention in sharing her stories of trafficking in Africa, where she was involved in ministry. He also heard Ellen Blair from Partners Against Trafficking Humans in North Carolina present at a Rotary Club meeting. Lance was shocked to learn that a pimp and a victim can be out in public together and the majority of people would not be able to identify the dynamic of their relationship. So many of us could see it right in front of us but not be able to respond to it for lack of recognition. And then, Lance’s daughter-in-law’s mother asked him if he would meet another Apex citizen, Whitney Ludlow, who was active in the fight against human trafficking. That’s also where he met Nicole and what sprang from that initial meeting was a discussion with the chief of police and local victim advocate to create a proclamation for a week-long awareness campaign.
Each week, the hosts will share a random fact about themselves. Lance admits that he likes to take walks downtown in Apex around midnight. He says it’s almost like a different town at that hour, picturesque like a postcard. Also, each episode will begin with an icebreaker. This week, Lance asks Nicole questions about the largest grossing film of all time, Frozen. Did you know that the voice of the Duke of Weselton is the same voice of the Zooptopia character, also named the Duke of Weselton. The voices of the two characters don’t sound anything alike even though they are both from actor, Alan Tutyc who some might recognize from the Firefly Series.
Some other interesting Frozen facts for the listener—did you know that Frozen’s Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna includes some “easter eggs”? There’s a Mickey Mouse hiding on the shelf and a Monster’s Inc figurine on the counter.
Nicole reports on a recent nationwide sting called Operation Cross-country that was led by the FBI and recovered 82 juveniles and 120 perpetrators. The average age for the victims was 15 and included a three-month old and her 5 year old sister who were sold for $600 to an FBI agent by a family friend in Colorado. Three of the victims were from North Carolina. Colorado DA, George Bachler wanted to remind traffickers that his office is ready for them. He throws down the gauntlet and says, “To those out there who are watching this who might avail themselves at the opportunity to exploit children or to engage in even the adult sex trade, this is a bit of a warning. … The people that you can’t see behind those cameras, they are fins. They are fins in the water and they represent sharks who are there all the time.”
“And my advice to you is to stay out of those waters where the kids are, to stay out of those waters where exploited adults are for sex, because they are out there and they will get you. And when they get you, my office will handle the rest.””
Watch the FBI video here: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/operation-cross-country-xi
Just a few months ago, the National Johns Suppression Initiative helped conduct a month-long series of stings. 1,020 buyers were identified, of those 15 were traffickers.
There’s a lot to unpack from this operation. How did these victims become victims and why do they not always willingly leave? Who is luring these children and adults into the sex trade and who is buying? Lance loves that the undercover cameras are like shark fins and that the real teeth behind the operation is just below surface. But likewise, the recovered victims and perpetrators are much like an iceberg—we know there’s a lot more to uncover and that they represent multiple times the amount that can be seen.
There are still a lot of decisions to be made for the podcast. Nicole and Lance decide to do the Red X Podcast on a bi-weekly schedule and will interview key players in the anti-trafficking fight in future episodes. Lance especially wants to interview a former trafficker who has paid his dues and has changed his ways. How does someone get to the point that they are willing to sell another human being for profit? But also, Nicole and Lance hope to have a guest who will be able to answer the questions of how someone gets coerced into trafficking, why they do not get out and if they do, what would they go back into the industry? The answers to those complex questions will likewise be complicated.
The hosts also hope to include investigators and detectives who are involved in the sting operations as well as other citizens who are likely to interface with victims such as tattoo parlor artists who often “brand” victims, medical professionals, and school counselors. The Red X podcast will also invite hosts who are able to speak to new anti-human trafficking legislation and trafficking prevalence and statistics.
Lance Olive will serve to engineer, publish, post the podcast each week, Nicole will provide the content, and schedule new interesting guests to interview. These show notes will be available after each episode.
And each episode will end with a review of what the hosts learned to help the listener compare what he or she might have learned. Nicole learned that the podcast will be published bi-weekly and Lance learned that there are shark fins in the water surrounding this crim. Bad guys might be alluding the police right now, but it’s a matter of time. Together, citizens can work together to make it difficult for this crime to exist in the community where they are.
To learn more, until the next podcast, watch I Am Jane Doe a documentary about the fight against Backpage.com, which is free on Netflix. Also check out Renting Lacy, which is a great intro into understand how girls get groomed to be victims
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