Everyone has become obsessed with Donald Sterling and his racist remarks (which is nothing new) and the elevator fight seen ’round the world with Solange and Jay-Z. But in the grand scheme of things, these things don’t really matter. Sterling being a racist is nothing new, based on a housing discrimination suit brought against him. And the perfect façade the Carters have built has crumpled slightly – boo hoo.
I have talked about missing girls before on my blog before, specifically Mitrice Richardson. I have failed to talk about the 234 missing girls in Nigeria, who have reportedly been kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram; the group has threatened that the girls will be sold as wives, if they have not been already. And I have loved seeing the world, specifically Americans, come together to help rescue these children. Unfortunately, we do not do the same with girls in our own country.
According to The Covering House, human trafficking generates $9.5 million each year in the United States, and the average age of children forced into prostitution is 13-14 years old. The top areas in this country for human trafficking include Las Vegas, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, and Washington, DC. Unfortunately, there are not enough resources for underage victims to receive help and assistance if they are able to leave these situations.
Let’s not forget Relisha Rudd, the 8 year old girl who was last seen on March 1. She was reportedly with Kahlil Tatum, a custodian that worked at the homeless shelter where Relisha lived with her mother and three younger brothers. Police believe Tatum killed his wife and then killed himself. Unfortunately, authorities are not close at all to finding Relisha. They are still looking for her and treating it as a recovery mission.
While I applaud all of us for bringing attention to these girls in Nigeria, let’s not forget that there are girls, and boys, in our own backyard who may be victims of kidnapping and/or human trafficking. To help end human trafficking in the US, you can contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center to find out about organizations in your city, learn the red flags of human trafficking, meet with your local or state government officials, organize a fundraiser, among other activities.
The only way to end it is if we stand up and are united. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.