It turns out there’s a video of this CPAC event where a white attendee, complaining white southern males are racially oppressed, said slaves should have been grateful they were given food and shelter.
IN 1928, when he was well into his 70s, Bill Traylor moved from the Lowndes County, Alabama plantation where he was born to the comparably booming Alabama metropolis of Montgomery. There, the illiterate, often homeless former slave picked up a pencil. For the first time in his life and for inexplicable reasons, he began to draw. At night Traylor slept in a funeral parlor or a shoe shop. Each day he sat for hours drawing in the swampy Southern heat, shaded by a pool-hall awning in Montgomery’s African-American neighborhood called “Dark Town.” An elderly man with a white beard and bowed posture, Traylor captured humanity’s passing parade using whatever material was at hand—though he preferred to draw on weathered pieces of cardboard.
In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdan Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdan — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated).
Human Trafficking: Slavery in the Modern World
Justice is What Love Looks Like in Public.
A few years ago, a friend invited me to a screening of a documentary from musician Justin Dillon, Call + Response. I wasn’t really sure what it was about, but I decided to go watch it anyway. The documentary introduced me to an issue that I wasn’t even aware existed; people being smuggled across borders to be used as slaves.
According to the CNN Freedom Project, Human Trafficking is a $32 billion dollar industry. Almost half of that income is from industrialized countries like the US. Even scarier are the demographics being trafficked. More than two-thirds of the people smuggled across borders are female and half are children.
One particularly heartbreaking scene in Call + Response showed two young girls who had been kidnapped into slavery and coaxed into using heroin. They both were bought by the crew and returned to their families, but one of the girls ran away back into slavery because she was so hooked on the drugs. Apparently this scene is normal.
One of the biggest challenges of this issue is that it’s relatively unknown. Until I saw the documentary, I didn’t even know slavery existed in the modern world. Now the question is “How do we bring awareness to this issue?”
The CNN Freedom Project and Call + Response are both great resources for updates about the Human Trafficking, success stories, as well as things you can do to help. Call + Response also released a free iPhone app.
The biggest way that we can bring light to this issue is to talk about it. So talk. Tweet. Respond. React. Do something; anything that will make a difference and help bring an end to slavery.
(PS: The documentary has an amazing soundtrack. Click here to view it in iTunes).
Defining slavery with Michele Bachmann:
Taxes: “Economic enslavement is also horrible.”
Healthcare: “This is slavery…It’s nothing more than slavery.”
National Debt: “It is a slavery, it is a slavery that is a bondage to debt and a bondage to decline.”
Homosexuality: “It’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”
Piecing together information from satellite images and eye witness accounts, Amnesty International suspects that the horrific concentration camps in North Korea are growing. Some 200,000 people live as slaves – enduring starvation, torture, and rape while performing hard labor. Many die every year, only to be replaced by fresh bodies. Of those that survive, few will ever be released.