America: home of the slave

Spot a Slave today -.This will be easy and a different way to see your daily interactions. You probably see a victim of human trafficking once a month and didn’t know it.

Talk to strangers today. Notice people whom you see all the time but don’t think to much about. The bus boy, dishwasher, waitress at small family eatery, the person selling oranges off the freeway ramp, your neighbor’s nanny, housekeeper, anyone who works in the tiny windowed room above Santee Alley (garment district). These, outside of the sex trade workers, are the most likely occupations of modern day slaves in America.

Yup, slavery is illegal, but if you can’t see the slaves then they can’t ask for help.

Fear is what makes this possible. Trafficked people are afraid they will be killed, their families harmed, become homeless, arrested, or end in a worse situation if they try to ask for help.
Imagine: I offer you a job and bring you to the work site. I will pay you $8 an hour to ____. But you have no where local to stay so I will give you a bed for $2 an hour of your pay. Food will cost another $2. You need work clothes and equipment and that will be another $2. You get paid tips at the shop but hey, it’s my shop and I’ll be taking your tips. Now you are earning $2 an hour free and clear. Is this slavery? Yes. Yes it is.

Modern day slaves might be sold by poor parents in other countries, they may be American citizens kidnapped and sold into the sex trade. Ethnicity and age are not indicators of who a slave may be.

Today, look for the least in the “employed” among us with new eyes. Be friendly and actively wonder if they are working by choice. You don’t have to DO anything about it today: just looking will be scary enough for some of you.

Spot the Slaves in America and tell me what you see.

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