Last Thursday, a guy stopped me while I was getting apple juice in the cafeteria. "I like your 'x,'" he said, showing me his matching red X on his hand. "Thanks!" I replied awkwardly, as one does. "I have two!" No, I didn't go clubbing like every other 20 year old, and I wasn't just subjecting myself to staining all of my sheets with red ink for fun. If you walked through campus that day, you would see person after person wearing a red X on their hand, or on their shirts, or their hats. And, as John D. Sutter said, "they're trying to end slavery."
I'm sure you saw abundant selfies and respostings on Thursday, and like many cynics, you may be thinking, why does this matter? How is this going to make any change, and does any change really need to happen? After all, millennials are often criticized for refusing to take real action, and instead trying to hashtag the problem away from the safety of their couches.
However, bringing awareness is exactly what is going to #ENDIT. The International Labor Organization estimated that over 20.9 individuals are enslaved worldwide, which creates over $150 BILLION every YEAR in profits for traffickers. About 78% of this number is found in forced labor slavery, and 22% are forced into sex slavery. There is more slavery today than at any other time in history. Let that sink in. ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY. Modern slavery is described in Freetheslaves.net is described as "cheap and disposable." Never before has humanity been so devalued, so tossed aside as garbage and not even an investment as property. And this is all happening right below our noses.
Slavery is what makes our clothing, our chocolate, our coffee, our cars. The lucrative business of pornography is built upon it. Our entire culture is tainted by the blood spilled by the people barely even receiving enough recognition to consider themselves human.
That is why we must speak. Though at the moment I might only be able to post a selfie online, or write an article, you are now aware. You know what is going on. You can no longer pretend slavery isn't existing, and that's is what's going to #ENDIT.