There’s something ironic about walking into a Cinemark megaplex decked with posters for superhero movies, which are playing in half of the theaters, then entering one of the few showings of a movie about an actual hero only to see four other people in the entire theater. Stilted plots, gratuitous violence, amoral antiheroes, unbelievably evil villains, and just enough sex for a PG-13 rating, America’s latest obsession with comic books on the silver screen simply isn’t for me. In fact, the last superhero movie I think I actually sat through was Spider Man 2, back in 2004 … and I wish I hadn’t. But immerse me in a story with real good guys and real bad guys, such as The Abolitionists, and I’m hooked.
The Abolitionists is a documentary that tells the story of ex CIA Agent Tim Ballard and the organization he formed, Operation Underground Railroad. Their mission is to rescue children from sex trafficking. The movie shows real operations, through which some fifty-six children were rescued during its making. It made me cry. Teresa will confirm that I don’t cry. This is a movement that needs our support.
It’s hard to imagine, but slavery is still a big problem in the world. Chances are, you’ve eaten chocolate that was, in part, brought to you by enslaved children in Ghana and the Ivory Coast (especially if you buy Nestle products). According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 20 million slaves in the world today, with the vast majority of them involving sexual exploitation. According to the U.S. State Department, approximately 80% are female and half are children. Unlike the inane frivolities we, the pampered decadents of a dying empire, fret over, human trafficking is a real problem. I mean, how can we exhaust or passion over who should be allowed in which public restrooms while millions of innocent children are being raped on a nightly basis? It’s so easy to waste our energy on what appear to be good causes but which will, in the end, return a net result of zero. Which pretty much sums up the majority of modern political activism.
Tim Ballard is inspiring because he’s found his calling in life and has dedicated himself to it. He doesn’t have time to argue about how the world needs to change; he’s too busy changing it. He’s making a real difference, not by writing blog posts but by actually fighting bad guys. And I intend to follow suit. I signed up to volunteer on their website, indicating that I’d like to join their jump team. And I fully intend to get shot. Teresa has given me the green light to do so. One couldn’t ask for a better wife.