Slavery and Involuntary Servitude are Wrong

I am prompted to write this article by an article that I read on CNN yesterday.  It featured a pamphlet written by what I would call a terrorist group.  It was entitled 'Questions and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom.'  It was written by leaders of ISIS in what can only be described as a situation closely resembling hell on earth.  The U.S. was involved in air strikes trying to save they Yasidi population in Iraq.  They had been driven into the mountains by ISIS fighters and it seems that the real purpose was to enslave the women.  Many of the men and boys over ten years old have been murdered as there is no need for their services.

As an African American, my ancestors experienced the horrors of slavery here in the United States.  My Great Grandfather, Grandfather and Mother and Father were born in South Carolina.  In the 1800's this was a slave holding state and one of the original members of the Confederate states of America.  The Civil War was started in Fort Sumpter, South Carolina.  The scourge of slavery set the stage for the bloodiest internecine war in our history.  The question of the color line and its consequences are still relevant today.  Some of my friends attended a March in Washington, DC yesterday to protest the recent killings of unarmed African Americans in various cities throughout the country.

I was also astounded yesterday by an article that I read in the Los Angeles Times.  Almost 100,000 children under the age of 12 work on agro-industrial complexes in Mexico.  On paper, these are legitimate businesses who export tomatoes, peppers and other products to large retailers such as Walmart and other companies.  In reality, these businesses exploit the men and women who toil numerous hours for as little as $8.00 a day to create plentiful harvest for our tables.  Many people sleep twelve to a room.  Some workers are not paid for months.  Escape from these conditions can lead to death and the loss of a season's pay.  Many of the people have no other option but to work.  I feel so sorry for the children who are trapped in these situations.

Some estimates say that 20 to 36 million people are enslaved world wide.  Young women are targeted in Russia and Eastern Europe for forced prostitution in various countries around the world.  The largest number of slaves in the world live in Pakistan, India and Nepal.  A caste system also exists in many of these countries.  There will be no Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas or Touissant Louverture coming to the rescue for the enslaved people.  It seems to be an ingrained process of exploitation that people in power are loathe to give up.  There was a feel good story in the article about the Mexican children being rescued by the police.  I think this only touches the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problems.

As 2014 approaches a close, there are many things that I am thankful for.  My Family and a roof over my head are at the top of my list.  I am working and have a chance to feed my family on legitimate wages that can be improved in 2015.  I also understand that many people, fathers like myself, do not have an opportunity to voluntarily make a living and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  It is for these unfortunate citizens that I empathize and write this post.  I wish that conditions would improve for these individuals and families in whatever society they live and under whatever way possible.

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