A strange feeling settled into my gut when a police officer walked toward us during an event that friends were hosting this past weekend. The officer reported that the Love Walks signs needed to be removed because they were political and offensive.The signs, posted along the path of the walk, shared statistics about trafficking and modern-day slavery and told the stories of people who had been caught in such terrible travesties. Apparently someone was bothered enough by the stories that he or she called the police to report them.
Honestly, the person who reported it was right. The signs were offensive … but they weren’t offensive for the sake of being offensive.
They were offensive because human trafficking IS offensive. Trafficking and slavery are modern-day, epic travesties. There’s nothing beautiful or lovely about it. If the stories stir something inside of us it’s because they should.
As we walked the path removing our signs, I read the stories and clearly saw the juxtaposition as our kids bounded along the path. They are loved. Safe as we can possibly make them. Protected as much as we can humanly protect them. Not all kids are born into the same circumstances. Not all kids are protected from predators by families who love and can care for them. Not all kids have someone to protect them.
Unfortunately, while removing the signs does, indeed, remove the offensiveness from our line of vision, it doesn’t remove the actual problem. Averting our eyes from the horrid truth doesn’t make it any less less horrid or less true. It doesn’t actually make it all go away. It just casts the problem back into the darkness.
Learn more at Hyacynth Worth’s Chicago Parent article: Light up the dark: How Chicago parents can help combat human trafficking.