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Get in the Game

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

I’ve been reading some of the media discussion (You’ll Never See This Side of the Superbowl on TV and The Ugly Truth) of the Superbowl’s alleged influence on incidents of human trafficking, and I’m a little torn. While I do acknowledge how a spike in activity surrounding the event is a logical assumption, it’s just simply not true and in some cases actually hurts the girls we are saying we want to protect (see “The Superbowl and Sex Trafficking” by Kate Mogulescu in the NY Times).

However, regardless of whether the claims of increased activity are accurate or not, I really don’t think it matters. Lets just pretend that the game did foster a hotter than usual hotbed of prostitution…I still feel it’s a grave injustice to paint it as an event any more horrible than the day-to-day. To put such an emphasis on the Big Game and return to our regularly scheduled lives pretending this is as bad as it gets is to, as King said, become willing participants of the trafficking ourselves.

Time to face it, folks: Americans are trafficking American people¬†to service¬†American patrons every hour of every day. That day was no different – just some of the girls got relocated from their usual “tracks” for the night, and more of them were arrested and subjected to our puntive system.

I’ll leave that alone for now.

However, all of that is absolutely not to slam the articles and attention being paid. Not at all. I know awareness is slowly but surely permeating the masses, and high-profile, “all-American” events provide a nice stark contrast to this dark issue – the perfect palatable platform. Any way the message can spread and prompt more people to hop onboard, I’m thankfully embracing.

But at this point, the word’s out and we have a choice to make as a nation. I believe we are indeed making that choice, but I still wish to reiterate: as awareness spreads and more people are ripped out of their shelters of sincere ignorance, we must make the leap from passive acceptance (“I can’t believe that’s happening here – what a shame”) to protest (“That should not be happening here!”) and land somewhere in the fight.

Time to get in the game, America.

Lord, just this once, let the ‘Bowl be more than a game (if you could even call it that this year – ha!). Let it be the gateway drug prescribed to the stragglers of this fight, one so powerful that it leaves ’em craving more and more until they are so addicted to justice they can’t stand by and ignore from the sidelines a single day more. Let compassion lead in loving actions.Amen.

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