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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 28

Fear of the 'other'

I've been trying to wrap my mind around the fact that a man I view as totally inappropriate just got elected president. It's little consolation to note he didn’t win the popular vote, nevertheless, we have someone abhorrent to me headed for the White House.

Perhaps because I'm a woman, I'll never understand people (especially women) overlooking his disrespect and abuse of our sex.

But I'm beginning to have a glimmer of understanding that his disrespect toward Hispanics, Muslims and blacks tapped into fear of the "other."

Our country is changing and becoming more diverse all the time. At some point, it is projected, whites will be in the minority. I think that mean-spirited man headed for the White House really tapped into fear about this. And unfortunately, this fear of the "other" can transform easily into hatred.

But the reality is we all came from somewhere else at some point in our ancestry. Even Native Americans, I believe, are thought to have come from somewhere else originally. We're all immigrants.

This country doesn't belong to anyone. It's a good place and that's why we stay and more keep coming. There is no "other" really. The "other" is us.

Rachel O'Neal

Talent

Sex trafficking facts

The following information is from a handout card from Soroptimist, detailing the extensive sex trafficking and slavery of mostly women and girls worldwide.

“21-36 million people are enslaved in forced or bonded labor, child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time (Source: Free the Slaves)”

“98 percent of sex trafficking victims are women and girls (Source: UNODC)”

“About 80 percent of trafficking involves sexual exploitation (Source: UNODC)”

“$32 billion per year — the second largest criminal industry in the world (Source: ILO, 2005)”

“Only about 5 percent of trafficking cases are ever reported (Source: UNODC 2006)”

“Every country in the world is involved in sex trafficking (Source: UNODC)”

“12 to 14 the average age of entry into prostitution (Source: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, ‘Human Sex Trafficking’ 2011)”

“73 percent of prostituted women have been physically assaulted, and 57 percent have been raped (Source: ‘Prostitution: A Matter of Violence against Women,’ 2002)”

“89 percent of prostituted women want to exit prostitution but cannot due to a lack of healthcare, money, education and other basic resources (Source: Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)”

For immediate assistance: National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888.

Help end trafficking: www.liveyourdream.org.

David McAlaster

Ashland

Offering congratulations

My marriage, my family, and my personal well-being have never been harmed by the fact that others don't always share my ethnicity, religion, citizenship or sexual orientation. That this is not true for everyone does not benefit me. Everyone's descendants will, however, be affected by the decisions we make now.

The political leaders I have favored have made some mistakes, while those I most disliked have nevertheless managed to do some good. This is the first time, though, that I've seen anyone get elected by promising to provide every henhouse with a fox.

I recognize that that some believe that government exists primarily to provide cause for complaint, so I am therefore offering them my congratulations.

Elizabeth Golledge

Ashland

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 28