I'm ashamed to admit that I've been off in La-La Land in regard to tomorrow.
Tomorrow, April 9, is Shine a Light on Slavery Day.
Last night, I finally finished watching "Lincoln." I was musing to my husband that I just CANNOT WRAP MY MIND AROIND SLAVERY. How does ANYONE think a human can be bought? How can we interpret the Bible (as many did in the past rose oaky) to state than one race (or gender) is inferior as a human?
How can people be so entitled as to think they could own another human?
And after fuming about it for a while, I moved on and went about my business, thankful the 13th Amendment passed and we moved on.
And here is my public verbal slap in my own face.
Where did I get off thinking we have moved on?
Okay, I take it back. We have. We don't have African Americans and other minorities being bought and sold publicly like its no big deal.
But we haven't, not completely.
I KNOW slavery still exists. I have for some time. And yet, I'm able to forget.
Slavery and human trafficking is very prevalent today. More than ever. And yes, it still exists in the United States.
I feel really... minuscule. I'm not Abe Lincoln and I don't think little Ol Me will make a huge difference.
But I like to believe that as a population, we can.
I'm glad I didn't miss out on a very simple way to stand against slavery. It might not make a real change, but it's a start. Tomorrow, I'm writing a red X on my hand. End it. Shine a light on slavery. It's what the movement is calling us to do.
Because I know that not everyone will take the three seconds you would need to copy and paste that link into your address bar, let me just throw out a few facts from the site. They are sourced there, so if you want to dive deeper, please do.
• "Count to 60. Now do it again. In that time 4 children have been sold into slavery. That's 120 an hour. And 2,880 in a day who could be playing outside. Or learning their ABCs. Or running around with a soccer ball. What does that add up to? Over 1 million children losing their innocence and childhood to slavery each year."
Can you IMAGINE that? I can't. I CANNOT get a grasp on that image. All of those children. I have a nauseating ache in the pit of my stomach! Those are our BABIES. Those children were conceived as perfect in God's image and we are letting people defile that. It is abhorrent! Those children deserve love. Pure, real love. A mother's arms to hold them while they cry. A chance to run around in the sun, wind in their hair, and laughter gleaming from their eyes.
I'm not kidding.
• "Slavery spans the globe, with 161 countries reported to be affected by human trafficking, either as sources, transit centers, or destinations. Not a big surprise when you consider that 27 million people worldwide are currently trapped in slavery. That's more slaves working than at any time in recorded history. Right now. And the problem isn't regional in nature. It spans the globe."
• "Most people think that slavery in the United States ended with the Civil War. But right now, as you read this, there are roughly 200,000 slaves working in America. And 17,000 more will be trafficked in the next year."
That's right. It's right in our backyard. It's on our home turf. It is HERE TOO.
• "Think that slavery is over with? Think again. Atlanta is one of the biggest hubs of slavery in the United States. They rank among the top 14 cities in the highest incidence of children used in prostitution. That's right, there are at least 13 other cities in the U.S. where slavery is present too. Probably more. Especially when you consider that 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. annually."
Does that not make you furious? It should!
• "That's it. People's lives are bought and sold and traded and shipped off, never to return, for $90 or less a piece. It costs the same amount of money to buy a nose-bleed section ticket to a major league baseball game as it does to purchase a human life. And, as the market value of the human trade is $32 billion a year, that should give you some idea of the scale of the problem from a purely human standpoint."
Can you imagine someone placing your ENTIRE WORTH AND VALUE at less than $100?
• "It doesn't cost you anything to get involved. You can fight for the release of those who cannot fight for themselves by taking up the cause and making people aware. You can give money, if you like, or energy or tirelessness. You can go fight through social media, through local or national government, or through the alarm bell of awareness. You can shine a light on slavery. You can END IT."
That's right. We can. I can't alone. But, why not try? Try a little? I can do that.
So can you.
Please, let's not ignore it. I'm so disgusted by it all. I can't believe I allow myself to forget.
Where's your X? Use your social media. Lets give the TWENTY SEVEN MILLION a voice.