Some weeks, I refuse to be too harsh or serious. It’s like a lighter side of me is needed to cope with the world. Such was this past week as I commented on nature and survival. And despite the insouciance and pithiness of the posting, there are some gems in there worth keeping in mind. Besides, I really like turtles.
But this week, we turn another cheek talking about an area of concern for me—human trafficking. As many of you know I edit and help write another newsletter called the Dottie Laster Trafficking Report. Dottie is an extraordinary individual. She is a true abolitionist and has personally rescued thousands from the hidden claws of traffickers. She’s been at it for about twenty years and has successfully trained even more thousands of educators, business people, and law enforcement officers on this sordid side of life. She triggered the largest rescue of human trafficking victims in the nation in 2005. I’ve been working with her since 2007. I’ve never met anyone even closely like her. Here is a poem I wrote for her it’s called Slave Fighter.
Dedicated to Dottie Laster—Human Liberator
She looks like your
Next door neighbor
You might even recognize
Her from the supermarket
But under that middleclass
Lies the heart and strength
Of a 21st Century Samurai
Ready to do battle
With a pen of freedom
Fighting modern-day slavery
With every stroke
She is a force of nature
An ill-wind to slavers
She is Dottie Laster—Abolitionist
She carries a testament of rights
For the enslaved
And a warning to the slavers
A commandment from the Abolitionist’s bible
– Thou shalt not make any man, woman, or child a slave…
With her keen eye for justice
She is the ultimate adversary
With every fiber of her being
She transforms even the most recalcitrant
Slavery is real she preaches from street corners
Slavery is doomed she proclaims
And thus, our word of the week is abolitionist. Abolitionist refers to a person who advocated or supported the abolition of slavery in the U.S. It refers to the legal prohibition of slavery, especially the institutional enslavement of Black people in the U.S. It stems from the abolēre to destroy, efface, put an end to. Today, it is especially potent to describe the abolishment of the heinous crime of human trafficking!
People do not like to talk about human trafficking. And despite the increased awareness featuring human trafficking in books, films, etc., it remains one of the top illegal commodities in the world. Why? It is very simple where other contrabands such as drugs and munitions are used only once and must be reengaged or refilled, human trafficking victims are used over and over and over again providing an endless source of income for traffickers. Now, despite the “popularity” and increased awareness of human trafficking it is bigger than ever. This is a rather sad commentary on the state of humanity. But truly something can be done about it and through everyone’s efforts, we can cut this scourge from humanity rapidly.
One of the largest areas of concern is what is known as grooming. This is the action of a predator to lure victims from online to offline activities. It takes the unwary youth and turns them into victims through a variety of means by gaining trust and yes, affection. The predator takes these unsuspecting individuals from the safety of their homes and lure them out into the “real” world where they are then sold into the human trafficking network.
We are all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of teenagers (and younger) and we can through our own initiatives educate our children about the real dangers of the Internet. Dottie has put together a booklet called: 55 Things Parents and Grandparents Should Know. It is an e-publication to help parents and grandparents make informed decisions regarding their children and the Internet.
We give you with pleasure Mr. Richie Havens singing FREEDOM: