Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Tennessean's Use of "Adult Entertainment Businesses" is Air-Brushed Racial Code

This morning's Tennessean reports:
Unlike brothels operated from massage parlors or adult entertainment businesses, many Hispanic brothels are set up in regular homes or apartments, right in the middle of Nashville neighborhoods. That can pose a problem for adults and children who live in those areas and are exposed the business of prostitution.
Let's read between the lines. The real implication here is: "Unlike white brothels ..., many Hispanic brothels ...."

The Tennessean is in part feeding uninformed racial stereotypes. Brothels and prostitution are social problems, not just cultural or racial problems. Salemtown is predominantly white and African American and we recently had blighted duplex that was being used as a brothel; and our neighborhood is full of children.

When I lived over on Blair Boulevard in the Hillsboro-Belmont area (as white a neighborhood as any could be) the police raided and closed down a brothel in an attractive rental single family house. That house stood less than a block from mine.

I remember passing nice bungalows around 12South in the 1990s and seeing traffic going in and out alley entrances with no visible signs of legitimate business and wondering if something shady was going on inside them.

People hook in neighborhoods across race and economic boundaries, and I believe that the problem should not be addressed as a Hispanic or a white or an African American or a poor or a rich one.


  1. All the more reason to have zoned brothels so as to keep them away from residential neighborhoods.

  2. After your spinnet of the article, it says:

    "What we're seeing right now is mostly Hispanics," said Metro Police Detective Peter Dusche, adding that police typically learn of the brothels from irritated neighbors who complain.

    "Does that mean that (all the brothels are run by) Hispanics? No. But that's what's being pointed out to us," he said."

    And that pretty much puts it in context; a context you removed.

  3. Compare "[not] all the brothels" to my paraphrase "many Hispanic brothels."

    The Tennessean reported unsupported conclusions without quotes and without reference to any alternative facts or perspectives. That makes them look either biased or merely sacrificing fact for tabloid, hot-button sensationalism.

    You assume too much in saying that conclusions without quotes are directly connected to an interviewee and not to the Tennessean.