Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Appeal to Michiganders

While studying for my MacroEconomics class earlier this week, I came across a quote from economist Frederich Hayek. It made me think of the good people of Michigan:

"Society's course will be changed only by a change in ideas. First you must reach the intellectuals, the teachers and writers, with reasoned argument. It will be their influence on society which will prevail, and the politicians will follow."

In Michigan, we proven this statement to be true about a lot of things. We have consistently gotten the attention of the politicians, making sure they prioritize those things which we value most. We have debunked the myth that people are "powerless" to affect change.

This week, my classes at Oakland University are wrapping up. Two more finals, one more paper and I'm done. For eight weeks I'll have no classes, no homework, no tests. Eight weeks. It's not a lot of time, but I'm already making plans. Plans to contact Detroit city leaders and ask for their help in the fight against human trafficking. Plans to contact both state and federal legislators and ask for their support of existing and pending human trafficking laws. Plans to begin (and maybe finish?) production on a Michigan-specific video aimed at raising awareness. Plans to network, connect, and mobilize people around this well-hidden but undeniable truth: modern-day slavery exists in Michigan.

Yep. Lots of plans. And they're good plans. But here's the thing; I need your help. There is a handful of people in Michigan who have taken up this fight, but we need more. A handful of voices against this issue just isn't enough. Hayek was right, politicians will care only when we care. Holly Burkhalter, VP of Government Relations for International Justice Mission, has told me the same thing. Human rights legislation is initiated in response to society's cry for justice.

Will you become an active contributor to that collective voice? Will you help us fight for those who can't fight for themselves?

You may be asking why. "Why should I put my time and energy into defending people I don't know? We have a lot of problems in this state/country. Why pay attention to an issue like human trafficking? It doesn't really affect me."

You're right. It doesn't affect you. Not directly anyway.
I'd ask you to consider this: victims of injustice rarely have the ability to help themselves. They're violently controlled - often physically and/or emotionally abused, may not speak the language, and simply don't have access - even in America - to the systems that are meant to protect them. They're forever trapped in their lives of oppressive, abusive slavery unless someone comes along and helps.

So... will you help? There are so many simple things you can do. Write an email, make a phone call, sign a postcard. Things that take just a few minutes, or a few seconds.

Think about it. Leave a comment or email me if you'd like. I'd love to hear from you.

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