Honestly, the prison labor system is such a fucked up thing and the fact that these politicians create policies that fill prisons up with minor offenders then benefit through free labor when prisoners are stripped of their rights and manipulated into work…..
Oh my god
If you’ve been deeply affected by reading “My Family’s Slave” here are some general concrete things you can do.
1) Understand and tell other people that this is not only something that happens in the Philippines. It happens in many other countries. Probably on every continent. For example, in Haiti, they’re called restaveks. Across South Asia, many child slaves work in the textile industry. Don’t treat this as an individual personal failing done only by a few bad people when it’s a vast economic system that thrives in secrecy and which many of us indirectly benefit from.
2) There’s no true ethical consumption but you can at least not support industries, companies or entire economies heavily involved in modern day slavery. Cut out visiting Dubai, for example (although I don’t know anyone that rich).
3) Support transnational unions of service and domestic workers.
4) If you or anyone you know employs domestic workers, talk to them discreetly and compassionately. Ask what they need and how you can support them. Ask who takes care of THEIR kids. Keep your eyes open.
5) Look at any local laws that passively encourage these exploitative relationships and work towards changing them. Immigration law is a huge issue in this area. Undocumented workers scared to come forward because they don’t want to be deported, for example.
6) Fight for feminism and disability rights because women and disabled people are especially vulnerable. I remember in the 90s there was a vast Mexican slave ring that enslaved deaf Mexicans and made them beg on the subways in NYC for money. I gave money to some of these people not knowing that they were kept as slaves and had to turn all their money over to their slavemasters at night, and it shocked the hell out of me. Private charity doesn’t work - these people need living wages, independence, legal advocates. All fixes on a systemic basis.
Some Rather Sad Things About The Native People of Mexico
I posted some positive facts about Natives last week but now this is more of the sad struggles that those people face today.
80% of Native people today in Mexico live in extreme poverty
Almost half of Native children in Mexico are malnourished
Native people in Mexico have a lower life expectancy than non-natives in the country and probably lower than everyone else in all of North America
Due to such high rates of poverty, indigenous communities in Mexico lack access to clean water, sanitation, health clinics, education & electricity
Indigenous people in Mexico are very marginalized
The racism against them by the Mexican society is still strong today for the way they dress, talk and live. It doesn’t stop there, racism against the indigenous people of Mexico is also prevalent in the US as well to those that have migrated to the country. This causes a great many of them (more specifically Native youth) to be ashamed which leads to them wanting to assimilate, refusing to speak their Native langauges in public or at all
Roughly less than 30% of indigenous children graduate from high school in Mexico. This is due to lack of schools in their areas and language barriers as Spanish is usually indigenous children’s second language
The violence and murder against indigenous people in Mexico is high, especially against Native leaders and activists who try to protect their lands from loggers, drug trafficers and oil companies
Sexual violence against indigenous women in Mexico are reported in the millions
In 2013, 200 Native people in Mexico consisting of men, women and children were rescued from what was considered “modern day slavery”. They were being held illegally and were forced to work long hours and live in subhuman conditions.
Reminder that these struggles (and there’s a lot more) are happening to these people today and have been happening for the past 500 years
The statements “the percentage of people living in slavery moved from about 2% in 1860 to 0.4% in 2017” and “there are more people living in slavery today than ever before in human history” are both factually true.
Victims [of human trafficking] can text “HELP” or “INFO” to the number 233733 (BeFree), where they are forwarded to Polaris’s hotline staff, who then respond from their computers through a messaging service called Chatter. Polaris has operated a voice hotline, at 1-888-373-7888, for a few years.
[For more on social justice, follow me on Instagram: soulrevision]
Top: Black inmates on the chain gang in Atlanta in 1895
Bottom: Black inmates at Angola in 2014
Top: Black “child convicts” at Angola in 1903
Bottom: Black inmates at Angola in 2014
Top: Black women prisoners at Angola in the 1920’s/1930’s
Bottom: Black male inmates at Angola in 2014
Absolutely NOTHING has changed except the years. These photos are not only disturbing to look at, they prove that prison is a form of modern day slavery and that Nina Simone was correct when she said, “slavery has never been abolished from America’s way of thinking”. Welcome to the New Jim Crow.
In the Indian state of Jharkhand, extreme poverty makes young, rural women especially vulnerable to human traffickers. Anti-poverty measures have not been very effective. For example, while the local government tried distributing bicycles to girls for them to travel to school, human traffickers target them on their routes. Even the women who have escaped slavery are still haunted and stalked by their traffickers.
One woman, who had been kept as a slave by two married doctors and has since been rescued, is now enrolled in a state-run residential facility. Even though relatives of the doctors visited her parents to offer them “lots of money” to avoid prosecution, she has taken her case to court and is still fighting for justice.
The twenty-first century will be the
era of the World Controllers…The older dictators fell because they could never
supply their subjects with enough bread, enough circuses, enough miracles, and
mysteries. Under a scientific dictatorship, education will really work…most men
and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of
revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific
dictatorship should ever be overthrown - Aldous Huxley
(Brave New World Revisited)
“Killed Philando right in front of his girl
And the world saw
Everybody’s reaction was, “Hell naw”
This modern day slavery, the prison publicly traded
And the jig’s up
The Constitution and Emancipation Proclamation’s just a fuckin’ piece of paper.“- T.I.
The 13th amendment says Slavery is unconstitutional…..UNLESS you’re a criminal.
Which isn’t really any consolation when it’s easier to be criminalized then ever nowadays, from a gram of weed to being arrested for “resisting arrest”.
Then once you’re inside you almost always go back.
The system isn’t broken.
It’s working exactly how it was designed to.
Modern day slavery.
A smartphone topped my Christmas list this year. I thought if I shopped around, I could acquire one quite cheaply. Then I stumbled across a shocking quote & realised the cost of a smartphone may be much greater than just the recommended retail price.
“Coltan is an effective superconductor found in electronics. A U.S. State Department official was interviewed about Coltan mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He pointed to the reporter’s smartphone and said, "The likelihood that one of these was not touched by a slave is pretty low.”
One reason I wanted a smartphone is so it would be quicker and easier for me to post photos to my fb. What is the true cost of ease of social networking? How much am I really willing to pay for the latest gadget? The dignity and freedom of another human being?
I am not simplistic enough to think that boycotting a product will make the problem disappear. I understand that if I protest by refusing to buy a smartphone, that the person in slavery will likely end up getting even less money for their work or have to work even harder to help the boss make outrageous profits. So I am still getting a smartphone for Christmas, but now I know the true cost, I am determined to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” - Unknown.
I REFUSE TO DO NOTHING.
The question is, what will YOU do now you know? Not sure if anyone will ever read this blog, but say perchance that you are reading this now, this question is for YOU! What will YOU do now you know how much your smartphone ACTUALLY cost?
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.” - William Wilberforce.