Saturday, October 19, 2013

Slavery is Alive and Well, Sick

Slavery is not the horror of a savage past. An open secret keeps it a thriving business in India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria and "those other countries." And yes, here too in the USofA, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Your average run of the mill slave gets up at 6AM and works until midnight seven days a week; most probably a young person (starting at about age 6) that is beaten, underfed, unpaid, divorced from contact with family, and denied education. The odds of escaping that scenario are slim to none save an outsider with considerable legal clout taking notice. Even then, the lucky slave who gets free represents a tiny percentage of those who live hell daily.

One particular kind of human bondage is the sex trade, and in this category, the United States ranks number one in the world for the importation of underage girls. They come from all over: Eastern Europe, Thailand, the Philippines, Russia, Nepal and other places where American dollars are golden purses for those who would sell young virginal flesh. 

The recent arrest of 108 pimps nationwide has minimal impact on the huge numbers of human traffickers still at large, although the FBI sting was a victory of sorts.The most popular cities for underage sex slave trade are San Francisco, Detroit, and Jacksonville, to name a few of the top takers. Somehow I can picture Detroit as a hub for depravity, as it is a city in shambles where desperate people do desperate things. But San Francisco? That picturesque city built on seven hills?

Who can explain the pleasures of perverse, cruel men who employ underage slave prostitutes...

The only cure for these behaviors (besides a hefty jail sentence), and indeed all harming actions, is empathy. One can talk about compassion for all sentient beings, but without the ability to feel what "the other" feels, people will continue to inflict their isolated heart-thought-actions on their victims of choice.

How one develops empathy can be complex, but it starts with hearing the feelings of "the other." While the sociopaths of this world may not be able to hear anything at all, at least the rest of us can try! Maybe then our families, communities, states and nations will begin to evolve.

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