Fireworks: exploding balls of color, light
and sound that humans have used for centuries to celebrate holidays,
festivals and whatever else they want, including birthdays, coronations
and a yearly reminder that WEBN is still relevant.
But their origins lie in something a bit more violent.
When I think of prejudiced people, I
envision ignorant, ultra-conservative, hateful people out of touch with
modern reality. But fat-shaming comes from all types of people —
including educated, progressive, alternative folks that one wouldn’t
tend to pigeonhole as discriminatory.
It’s a coincidence of timing that this issue of CityBeat contains a news article about a recent panel discussion on “the vanishing middle class.” People familiar with the topic probably already know one of the article’s salient points: Although worker productivity has increased significantly since the mid-1970s, wages for many workers have remained flat or even dropped in inflation-adjusted dollars. The people benefiting from the increased productivity are the wealthiest one-fifth of Americans, who saw their share of income increase. Most of us are working harder but we’re not reaping the fruits of our labor.
When people consider human trafficking or modern slavery, many conjure images of teenage girls held captive in brothels in Thailand. Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, who’s an authority in human trafficking, has interviewed young women there.He previously described to CityBeat how he secured the “services” of two sex slaves in Thailand. He wanted to learn more about their situation but would never be permitted to conduct an interview.