This week, the world celebrates the United Nations International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, a day marking the beginning of the end of slave trafficking as an acceptable and accepted mode of “commerce.”
The practice, long since banned by most of the civilized nations of the world, is still practiced by outlaws and the very dregs of humanity today, utilizing code and the internet to carry on the profitable kidnap and trade of human beings—the destruction of their dignity, the degradation of their spirit and the bootlegging of their inherent rights as persons.
Such individuals will opt out of this week’s commemoration, reflection and discussion. One such is Tony Ortega, bigot by trade and sex trafficking apologist by creed.
Such individuals will opt out of this week’s commemoration.
Like a moth to a flame, Ortega gravitates to the abhorrent side of life. He frothed with glee that his former bosses at the Village Voice “were smart enough to start Backpage,” the sex trafficking site that was number one in the world until the FBI seized it in 2018. Those same “smart” bosses are now under federal prosecution for a variety of crimes connected with sex trafficking, including child exploitation, murder and rape. But Ortega relishes living on the ground floor of abomination, staunchly defending exploitation by howling against reporters who have exposed Backpage, and pretending sexual slavery around the world is “nonexistent.”
Who would sink so far as to defend the sex trafficking of children? Into what deep well of slime has a person willingly fallen when he flaunts perversion as a victory and the degradation of the human spirit as a goal?
Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Once in a great while, however, darkened souls, like Ortega, hang on dearly, desperately trying to bend that arc the other way.
Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, said of International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition: “This special day acknowledges the pivotal struggle of those who, subjected to the denial of their very humanity, fought against the slave system. Once and for all, it is time to abolish human exploitation and to recognize the equal and unconditional dignity of each and every individual on Earth.”
One wonders what it would take for the meaning of those words to reach down through the mud and rekindle any remaining spark of decency in those who revel in hate and the exploitation of their fellow man—individuals like Tony Ortega.