In Our Own Backyard: What You Need to Know About Human And Sex Trafficking in the U.S.

Map of inter-regional human trafficking flows, worldwide. (Photo Credit: United Nations Office of Drug and Crime)
Map of inter-regional human trafficking flows, worldwide. (Photo Credit: United Nations Office of Drug and Crime)

By Guest Contributor: Brian Kent

Most readers are likely aware that human and sex trafficking is a serious problem in countries such as Thailand and India. In fact, Asian women are the most trafficked group worldwide. But, readers may not know that human and sex trafficking of Asian women is a large problem here in the United States, as well. While abuse lawyers like those at AbuseGuardian.com can help victims of human and sex trafficking take legal action against their captors, trafficking is an issue that has sadly gone widely unnoticed in America.

70% of human trafficking victims worldwide are girls or adult women. Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) are disproportionately trafficked into sex work in America. Although APIs represent roughly 6% of Americans, nearly half of trafficked people into America are API, making APIs the second largest group of human trafficking victims in the Americas, and the largest group of people trafficked into the region. According to a 2004 U.S. Department of Justice report, 7,800 Asians and Pacific Islanders were trafficked into America out of an estimated 14,500-17,500 trafficked people. More recent reports from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime show that more than 1 in 3 human trafficking victims in Northern and Central America originated from East Asia, South Asia or the Pacific Islands, and most of them are trafficked to the United States or Canada.

Continue reading “In Our Own Backyard: What You Need to Know About Human And Sex Trafficking in the U.S.”

Gun advocate suggests slavery could have been prevented had slaves been granted right to bear arms

Larry Ward, chairman of Gun Appreciation Day.
Larry Ward, chairman of Gun Appreciation Day.

Larry Ward, chairman of Gun Appreciation Day, a made-up holiday to celebrate guns and gun owners, went on CNN on Friday to defend the day’s events. He suggested that Gun Appreciation Day, which this year falls on January 19th and just two days before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, is actually in the spirit of Martin Luther King’s non-violent civil rights legacy. In fact, says Ward, slavery “might not have been a chapter in our history” had slaves been armed.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWzXBretD0M

Let’s highlight the quote of awesomeness:

“The truth is I think Martin Luther King would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history.” — Larry Ward, gun rights advocate

He’s not wrong, actually. Slavery might not have gone so well if slavers had kidnapped Africans and stolen them from their homes and families, shipped them across the ocean in chains and deplorable conditions, and then promptly handed them a rifle the minute they were taken off the boats. Further, firearms were a means whereby slaves revolted against slavery. Slaves who gained access to arms often participated in frequent (but rarely taught) uprisings throughout the South. But, unfortunately, these uprisings were isolated incidents that rarely resulted in anything more¬†than painful retribution against unfreed slaves and/or kin, indicating that access to firearms and resulting violence was not alone sufficient to end the -institution- of slavery.

Let’s also examine for instance the notion that Martin Luther King, Jr.¬†in particular would support arming slaves to revolt or protest against slavery. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy was non-violent protest — the notion of returning violence with non-violence as a form of civil protest.

Famously, King was hit in the head with a rock during one of the marches he participated in, and still did not call for violence.
Famously, King was hit in the head with a rock during one of the marches he participated in, and still did not call for violence.

King once said of the non-violence movement: “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

In the end, however, the whole suggestion is absurd because we are talking about a time when slaves were bought and sold as property; when slaves were considered sub-human and incapable of complex thought by nature; when it was illegal to teach a slave to read. The hypothetical wherein slaves might have been granted the right to bear arms since this country’s founding — and in so doing “stop slavery” — is so far removed from the historical context of slavery and how it came about that it becomes patently absurdist.