Sunday, October 7, 2012

Slavery By Any Other Name

Guest Blogger:
Rosechell Spencer III

I have a passion and a mission to serve minority communities. My calling is intimately linked to my cultural heritage including my ancestry, history, and upbringing (my mostly being raised by two fearfully creative, undoubtedly powerful, and decidedly beautiful black women). I aim to unite minority communities in an effort to reach a more positive future. My driving force, in turns of the African-American (A.A.) community, has been the atrocities of slavery. I often talk about the methodology used and lasting effects of slavery. I equate modern jail systems to new-age slavery, but this weekend I was formerly introduced to a more precise and simple answer to the equivalent of modern-day slavery; human trafficking. 

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, or deception, to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Human trafficking, put simply, is slavery. There are no ifs, ands, buts, like, or kind-of’s about it. It is slavery. This event confronted me with a paradox; trapped in the matrix. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. The matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth… that slavery continues and that there are those still born into bondage, born into a prison they cannot escape and are victim to human-trafficking. I am dumb-founded and confused…

The Stop Modern Slavery Walk served to raise noise, raise voices, raise testimonies, raise funds, and to rage against the atrocity happening today. It is not only a 2nd world or 3rd world problem that’s happening in Washington, DC, this nation’s capital, but throughout the entire United States. I was vaguely aware of human trafficking before I marched with others on Washington. It was fitting, I thought, to compare what I learned that day to the sci-fi movie, The Matrix. Human-trafficking happens every day in plain sight. It is just beneath the surface. It is the very force I despise in my community. It cripples bodies, minds, and generations. Consider the lives of victims (boys and girls; women and men) after enduring human trafficking (with or without sex). These people’s lives are often complicated and forever changed. How do they approach relationships, intimacy or trust after being trafficked? How do they function in a society that singles them out or disproportionately punishes them? How do they deal with loss and how will they teach their children to deal with loss? Are they even still physically capable of having children? 

So I wonder, how do we get involved in the fight against modern slavery? We take a personal interest. We think about our mothers, fathers, daughters and sons being abducted and enslaved. We consider the impact this would have on their lives and future lives. We consider human dignity today and how far we have come from yesterday. We become more selfless and consider people beyond ourselves and beyond our own community—even beyond our borders. We choose many controversial, complicated, opinionated topics to decipher. Here is a simple topic that I believe everyone can agree on. Human-trafficking is wrong! 


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