Saturday, November 18, 2006

Human Trafficking? C'mon it's Slavery!

Let’s be real and just call a spade a spade, for once. Human trafficking is nothing more than modern-day slavery. The “trafficking” of human life in any era sickens me, whether it is Asian women sold today on the black market as prostitutes or the African male sold years ago as a slave. People are not disposable commodities to be bought and sold or traded for, period.

The fact that this is part of our American heritage saddens me. I hate that I cannot raise my daughters without facing this grotesque reality. Sure, while they are young, I can try to teach them to be colorblind and to treat all people as they would want to be treated, but the sad truth is, we’ll have to cross that bridge one day.

One day, when my daughters are old enough to understand and make rational judgments about such matters, I will have to explain to them what racism is and how it festers like an open wound on the soul of America. When my daughters hear racial slurs at school or one of them is taunted or teased for being 50% African-American, I will have to tell the story of slavery, discrimination and hate that mars our collective, national past.

I hate that.

I want my daughters to believe that all people are created equal like it says in our Declaration of Independence. I never want them to look down on others for reasons of race, religion, gender or nationality. I want them to learn how to love all people no matter how different they are. But in being honest with them, I have to teach them about our history. I have to let them know the events that have shaped our society. I have to let them know about the prejudices that helped to shape our family. Maybe they will learn not only from their parents’ and grandparents’ mistakes, but from the mistakes of our forefathers, as well.

I wish I could teach my girls to be colorblind, but history and society won’t allow it. Maybe their generation will finally put an end to slavery once and for all. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll have the courage to call things as they are, and not hide behind politically correct, yet morally reprehensible terms like “human trafficking.”

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