Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Expectations vs. Reality

I grew up Catholic and everything from school to home life taught me that people strove to be good and kind and fair so that they might one day get to heaven when they die. I assumed that adulthood and maturity were the same things. I assumed that everyone had common sense and thought logically. Well, you know what they say about assuming...(it makes an ass out of you and me). The reality is so much more different. Churches aren't about bringing out the best in people and all people want to know from God is..."What have you done for me lately?"
Africans are being sold as slaves in Libya. (What a segue way huh?) Now I haven't so much as read one of the articles or watched a clip; I've just seen the headlines on social media. Do they surprise me?
Do you remember that Jada Pinkett Smith did a whole segment on CNN on human trafficking in America? About how kids as young as twelve years old were sold into prostitution by 'their boyfriends' a.k.a pimps. It all came down to these kids looking for love in all the wrong places and these predators willing to brainwash them into thinking they were getting it from them. Since their parents are never home anyway and they don't notice what happens in their kids' lives. Or they live with frail grandparents who it's all they can do to get up in the morning. When I think about it, I get so sad and just want to hug my boy close and let him know that he is loved.
I also saw another segment also on CNN about 'child brides' in India. I put the child brides in quotes because these girls were being 'married off' by their families and Catholic priests to men from Dubai and wherever; the men used the women for sex, rode them hard and put them away wet...and then abandoned them. Then they went home to their families and probably went through the whole thing all over again.
Modern-day slavery is alive and well.

This world is fucked up.
Most of these reports though look at the problem only through one lens. The lens of the predator coming, using their money and influence and getting to use human beings like tissue paper. Nobody examines the problems from the other side. What makes these girls submit to being degraded in return for this toxic 'love'? What makes families in India sell their children like livestock? Why are young men submitting to being sold as slaves in Libya?
What is the driving force behind this?
I know I know, nobody wants to be labeled a victim blamer, but I tell you true, unless you know what drives both sides, you're never going to solve the problem.
Maybe we don't want to solve the problem?
Maybe we're content, to be fake outraged on social media, and life goes on? After all don't we have enough personal problems? Who needs more shit on their plate right? No one that's who.
And what about these men? What is it that makes you see a child being exploited and it makes you hard as diamonds and wanting to despoil that child even further? Use them hard and leave them whimpering in pain and misery? Knowing that behind you are fifty more men who are going to use her just the same. And then all of you go home to your wives and kids and say, "Hey honey, how was your day? My meeting ran a little long. I'm so hungry, is there any of your delicious meatloaf left?"
See this is why I'm single.
Then there is the case of Cyntoia Brown. She was sixteen when she was trafficked by a pimp named cut throat. That was after being drugged and raped for days by those men above. Then she was sold to a 43 yr old child predator. She shot him dead and guess what? She's in jail, sentenced to 51 years. My young self would have been like, "Don't be ridiculous! No one in their right mind would do that!"
So, is the American justice system not in its right mind or are people just inherently without a moral compass or a smidgeon of compassion? It really boggles my mind how evil sons of bitches are. To think that she was alone in this, nobody helped heart hurts.
I keep seeing this post on Twitter about Mansa Musa being the richest man on earth ever, with a net worth of 400billion. I don't remember when Mansa Musa lived or which village he was the chief of. That must have been primary school history which was a long time ago. What I definitely don't remember reading is that his village was also rich and prosperous. Perhaps he was just another leader who liked to accumulate wealth while his people languish in poverty. Nothing to celebrate in other words.
And if we're looking for the answer to slavery, I think we find it in poverty. No doubt Mansa Musa sold some of his 'less desirable' folk to the slavers. They were poor anyway, a burden on the village? Criminals? Weak minded? His enemies? Whatever the reason, I'm sure if I did my research, there'd be some people selling in there. Supply and demand. An endless supply of poverty-stricken individuals are just rich fodder waiting to be plundered by somebody.
A girl wanting to buy a new weave so she's more socially acceptable in her school circles; meets a man who says, "Hey, why don't I buy it for you? All I want is...a kiss in repayment. How about it?"
And that's how the devil offers you domain over everything you see.
"Just jump off this cliff for me, and it's all yours."
Dreams of a better life.
Food on your plate.
Whatever it is, you get offered it in return for...nothing that you'll miss anyway right?
Just your soul, your dignity, and your self-respect. You can't even see those. Very likely they don't even exist.
We have to do better.
We have to be better.
My mini romance story that won first prize, I believe you can read it in the post before this one, is about slavery. It's only alluded to because it was a romance competition not some literature thing that was looking for deep sad stories. It was one of the reasons I was sure they would throw it out. The girl is enslaved by one guy and won in a poker game by another. I was constrained by the word count, but if I had my way, she'd have run away from him too. Because even though he figured he was 'saving' her, the truth is that he just bought her manumission papers and if he so chooses, he could enslave her just as much as the guy he won her from. At the end of the day, we have to realize our own value and save ourselves.
Enough real-life horror. Go read some contrived horror here and here for November, which is horror month. Or allow me to buy you a copy by filling in the form.

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