As I share more of my process of recognizing my experiences to be so deeply interconnected with the promulgation of racial prejudice, I don’t want there to be ANY mistake in this:
I was trafficked by white people.
People I care about, survivors of intersections of extreme trauma, severe physical disabilities, and ongoing unconscionable suffering — they are (now) being trafficked by white people.
The assumptions people with privileges frequently make about human trafficking, and the entrenched (privileged) denial of the pathways that lead to human trafficking, have made it significantly more difficult for me to share details to prevent it happening to more others.
I notice that when I speak up, parts of my brain go into fear loops trying to remember what I said and what the ramifications might be.
The ramifications have proven to be very different with different people, so much so that my brain in neurological recovery has struggled to predict the five or six different most common (harmful) responses — common responses that ensure trafficking in and around our communities will continue.
Because common responses from caring others have resulted in violence to my body so ubiquitously, rebuilding my neurological capacity to tell you about it explicitly is a whole huge thing.
When I might receive another harmful response, especially where the responder is unwitting, my ability to speak verbally has wanted to shut down and protect the body, which (for my actual physical survival) has been necessary.
But what is needed now is NOT for me to stop talking, shut down, and only protect my physical body from harm — this time, every time, and from now on — because my sisters, brothers, and beloved others are being harmed MUCH worse.
These harms and countless harms are coming MOST GREATLY TO Black, brown, and Indigenous people.
Much more extensively than white people, our non-white neighbors are being hurt more brutally and being silenced more horrifically, far and beyond my experience of being trafficked.
White people have long been acculturated to fear supporting non-white, non-male people, especially around dangerous-feeling subjects.
But the support, uplifting, nourishment, and amplification of Black, brown, and Indigenous communities — especially that of women and disabled people — STOPS trafficking.
Do you understand?
Communities honoring living beings, expressing their true sacred selves, living close to their roots and to the Earth DO NOT disable or commoditize their community members.
Stopping racism stops human trafficking.
What marginalized communities have to teach us, especially from their expertise developed through overwhelming severity, relieves so many of our collective challenges that to allow that nourishment instead to perish tortured in front of us while we cry out how helpless we are is a sin so dire I don’t know how to describe it.
I and others who do not yet have privileges that protect them to speak out in public the way I do I have worked diligently on these issues in private, trying to help more of this work reach more others in public.
Now more than ever, there are so many ways to be connected to effective, life-affirming solutions — once you know about them, with myriad choices in front of you, you will know that you are not helpless.
These are skills for us to practice together.
Thank you for prioritizing and joining these efforts.