UPDATED: Nebraskan public safety director/ex-police chief calls escort services “fronts for belly dancers…prostitution.” Umm, WTH?!?

UPDATE (3-7-12, 2:45 pm)
Blog post from Tom Casady on the misquotation incident; link to the transcript of his testimony (where the quote was taken from) in the comments of his entry.

UPDATE (3-7-12, 1:53 pm)
The Daily Nebraskan has written a retraction of this quote, but regretfully, it’s only in their print edition, and the PDF, downloadable here.

The original article stands uncorrected, so the error is still on the e-record. See page 2 for the printed retraction.

UPDATE (3-6-12, 8:15 pm)
Via a comment on this blog and email communication to HipMix.net, Tom Casady has confirmed that this is indeed a misquote. Waiting to hear what the Daily Nebraskan has to say on the whole matter.

Original entry, earlier 3-6-12

According to Nebraskan public safety director and ex-police chief Tom Casady, belly dancers are the same as prostitutes, using escort services as fronts for their “services.” In March 5, 2012 Daily Nebraskan News article on sex trafficking and the internet, Casady is quoted as saying:

“Escort services are fronts for erotic dancers, belly dancers, erotic massages and prostitution,” Casady told the Judiciary Committee. They become fronts of human trafficking when force, fraud or coercion enter the mix.

Belly dancers…what do you think? Are we going to let this outrageous and potentially damaging quote stand unchallenged? I encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comments on the article (linked below) and to contact the Daily Nebraskan News and the Lincoln Police department to let them know just how wrong they–and Casady–are about us.

Daily Nebraskan News article

Lincoln Police Department

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14 thoughts on “UPDATED: Nebraskan public safety director/ex-police chief calls escort services “fronts for belly dancers…prostitution.” Umm, WTH?!?

  1. I’m am appalled by this! Where did he get this idea? I’m a professional belly dancer and instructor. Not to be confused with stripping or burlesque, much less prostitution. I don’t have a problem with those dance forms, but belly dance is not about sex. It’s about the sacred feminine sensuality to me. There are male belly dancers who are great as well, and some beliefs say that belly dance is actually an ancient folk dance that men and women did. We train hard and are passionate about our art form. Please do your research, Tom Casady, before judging and lumping something into a category it has NO business being in. It is people like you that continually holds us back from getting the proper respect we deserve for this beautiful, positive, and uplifting dance.

  2. Prostitutes and escorts don’t practice every day for several years before they make money. Does this guy not have access to the internet?
    At least I can totally believe that he himself has never paid for the services of a prostitute, nor has he seen a real belly dancer. The distinction between the two would certainly be well defined; one could potentially impress you, the other has nothing that anyone else couldn’t get paid for.
    It’s like saying public safety directors and police chiefs are a front for a totalitarian police state…

    oops…

  3. This is a misquote. I would never say such a thing. I imagine the reporter misread his own notes. I have often said that escort services are fronts from exotic dancers, lap dancers, and prostitution. Never, ever would I put belly dancers in such a list.

    • Thank you for your response, Tom. Unfortunately, the belly dance community has had some bad misconceptions about them perpetuated thanks to journalists recently. It seems that this is, once again, the case of bad judgement or error on the part of the reporter and their editorial team.

  4. This is so sad to actually think this was published. I am writing letters tonight but I also know someone this stupid probably will not understand what I have to say. As my mother used to say, engage brain before opening mouth.

  5. The Daily Nebraskan seems to have some trouble with accurately quoting people. Not the first time I’ve seen this happen. I always thought a quote was supposed to be the exact words from someone, not a reporters or editors interpretation. As one who has done belly dancing for years I’ve seen those misconceptions over and over. Get your facts straight!

  6. I am so glad that Tom responded and was misquoted. Unfortunately, the public at large, will continue to believe what was printed. It would be nice if he could get the reporter to retract what he wrote, better yet, do an article on how professional dancers work so hard to present this art form, as an apology for targeting bellydancers as a way to use sensationalism to sell The Daily Nebraskan News.

  7. As a professional belly dancer who is extremely proud of her art, let me make one thing perfectly clear: Do NOT EVER associate us with a prostitute or anything remotely associated with the adult world. If you are so ignorant as to forego taking the time to research and understand who we are and what we do, both as women and as performers, then I truly pity you and even question your education (if any). Prostitution is going too far to compare us to, but let’s take the next rung on the ladder of the erotic world: Stripping. Since you are painfully unaware, let me educate your ignorant, puny, non-existent brain: The biggest and most obvious difference between belly dancers and strippers. We can dance for your 5-year-old, strippers can’t. PERIOD. We also do NOT remove a single inch of clothing for money. EVER. We in NO WAY can compare to strippers, let alone prostitutes so your statement is not only false, but is actually idiotic because it makes no sense at all. I actually pray that you neanderthals may some day grow a brain and get yourself educated all over again.

    • Dear RuthNRena,

      Yes, we are all upset about our beloved dance form being associated with prostitution once again. We all know it is a misconception that we need to fight. However, I feel like we should do it in a more calm and respectful manner. Calling the misinformed crowd “neanderthals” won’t win us any supporters. They may need to be educated, but it does not mean they need to “grow a brain”. Calling people names will not fight their ignorance.

      Peace,
      Jaan

  8. Please feel free to check the transcript of the Nebraska Legislature Judiciary Committee Hearing on Legislative Resolution 243 from December 5, 2011, which is posted online at the Legislature’s website:

    http://tinyurl.com/84y7mk4

    The quote in question is about one third of the way down on page 38:

    “Escort services are fronts for exotic dancers, lap dances, erotic massages, and prostitution, and that’s all they are.”

  9. Cops are fronts for money extortion, state sponsored bullying, enforcement of laws nobody asked for and usually weren’t even asked about. Ready at a moments notice in the service prevailing wishes of elite financiers. Shoot-outs with marijuana smoking teenagers? Check. Provoking and inspiring dangerous high speed chases? Check. Big brother with plans for unapproved surveillance systems and militarized methods including helicopters, tanks, drones, tasers, tear gas & sound cannons? For a civilian population who’s crimes statistics have been falling for decades? Check. Cops. Frankly, I feel far more secure and safe around escorts, prostitutes and lap dancers than I do around cops. Logically, vastly more people have been harmed by cops after all.

    Thumbing through my handy copy of the Constitution here, and there’s nothing in the Constitution allowing the authority of federalized or professional law enforcement agencies of any kind. I’m pretty sure the framers wouldn’t approve either. We the people are starting to have questions….

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