Thanksgiving Over Not Writing (About Some Things)

Don’t be fooled by the title. I’m planning to write over Thanksgiving, and I’m planning to love it.

However, I won’t be writing about human trafficking. And that’s something I’m grateful for this year.

Leading up to Thanksgiving, I’ve noticed an onslaught of information about human trafficking on the web and in conversation. First there was talk of California’s Prop 35 and the debate surrounding it. Then there was yesterday’s agreement between US and Burma to cooperate on anti-trafficking efforts. And as a cherry on top, a director friend is working on the first romantic comedy feature film about human trafficking.

Now sure, there are some problems with this new trend – most notably the lack of distinction between human trafficking and human trafficking for sexual purposes, or sex trafficking. It’s also a little disheartening to see people ignore other forms of slavery that are arguably more easy to stop through diplomacy and market pressure than is sex trafficking. And I’m cynical about any political promise or legislation that doesn’t tackle victims’ rights.

But I’m thrilled awareness has picked up. This Thanksgiving, one of the things I’ll be celebrating is not feeling the need to write so much about this topic.

When I first started writing about human trafficking, it was for me. It was totally selfish. I discovered some stuff; it shocked me; and I wrote about it as a way to deal with that shock.

Now I’m not shocked. I’m educated. I feel much more aware of who makes my belongings, how criminals take advantage of women and children, and how to respond to a crisis. And I see other people becoming educated as well.

I’m not saying we’ve found lasting solutions. Instead, I’m excited to fight human trafficking with a new, collective consciousness. And I’m looking forward to evolving and finding other things to care about alongside the very real problem of modern slavery.

On another note:

My family’s here for Thanksgiving this year and, because Sandy traveled north of DC, we’re able to celebrate together in a warm and comfortable place. But areas just north of us aren’t so fortunate. If you’d like to help give a better Thanksgiving to victims of Sandy, this article from WNYC has a lot of excellent options.

Happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you next week!

(Photo by Steve Woods)

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