Nearly 170 years after Frederick Douglass published his autobiography, Ta-Nehisi Coates has published his own expression of what it is like to be black in these United States. As we read this book, it is worth remembering what Douglass taught us: Racial injustice, rooted in the very bones of the nation, has poisoned us all.
One of the more difficult things to do, for many of us at least, is to react in the moment, when injustice is occurring right in front our eyes, but in a way that does not directly affect us. The "safe" thing to do is avoid the conflict, to get away and certainly not get involved. However, there are times when the safe thing to do is not the right thing to do.
In the U.S., we need funding to educate young people to prevent them from becoming victims of human trafficking. We need funding to train members of our communities to recognize and respond to incidents of human trafficking. We need funding for health and social services to support the victims of human trafficking.
The "Season's Greetings" banner hung across South Florissant Road in Ferguson, Missouri, is a far smaller piece of incongruity than the Christmas truce on the Western Front during World War I a century ago, but it provides a contemporary reminder of the contrast between our ideals and our treatment of one another.