Eugene Cho, the pastor I would have were I to move to Seattle, once wrote a blog entry called f**k human trafficking. It was a good blog. Not because of what it was about, but because of what it said about it and how passionately it said it.
After the whole Kanye/Taylor thing at last year’s VMA’s, my Facebook and Twitter accounts BLEW UP with people lashing out at the unfairness of what Kanye West did to Taylor Swift, how awful he was, how he should be ashamed of himself, blah blah blah. It pissed me off, and not just because I think Kanye is kind of cool, but that people got more angry that a 19-year-old freaking millionaire pop/country star had a microphone taken away from her than we are by the fact that millions of people are being sold as slaves.
There was more anger in that moment than I have ever seen on Facebook. and all about something so stupid and pointless and not worth our time. Plenty of people justified their anger to me because I was so passionate about being neutral about it, but what appalled me how we are not ever united in our anger with things that deserve every ounce of our energy. Things like this awful problem of children being sold as sex objects. Children. The ones Jesus said the Kingdom belongs to. The ones we are supposed to protect.
We get angry and defensive and overprotective when Taylor Swift gets “mistreated” but we become complacent and passive and unaffected when CHILDREN are STOLEN to be SOLD as if they are merely a product. We don’t speak up about that, or if we do it is just in passing or every so often.
Why don’t we use our voices? Why aren’t we fighting and screaming and demanding justice and causing a scene and being crazy in the hopes of protecting and liberating these kids? Why do we settle for a copy/pasted Facebook status, or a kind of generic blog entry that nobody will comment on and will eventually fall onto page four and then five, to only be stumbled upon by the seniors doing their final projects on it (not meant as an offense, Em!)? Why aren’t we DOING something?
Today I watched this awful video from an organization called Stop The Candy Shop. I say awful video because it made me so enraged I began planning the many ways I would kill someone who sold children for sex. and I have a strong imagination and I have spent my entire life watching biographies on serial killers, so know that I spent some time this morning thinking terrible things about people. All day, I’ve been thinking about this horrific, filthy, nasty (etc) tragedy that affects this world. And I wanted to do something, I wanted to do more than think murderous thoughts.
So I began to think about two of my favorite words: preventative maintenance. I thought of some teenage girls I know that are unstable and easily persuaded and self-destructive and I realized that I need to be more active in their lives, building them up and making sure they know they are loved and cared about and important. They are not unseen or unloved. Does that free anybody currently held as a sex slave or stop the whole freaking beast altogether? No. But perhaps I can keep one girl away from that.
But what about the problems already happening? I don’t know. I wish I knew and had infinite amounts of money, but I think the answer lies beyond financial resources and passively donating to someone else. The answer, whatever it is, requires us to roll up our sleeves and get dirty and prepare for an all out fight, because this whole human trafficking thing has become too normal and we have become too desensitized to it.
I will leave you with some Dave Barnes lyrics that sum up how I feel about human trafficking.
It’s true what they say, the devil’s alive and well.
he picked the locks and escaped the gates of hell
it’s evidence for all you see right now.
Let’s send a big f-u to the devil and stop letting children be a product. and let’s stop our complacent view of the injustices done to those who cannot protect themselves, because if we are sitting back and knowingly letting it happen, the blood is on our hands as well. and for the record, I am filled with so much anger right now that I thought swear words throughout the writing of this entire blog entry.
So where do we go from here?