If you come from a sheltered, protected country like we do, Canada, and a sheltered and protected place like I did growing up, I suppose the word 'grooming' — well, it's how you brush your teeth and shave.
But it was only when I started visiting the United Kingdom a few years ago and started following Tommy Robinson and his battles, that I heard of something called 'grooming gangs.' And when I found out what they really were, I thought that was a very inappropriate title for them.
Grooming, of course, was the euphemism for raping. As you know, and I'm sorry to talk about such heavy things, these young girls, as young as 11, would be entrapped by these men in their 40s, 50s and 60s — would you like candy, a sip of alcohol, a cigarette, a ride in my Mercedes-Benz? And the girls would be asked to return the favours by lifting up their shirts, and the man would take a photo, extort the girl, threaten to shame them unless they had sex with them and their friends.
These girls were entrapped, drugs and alcohol were used, and these girls were raped again and again and again, every night, by a variety of men over the course of years. This is such a shocking thing for those of us who grew up in happy places like we did here in Canada.
In the city of Rotherham, with a population of a quarter million, more than 1,400 girls were the victims of these 'grooming gangs' — I call them rape gangs, because 'grooming' doesn't say what was really done to the girls. 'Grooming' refers to the fact that these girls were tricked and enticed and exploited. Maajid Nawaz said that reluctance to talk about it is one of the biggest problems.
If you look at the official inquiry in Rotherham, again and again, police and others were afraid to blow the whistle for fear of being called racist — as Maajid Nawaz says, more than 80% of these grooming gangs were Pakistani-British men.
Does that only happen over there? Or are there grooming gangs in North America too?
Anyone who followed the Harvey Weinstein case knows that women and even girls are abused by powerful men, and of course there's Jeffrey Epstein, who ran a child trafficking ring for years, even decades — funny enough, not a single one of his clients has been exposed. The only one we know about for sure is Bill Gates, because his wife divorced him over it.
Why can't we talk about those things? Why aren't journalists talking about what is an enormous story, the predation of our children by powerful people?
I tell you all these things because our next guest, our feature interview for today, has been talking about grooming in the United States, and in Canada to a lesser extent. Grooming not done in secret like the rape rooms of Rotherham, not done like on Jeffrey Epstein's island, but out in the open, in our schools and on youthful social media platforms.
And for using that phrase 'grooming', Dr. James Lindsay was censored and deplatformed.