Friday, June 10, 2016

Why You Shouldn't Buy That Fake Gucci Bag on Canal Street

Cops busting up the fake bag sellers along the streets of New York aren't just doing it to protect millions of dollars of lost revenue for big name designers.

Who do you think makes those illegal designer bags?

Next time you want your friends or rather acquaintances (friends would ask), to think you're silly enough to spend $8000 on a designer bag, ask yourself:

Who makes those illegal designer bags?

Is the momentary pride or the imagined social elevation worth it?

And who makes those illegal bags anyway?

In the 1970s I bought my dad a stuffed turtle from the Philippines. When entering the US, customs nabbed that real, endangered-list turtle. As a 17 year old, I fought to get it back and wrote a letter to my state senator. Not once did I think about anything else but my loss.

Instead, I should have asked, why is this turtle on the endangered list? What illegal industry was I supporting? What species would disappear from the planet because of my ignorance and someone else's deceit?

Several years ago, a professor's student was kicked out of the university for watching porn on a school computer. The professor (my friend) was irate over the prudish, old-fashioned standards of Brigham Young University. "It's just porn she said, "give him a break."

Who made that illegal porn? Who was the star in that movie? Was she complicit or forced? I wish I had asked my friend.

And so we are all coming out of the ether of ignorance and we see that illegal activity, the making of porn, the making of handbags, the illegal poaching of endangered animals, might---just might be what fuels a world wide slave trade, in the United State, even in our own cities.

I recently learned in my city, people held against their will, people without English skills were forced to manufacture fake energy drinks. Someone is buying those fake energy drinks because they can get them for a buck cheaper.

Someone is just buying a product.
Someone just wants to look cool with a designer bag.
Someone thinks it's his right to watch porn.
Someone is perpetuating human slavery.