Tibetans’ 87-year-old spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was filmed acting inappropriately with a child recently.
In the viral video circulating social media, the East Asian spiritual leader was seen kissing a young boy in the mouth and then asking him to “suck his tongue.” He was also seen asking the child to hug him – and it was evident that the little boy was not comfortable.
While all of this happened, however, the spectating crowd cheered and laughed, something many people on social media are not understanding – especially when behavior that should never be tolerated was on display.
Cardi B, for instance, was not having it. She went on an Instagram Live where she expressed her disdain for the situation. The Dominican rapper was also shocked to know that the child’s parents allowed this to happen. La Cardi went on to explain how important it is to protect children at all times.
“Yo, we really have to protect our kids,” she said during her Instagram Live transmission.
“We have to let our kids know to be alert and like know that there’s a violation when people touch your private parts, when it comes to family, when [it comes] to friends, when it comes to teachers or when it comes to other kids, you know what I’m saying? Because there’s some kids that are more advanced than others.”
And she’s absolutely right. We can never protect children enough.
According to Statista, it was found that 7.7 out of every 1,000 children of Hispanic or Latino origin were victims of some sort of abuse. This includes sexual child abuse. The saddest part of the situation is that abuse often comes from someone a child has been told they can trust.
A recent study conducted by YWCA states that most people who sexually abuse children are family friends, partners, family members, and community members. In fact, about 93 percent of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser.
Cardi B also tweeted about the event and continued to double down on her thoughts.
This world is full of predators. They prey on the innocent. The ones who are most unknowing, our children. Predators could be our neighbors, our school teachers, even people wit money ,power & our churches. Constantly talk with your kids about boundaries and what they shouldn’t…
— Cardi B (@iamcardib) April 10, 2023
The Dalai Lama sent out an apology
Upon realizing the backlash, the Dalai Lama’s team published an apology via his Twitter account, which counts with over 19 million followers.
“A video clip has been circulating that shows a recent meeting when a young boy asked his Holiness the Dalai Lama if he could give him a hug,” he said in an official statement.
“His Holiness wishes to apologize to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused.”
The statement also said that the Dalai Lama leader “often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident.”
In an attempt to give an explanation for the Dalai Lama’s action, the Institute of East Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley pointed out that sticking out one’s tongue is a sign of respect or agreement. According to the university, it was often used as a greeting in traditional Tibetan culture.
Yet, people continue to be outraged.
Children must be protected at all times
People are now taking this moment to remind everyone that teaching children about boundaries is of the utmost importance. The discourse has brought ways to protect children in different situations as well.
“We got to watch our little girls. We got to watch our nieces. We got to watch our daughters. But y’all got to watch our sons and your nephews too because people prey on little boys too,” Cardi added in her IG Live.
If you know anyone who is the victim of sexual abuse, call 911 and 1.800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.