Human Trafficking: We’re Going To Need Some Dynamite

28 Jun

The report was released in June, and for the first time the United States ranked itself, not just other countries, on its measures to fight human trafficking and slavery. This is not just significant it broadens and redefines the conversation about trafficking, but also it indicates an admission of the global and pervasive nature of this underground economy.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton writes in the introduction to the report:

“Ending this global scourge is an important policy priority for the United States. This fluid phenomenon continues to affect cultures, communities, and countries spanning the globe. Through partnerships, we can confront it head-on and lift its victims from slavery to freedom.”

What Secretary Clinton is missing here is that we are all victims of human trafficking. Women especially are victims of this human-as-commodity thinking that finds it’s most extreme expression in human trafficking, but whose more subtle articulations are found glazing popular culture and every day life like sugar on a donut.

Interrogation is one of the most powerful tools to fight subtle oppression. It only works when we all turn a blind eye and let it go on. Like the adorably menacing, there are rules to patriarchy:

Don’t expose it to bright light. Don’t let anyone see what’s really going on, or at least don’t mention it.
Don’t get it wet. Don’t try to change its state, soften it, or taunt it because it will morph into its ugliest form.
Don’t feed it after midnight. It eats on a schedule…and what it brunches on is the hopes and dreams of those who don’t want to play by its rules.

The TIP Report is useful because it LOOKS. It looks at what countries are doing to perpetuate and permit human trafficking. It looks because it gives names and faces to victims. It also SPEAKS with their voices, speaks definitions of injustice and speaks solutions.

However, interrogation is for fine, detail work…like sanding off small bumps on a wall. Now, imagine using a 2 inch sander to cut a tunnel through a mountain. Interrogation, academic inquiry, scientific analysis and intellectual study are excellent ways of chipping away at the subtle ways in which patriarchy subverts, reverts and diverts progressive attempts to delete it. But human trafficking is life and death to millions of women world wide.

We’re going to need us some dynamite.

The TIP Report and other studies can help us to understand the problem and help us to identify solutions, but isn’t it time we took the next step and began to get serious about implementing these solutions? Although progress is being made, there is too much acceptance of the inevitability of trafficking in the worldwide community. This is not an inevitable and acceptable underground economy. It is a completely uncivilized, tragic abuse of the world’s most vulnerable citizens that must come to an end. By the time he released his debut lp, here’s little richard, in 1957, he had garnered 18 hit singles

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