Tags: Charlottesville | Emerging Threats | Presidential History | confederate | markers | statues

Sex Trafficking and Slavery

Sex Trafficking and Slavery
Christ Church as seen in Alexandria, Virginia. The Church was founded in 1767. George Washington worshipped there. (Steveheap/Dreamstime) 

By Monday, 20 November 2017 10:29 AM Current | Bio | Archive

There appears to be an ironic disconnect between highly publicized moral outrage over historic symbols associated with a tragic colonial era of slavery, compared with insidious yet far less publicized present-day sex slavery, including molestation of juveniles, which has become epidemic in metropolitan areas across our nation.

As I have previously observed in this column, we have witnessed a growing trend of angry attempts to erase past racial injustices through attacks upon Civil War monuments along with memorials to American leaders who were slave owners. Less recognized are those owners of slaves who constituted between 20 and 25 percent of the populations in northern cities such as Boston and Newport.

Last month, a plaque honoring the memory of George Washington was removed by officers of Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Our American Revolution commander and first president had cofounded and worshiped in that church, purchasing pew number five in 1773. A companion plaque honoring Gen. Robert E Lee was also removed. Both had hung on opposite sides of the vestry since 1870.

Similarly, hundreds of statues, markers and other symbols memorializing various historic figures and events are now also under siege throughout the nation. My happily adopted home state of Texas is no exception.

Following a heated protest which turned deadly over removal of a statue dedicated to Gen. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, University of Texas President Greg Fenves ordered the immediate removal of statues of Lee, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnson, Postmaster Gen. John H. Reagan, and Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg. He stated that such monuments have become "symbols of white supremacy and neo-Nazism."

I personally know of no one who feels anything but sadness over tragic injustices perpetrated against either literally or virtually enslaved populations. Yet if we are to erase evidence and symbols of bad history, where does this end?

After all, why stop with Confederate leaders when great blame for racial intolerance and misery can be also be attributed to Northern leaders for terrible oppressions directed to indigenous Indian populations. My great grandmother’s peaceful Winnebago tribal people who were driven from their native lands to reservations in Minnesota and Nebraska are but one disconsolate example.

If not actual genocide, President Ulysses S. Grant’s solution to the "Indian problem" certainly influenced a cultural genocide. As he explained to General William Tecumseh Sherman, "I see no substitute for such a system, except in placing all the Indians on large reservations, as rapidly as it can be done."

Sherman, in turn, communicated an order to his subordinate General Philip Sheridan, "to prosecute the war with vindictive earnestness . . . till [the Indians] are obliterated or beg for mercy." Together, Sherman and Sheridan are forever associated with the slogan "the only good Indian is a dead Indian."

Tho formerly proud and free Indians who survived experienced dehumanizing poverty and desperation. As Oglala Chief Red Cloud told Grant upon visiting the White House in 1870, "The riches we have in this world . . . we cannot take with us to the next world . . . Then I wish to know why agents are sent out to us who do nothing but rob us and get the riches of this world away from us."

Unfortunately, we don’t have to look back nearly so far in history to find egregious subjugation and enslavement. Again exploiting defenseless victims, today's sex slavery occurs as big business on city backstreets throughout America.

The National Human Trafficking Polaris hotline reported 22,191 known cases of sex trafficking cases inside the U.S. during 2007. In 2016, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimated that one out of six endangered runaways who were reported to them likely became sex trafficking victims.

Numbers of such crime incidents nationwide are believed to be vastly under-reported.

Unlike human smuggling and other general exploitation, criminals are often charged under an umbrella which doesn’t specify roles of participants or their exact crimes. It’s common for a young girl selling sex to deny that she’s working for someone when it’s against her will.

As reported in the Houston Chronicle (Chron.com), Houston sees more of this human tragedy than many other major cities in the nation. This is attributed in large part to our city's proximity to the I-10 corridor connecting with El Paso, the country’s most used trafficking path.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot offered some prudent advice in an American Statesman article, "We must remember that our history isn’t perfect. If we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it . . . instead of trying to bury our past, we must learn from it and ensure it doesn’t happen again."

Yes, if we truly wish to change history for the better, why not begin with the here and now? Maybe if we end modern sex slavery, future historians may also be more inclined to give us a break as well.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Unfortunately, we don’t have to look back nearly so far in history to find egregious subjugation and enslavement. Exploiting defenseless victims, today's sex slavery occurs as big business on city backstreets throughout America.
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Monday, 20 November 2017 10:29 AM
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