Monday, October 18, 2010

Just to Clarify: Slavery Exists

Yes, yes it does and even in this United States of America. Our beautiful country that believes in and sends our men to die for the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of Capitalism, I mean happiness, is a popular destination of slaves, and clearly not of their own free will.

Let's have a brief history lesson. On December 6, 1865 the 13th Amendment to the constitution was adopted by the United States. It states:

"Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

For those of you that did not read that because it was a quote in the middle of the page, it says that slavery is a crime in the US and any place subject to their jurisdiction. It is an honorable notion and has my full support but in my opinion, all this succeeded in doing was to shift the act of slavery from something socially acceptable and visible to something socially unacceptable and less visible.

Slaves before were whipped and flogged shamelessly and publicly, slaves today are beaten and raped behind closed doors. Slaves before worked in plain sight, slaves today work in dark rooms, red lit rooms, hot humid basements, dirty factories, and some even in plain sight on corners, film sets and poles yet one would never assume them to be enslaved but voluntarily dedicated to the profession of prostitution, pornography and stripping. But let me challenge you with a simple question: when you were growing up and talking about the future with your friends how many of them aspired to be an adult film star? How many of them wanted to dance naked for greasy, greedy old spectators? How many of them told you that they wanted to suck a dick for a dime in back alley ways all night? How many times did you desire this? I didn't, I thought the ice land bridge theory was absolute crap and was determined to prove it wrong on account of continental drift and then fly to the moon to be the first woman on the moon (these were my third grade aspirations).  Things have changed. Things do change.

One thing I am certain has not changed is the simple mechanism of enslavement: making one feel unworthy. Before, slaves were believed to be sub human. In the US they only counted as 3/5 of a person, and that was only for the purposes of determining taxes and apportioning congressmen for individual states. It makes sense that slave owners did this, how can one consciously enslave someone one views as ones equal? Slaves were thought unworthy of being treated with the respect and honor owed to free men and therefore deserved the treatment they received. Some owners even thought themselves benevolent for the great service they were doing in keeping and caring for subordinates. We are now in the 21st century, the age of human rights campaigns and hot summers, but no amount of laws or stimulus plans will bring about the change we need. Obama. The change needed is internal and individual.

Psychology is psychology. Devalue someone to the point that they believe they deserve the lot they are being given and you have complete control over their life. No chains necessary, and if that is not sufficient a good beating and threat to loved ones will do the trick. This is not a slavery how-to, this is a slavery how-it-is. It is a mentality ignorant of grace, mercy and love that acts in the pursuit of one thing: personal capital.

And if you need a number to prove slavery exists, it's 12.3 million worldwide according to the 2010 TIP report. That's 1.8 people out of 1000 in the world. Do the math with the population of your town, school or work and it will make it more personal. Some organizations report higher, some lower but the argument of numbers is a cold one, I will advocate whether it be 1 slave or 27 million.

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