Human Trafficking in the Trump Era

Human trafficking, or “the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act,” is unarguably one of the ugliest practices in the modern world. According to statistics released by the International Labour Organization, over 21 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, and human trafficking grosses over $150 billion USD annually, making it also one of the world’s most lucrative and widespread illegal industries. The human suffering endured as a victim of human trafficking is unthinkable; a simple Google search for “human trafficking stories” reveals headlines such as “I carried his name on my body for nine years.”

In February, when President Donald Trump announced his commitment to ending the “epidemic” of human trafficking, many took a sigh of relief, knowing that human trafficking will remain a bipartisan and universal priority in our uncertain political climate. However, it is also critical to analyze how Trump’s policies affect human trafficking. In this article,  I will analyze immigration and poverty, two areas that contribute the most to human trafficking in the United States, and what Trump’s actions thus far mean for human trafficking.
Continue reading “Human Trafficking in the Trump Era”

Post-Election Shock: Thoughts on the Impact of Trump Presidency

Over the past week, almost all of the conversations that I’ve heard around me were regarding the results from the recent political election. And so if you haven’t heard yet: Mr. Donald Trump is our new president-elect.

The election’s outcome has taken over my coffee runs, my dinners, my email inbox and even my personal thoughts. Nonetheless, I think that it’s crucial to have the conversation because it’s arguably the first time that our society as a collective has been forced to acknowledge all of the bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia (despite having existed for years) that make up this country. And although the new president-elect Donald Trump may not necessarily advocate for such hatred (though I would like to argue otherwise), he is an emblem of what America truly is and always has been.

Continue reading “Post-Election Shock: Thoughts on the Impact of Trump Presidency”

The Limits of American Democracy

Voting and involvement in the democratic process is one of the most basic rights a citizen can have, but in the United States access to this supposedly inalienable right is limited.  Although we are taught that we live in a country built upon a foundation of democracy and equality, our society has instead been structured around the protection of the livelihood of white people through the violent subjugation of minorities.  This subjugation has caused the denial of the humanity and fundamental rights of minority groups, including voting rights, and did not miraculously end in 1968 at the close of the Civil Rights Movement.  Although seemingly a relic of the past, the war on minority voters has continued through both legislative and unofficial reasons.

Continue reading “The Limits of American Democracy”

A Brief History of Racism in Redlining

Redlining [red-lahy-ning]: noun: a discriminatory practice by which banks, insurance companies, etc., refuse or limit loans, mortgages, insurance, etc., within specific geographic areas, especially inner-city neighborhoods.


The practice of redlining in cities across the United States, including Philadelphia, started with the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 and ended in 1968 with the Fair Housing Act.

A key that shows different rankings of regions, as written on security maps. [via The Atlantic]
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) created maps that ranked residential neighborhoods based on their desirability for further investment in a color-coded system. Often, higher ranks of “A” or “B” were likely to receive loans, while ranks of “C” or “D” were likely to be denied loans.

The FHA used various factors to differentiate rankings of zones, among which was the description of the kinds of people living in the area. Often, areas that were predominantly African American communities, or even immigrant communities, were ranked low on the scale. The common, but unstated, thought was that the arrival of African Americans and Immigrant in a community signaled the decline and ultimate demise of a neighborhood. Continue reading “A Brief History of Racism in Redlining”