Like many Americans, I try to bury the horrors of slavery in the past. I don’t do well with novels or movies on the topic; I didn’t read enough history in my youth or my adulthood.
But Life has its own way of insisting that we pay attention.
I was invited to have our church hold a lecture on Human trafficking and was appalled at what I learned. I’ve done some work promoting these — although the more I see and read, the more I understand, I’m not doing anywhere near enough.
Then I saw a vid on the Whitney Plantation, the only Slavery museum in the US and made an internal commitment to see it, should I ever get to New Orleans, but what were the chances? Well, rather good it seems, since all of a sudden I was going to visit my niece in NOLA and she wanted to see it too.
I’ve written before, it was stunning.
Now I’m reading David Batstone’s book, Not for Sale. You should read it too. The subtitle is The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It. You read his book, the horrendous stories of people enslaved, and the uplifting, encouraging stories of people engaged in making a difference, and your eyes and heart will open.
At the same time I’ve read Enrique’s Journey which details a young man’s determination to make it North to the US and his mother, who journeyed to the States so that she might make a living for her children.
I’m not in a position to say what I will do next or what anyone should do next. I am in a position to say Something Must Be Done — and generally in those pronouncements the only somebodies available are me and thee.
There is no Peace in the face of the exploitation and degradation of other human beings. If we want Peace, we must find Peace for them. It seems, after having become a reluctant activist, I must also become an abolitionist. Now there’s a word we thought had gone the way of the Edsel. It seems that is not the case.