Reblogged from November 11th, 2009 in commemoration of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day:
Is the anti-trafficking movement the new black?
I was recently asked if I was concerned that the current anti-trafficking or “Modern day abolition” movement might be only a trend, and the current growth and passion that are fueling it will quickly diminish as the “next trendy cause comes along.” Another person asked if I thought that “people might be just jumping on a band wagon?”
The words, “abolition” and “movement” are words that I have come to hold sacred. When I hear these words used merely for a campaign, fundraising scheme, or marketing tactic, I honestly cringe. They are diminished.
To think of the price that abolitionists have paid throughout history to end slavery, or the sacrifices people have made for movements that have challenged and changed unjust structures and systems that oppressed multitudes, I recoil at anything that might cheapen those words.
Sometimes I think we have the belief that if we use the word “movement” often enough, maybe we can actually start one. Or we mistake growing awareness as “the movement.” While awareness is vital and certainly part of “movement”, if awareness doesn’t lead to further action, it is only a shouting into the wind. Mark Twain said; “Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid.” Or as my Mom, used to warn… “Don’t be all bark and no bite.”
This “sacredness” has been helpful for us here at Love146, as it informs how we address modern day slavery. We use it as a bar or litmus test for all of our efforts and programs, forcing us to ask the questions; Does this effort have teeth to it? Is it helpful? How will it contribute to ending modern day slavery and exploitation? And, how will it help to restore and empower survivors? If we can’t answer these questions…we don’t do it.
A trend is defined as; “The general direction in which something tends to move.” So, at the end of the day if the movement to end human trafficking is a “trend” but is moving us all in the right direction, then that is a good thing. If, when the “band wagon” rides by, and the dust eventually settles, there are more people still standing & fighting then there were before… then count me in!
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