One of the problems of writing fiction about slavery always seemed to be the difficulty of demonstrating convincingly and artistically that the attitudes and prejudices of our slave past had not disappeared, but merely dressed themselves differently.
It is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. And if any crime deserves its own month of awareness, it is trafficking. Owning and using another person for your own financial benefit and sense of power is horrific.
Trafficking in persons clearly involves human rights concerns, based on the coercion, threats, or violence victims and survivors face. But the ways we as a community respond to human trafficking also involve very important human rights issues.
Sadly, the news about backpage.com is not new. In 2012 ABC News in Phoenix reported 51 arrests as a result of a police action against this web site and in 2013, NBC News also ran an expose on backpage.
The children at the border are only a symptom of a crisis of extreme violence in Central America and a crisis inside the Beltway caused by a dysfunctional Congress that misses opportunity after opportunity to fix our broken immigration laws. This is a life and death issue.
Americans love shrimp. In fact, we love it so much that we eat it more than any other seafood, and almost more than tuna and salmon combined. However, that love comes with a price -- and a steep one at that.
They are denied education, health services, and at risk for exploitation, abuse and underage recruitment into armed forces. All because they do not have a simple piece of paper we take for granted -- a birth certificate.
Since first viewing it on a Phnom Penh newsstand, I have not been able to get a headline from a local paper out of my mind: "Figures Show General Acceptance of Child Rape." No matter how many times I read it, I can't make any sense of it.