Monday, June 25, 2012

Hard stuff

Sometimes we can not always tell funny stories and paint a rainbow.  And today it is that.

I remember in high school, there was a group of students that would like to "remind us white people" all the time of how our ancestors forced their people to come to America as slaves.  How oppressed they still are and how the white man "rules" the world.  I sat there, I took it, I felt voiceless, awkward and uncomfortable.  Why are they trying to make me feel guilty or hold me accountable for something that happened generations ago and did not effect my life or theirs directly?  If only I could go back.  If only I ran into those people what I would tell them.

Did you know that there are more slaves today than ever before?  Did you know that the sex trade industry is the fastest growing organized crime?  Did you know that there are an estimated 27 million slaves world wide?  Did you know that it has NOTHING to do with the color of your skin?

Did you know that there is still forced labor slavery?  That people are taken and forced to be organ donors?  Not just adults, but children and babies.  Did you know that most of the time if a women who is trafficked become pregnant, she is either forced to have an abortion or the baby is used for an organ donor?

So who are these women AND children (yes children, as young as 4!!!!  The ones that are suppose to be learning colors and how to spell their name and getting ready for kindergarten are victims to the sex trade industry!)?  First, they are victims to corruption and betrail.  We heard about one family that was so desperate for money, the mom heard about an opportunity, from her sister, in Greece to go and take care of the elderly.  She left behind her husband and 3 small children.  When she arrived in Greece, she found out her sister had sold her to traffickers.  After being raped and beaten over and over, her trafficker fell asleep, she stole his keys and got to safety.  She was a lucky one.  Secondly, they might have been kidnapped.  Literally kidnapped.  These people are in desperate need of help, to be rescued, rehabilitated and taught to live on their own.  Most of the time, they are taken to different countries, their identification is taken and they do not speak the language.

So you think, on this is a European or Asian or African problem.  I live here in the land of the free.  WRONG!  New York, Miami, here is Charleston, Atlanta, Cities in CA, and so many more are big hubs for traffickers.  This is a world problem!

So last night, we got dresses up in our fancy clothes and shoes and headed downtown to have a fundraiser and raise awareness.  The organization is called A21.  Abolish slavery in the 21 century.  Cristine Cane spoke and it rocked my world.  She told this story of when she was younger, she went to visit a concentration camp from WW2.  When she got into the ovens where the Nazi's killed millions, she thought to herself, "where was the church?" and she swore that if she found out about something like this again, this inhumane she would fight it.  9 months later, she was flying home and was in a Greece airport, she saw poster after poster of missing women and small children.  They all had similar things in common and were all THOUGHT to have been victims of human trafficking.  She knew some honest lawyers in Greece (its huge there) and they went to work.  Last night was about fundraising.

It cost a lot money in court fees to get traffickers in jail.  It cost money to pass legislation to make this illegal.  It cost money to rescue girls.  They said last night that a lot of times the girls have so much medical work that needs to be done; dentures, facial reconstruction, treatment for diseases.  It cost money to get houses up and running with supplies that they need and staff and keep the lights on.  They are setting up education campaigns for schools to education young people about the industry and what to look for so that they don't fall prey.  They just launched a huge pilot campaign in Georgia to see how it goes and if it goes well, then it will spread all over the east coast.  And the list of needs goes on and on and on.

What is so sickening is that we live in a world where whales and trees and cattle and dogs have more rights than humans.  We are more concerned with animals being homeless or circus animals being mistreated than we are with our fellow humans being used as organ donors or sex slaves.

So what's next?  They need your money, time and prayers.  A21 just won award from the state department for their work that they have done.  But awards don't save people or get them off the streets.  It cost money.  Go check out their website so that you can get more information!

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