our naivity enables their security

Last week Bekah and I went to the corner of La Brea and Melrose following a lead from a man on the worldsexguide.com, who gave us fairly detailed directions on how to find a “white door, next to the number printed on the side of the wall, in which we should knock and the mamasita would answer, at which time we should tell her we wanted a full service. She would charge $40 and tell me I had half an hour”. Bekah and I followed his navigational directions, and with some difficulty eventually found this white door. We parked outside, and decided to wait to see what happened. As we parked, we noticed there was a white van with an asian man parked near us, while the rest of the alley was empty. A few minutes after that, 4 asian women came out of this white door. 1 got into the white van, while 2 walked behind our car to a black sedan that had pulled up. Meanwhile, the white van had pulled up so as to shine his lights directly in our faces, letting us know that we were not welcome there. Pretending to be lost, we continued to look at our map of LA. Eventually these 2 cars pulled away, and we were left alone in the dark alley. The 1 remaining asian girl was still outside, smoking a cigarette, and we decided to talk with her, acknowelding that alone time like this was rare. We pulled up next to her, rolled down the window, and asked her if she knew of any good restaurants.

After establishing that she was from korea, didn’t know the area very well, and her english was minimal, we asked her if she worked here. She said no, and began to look nervous as she fumbled with her cell phone. We asked her if she felt safe. She began to become somewhat frantic. We asked her if she needed help, and if she was doing the work that she had been told she would be doing. She frantically began telling us she didn’t understand, and began to make a call. We told her we didn’t want to worry her, that we were new to the area and concerned that she was standing alone in a dark alley, and wanted to make sure she was ok. She turned around. Not wanting to make things worse, we pulled away and looped the block. When we came back, she was gone, and a dark van was pulling out. At the intersection, we pulled up next to the van to turn right as the van went straight. I looked over and made eye contact with her. She was hunched in a corner while an older, white man drove the car.

She looked empty. Hopeless. Defeated.

I can only hope that the smile I tried to muster for her gave her an ounce of hope. There are people fighting for you. You don’t have to live like this.

We eventually went to the business next door, a movie rental place. We asked the young man working if he knew what type of business was next door. He responded by saying that he wasn’t sure, and if anything, he was a little bit suspicious. We asked him if he knew what human trafficking was, and gave him some information.

He said he’d rather not get involved.

Talk about the conclusion of society. People not wanting to get involved. Scared for themselves. Scared to find out whats on the other side. It’s the “if i don’t see it it doesn’t exist” mentality. Our naivity enables their security.

These women live this everyday. They’re trapped in it. They can’t get out – someone has to fight for them, and the more, the better. The trained, the better. We need to start making the people running this know they are being watched. That we won’t take it.

Our naivity enables their security.

Fight naivity. Make yourself aware. Ask questions. Be bold. Fight for justice.