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On the Future of Social Justice

I know there are many reasons why people blog. My reason has always been that I have so much going on in my head, so many ideas, that I just needed to share them with someone. With you, my readers. I have remained silent for a long time, not for a lack of things to share. Something else. I don’t know what to label it, but a few moments ago, I had an idea. Remember, it is just that, an idea. I knew immediately that in order to flesh it out, I would need to write about it. I also knew if I wanted to discuss, and heaven forbid, ever act on this, I would need to share it with others. This is why I have made my (hopefully triumphant) return to blogging.

I realize that those of you reading this are expecting me to talk about social justice, and I will, but I couldn’t start there. I need to talk about a few other (seemingly arbitrary, but hopefully, in the end, clarifying) things first.

I went to the library today. Books have always been a huge part of my life (and always will). While I went in with a list of a few books that I planed on picking up, I of course got more than I was bargaining for. In a recent conversation with my friend Rickk, we were discussing the way  in which cover art for a book sometimes acts as a (positive) catalyst for picking up and reading books that one had no intention of reading otherwise.  When I found myself once again at the library, I had my book list in hand. I went in for three books, but came out with four. When I went to pick up one of the books, I noticed another volume, a few spines over, that caught my eye. It was the bright cover art that made me take notice, although once I pulled it out of the line-up, I was greeted by a title I was familiar with.

I had never read this book before, but the familiarity came from the fact I have already liked it on Facebook, and have for some time. I loved the concept and so thought that a day might come around when I would make contact with this book. Turns out that day was today. I had just finished reading Robert Silverberg’s Book The World Inside. (This is the book the sparked the cover art discussion between Rickk and me in the first place).

The World Inside

Rickk's Copy

I was in need of something else to read, so I decided to read Slanted and Enchanted next. I have not finished the book, nor am I far into it. The reason is that it gave me an idea and I decided I needed to blog instead.

For those of you reading who don’t know much about me, I am earning (and I do mean EARNING) my IMA (Individualized Master’s of Arts) at Goddard College. I study sex trafficking in social consciousness and explore new ways of thinking about sex trafficking (in hopes of developing my own discourse on alternative ways to think and act on the subject). Right now, sex trafficking (as part of human trafficking as a whole) is very much part of the zeitgeist that is America right now. This means that much of what is being done is by people in government and not for profits. This is good, and my suggestion is not that this stop. My other thought has been, another major part of the zeitgeist of the past few months has been the Occupy movements. More and more people are fed up with the mainstream and the corporate. The most untapped resource in America right now are the “indie” people. This group is growing by the day, and encompasses such a wide variety of people. It reasons that whatever they do get behind is bound to take off. As aforementioned, I am not suggesting that this no longer be a mainstream issue, I am suggesting that issues of social justice in general need to also become part of the current independent movements.

While I do have a particular heart and interest when it comes to sex trafficking, I think this is a smart move for all types of social justice everywhere. What I am not going to do is offer solutions about how to make this happen. I have an idea, but I don’t have an answer. If you reading this have suggestions or ideas, PLEASE let me know! Leave a comment in the comments section! I will also list personal contact information for myself at the bottom of the post.

Liberation and the meaning of Independence

On a related topic, and one that I think fits nicely here (as I certainly do not have enough fodder for it yet to consider making it an independent post) is the connection between what I call a rouge economy and reintegration. While I was also at the library this trip, I picked up and flipped through a copy of Wired magazine. I found an interesting article by Robert Capps titled “Why Black Market Entrepreneurs Matter to the World Economy.” In this interview with Robert Neuwirth, a journalist, Neuwirth asserts that “If System D [Neuwirth’s name for the black market] were a country, it would have the second-largest economy on earth, after the United States.” This is major. I also agree with Neuwirth that this is also a huge untapped area that needs to be tapped. One of the major issues when it comes to rescuing and rehabilitating sex trafficking victims is finding them a new role (read livelihood). This is especially crucial outside of the United States where there are less opportunities for sex trafficking’s overwhelmingly female victims.

In thier book Half the Sky, Kristof and WuDunn use this concept. In one of their stories about recusing a particular trafficking victim, they set her up with a stall and some merchandise in her local village bizarre as means of a business start up. According to them, she has been successful.

Half The SkyThis is where I leave you, me, us. Back at the beginning, with this idea. Let’s figure out how to marry independent culture, the new occupy uprisings and social justice.

Support Indie Art!

All pictures and hyperlinks should link to appropriate pages to find out more about the noun it represents. As always, support indepdent people. Start by supporting independent art. My friend Rickk‘s art can be found here: http://sickkness.deviantart.com/

Also, if anyone has any ideas, questions, etc… that they do not wish to leave in the comments sections, you can reach me here:

sedthestealth@gmail.com     http://www.facebook.com/sedoflove

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