As someone who spent four years of her undergrad education studying history, I put a lot of faith in the fact that we learn from the errors of our past. We make progress and we move forward - well, at least one would hope.
What have we learned from slavery throughout the years? That we can change the technique, nomenclature, or hide behind technology and pretend that it no longer exists? But there it is…like a bad penny. Always finding a way into our lives.
There are more people enslaved today than at any other time in history. Domestic labor and sex trafficking thrives right under our noses. This exists in the restaurants we eat, the housekeepers we employ, the laborers who build our homes. This is not progress. How can it possibly be that, at this very moment, throughout the world, there are six-year-old girls being sold as sex slaves? How can it be that people don’t know this is an issue that permeates our world?
As Americans, the list of problems we have to face is daunting. Yet we still have so much to be grateful for. We have important issues to stand up and fight for---national security, health care, the economy and the list goes on and on. What I am asking you is this. When will we put human beings first? When will we all be brave enough to stand up to the cowards who take part in the enslavement of men, women and children?
When will our sense of decency and human compassion override our willingness to make a good deal on cheap labor be a reason to turn our backs on human suffering? The reality is that if it seems like a deal “too good to be true,” then somebody else – not you - is paying the difference. You should be aware that human slavery and the exploitation of people seeking a better life, is a prime source of the “good deal” you seek.
It’s not my place to judge or scold others, but I also have no plans to turn a blind eye; we’ve been there and done that. Let’s try something new. The truth is, we can still play a role in fixing something that is terribly wrong and the first step is to acknowledge that there is still a problem. After that, you can listen to people who are paying attention.