”Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – MLK
So what is with all the people with a red X on their hand? What is that all about?
It is about human trafficking, which is another term for human slavery.
Let’s get some perspective. According to the 1860 US Census, there were roughly 30 million free Americans, and roughly 4 million slaves. Five years later in 1865, the end of the Civil War also brought the end of slavery – finally abolished once and for all.
Or so you thought.
The truth is that there are 27-29 million slaves in the world today.
Let that sink in.
The number of slaves in the world today now equals the population of free Americans on the eve of the Civil War. Unacceptable.
The problem has changed, but it certainly hasn’t gone away. While we were not paying attention it has actually multiplied.
There are more slaves in the world today than in any period throughout the history of mankind.
The slave trade of coerced labor and rape-for-profit reportedly nets 32 billion dollars each year. And business is booming.
The good news is that there are organizations such as International Justice Mission, the End It Movement, and others that are working not only to raise awareness, but actively fighting to end it. Slaves are being brought to freedom every day. But the fight is far from over.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – MLK
I leave you with words that my daughter Rachael penned early this morning. She is just one of many pushing back against this injustice, not just in word but in deed. She has taken this battle to the streets not only here in the US, but also in the red-light districts in the slums of Kolkata, India; facing down the evil of slavery, standing strong against it where it is openly practiced, and bringing comfort and renewal to those who have escaped it’s horrors:
“I am so excited for this day and so saddened at the same time. What’s going on, and what we’re fighting against today is sad, but exciting in that today, I join millions around the world in fighting this injustice of human trafficking. Join me today by drawing a red X on your hand to help end it. Men, women, and children, should NOT be sold! I don’t care what your religion is, how old you are, what your race is, what music you listen to, or what school you go to, you have a voice, and you have the power to END IT! I urge you to think of your sons and daughters, your family, your friends, and cherish them. Slavery is not over and gone. It is HERE. It is NOW. It is PRESENT and RELEVANT, and WE CAN END IT! Work through prayer, awareness through social media, or, who knows, maybe you’ll work alongside with these heroes and raid brothels one day.”