A while back I wrote about a movie I had watched called, Django Unchained. It isn’t often I watch a movie and then relive certain scenes over and over again. I cannot help but feel such sadness over the way in which black people have been treated over the years, and I cannot help but feel such anger toward the ones who believed slavery was just. The word ‘slavery’ certainly leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. How can a person ever justify enslaving another. I just don’t get it.
We cannot change history though. What has happened has happened, what is done is done. What we can do is to learn from history. What we should do is to look back over such terrible events and tell ourselves we will never allow such atrocities to happen again. That’s what we should do. It’s not really the case though, is it.
Humankind has a tendency to conveniently forget the mistakes of the past. Slavery isn’t a word of yesteryear, not even a word of yesterday. It is a word of today.
On December 6th 1865, the 13th Amendment was written, officially ending slavery. But it never really ended. In fact, there are probably more slaves today than at any other time in human history. It is roughly estimated that there are at least 27 million slaves in the world today. The definitions of the word might have changed over the years, although that’s about all that has.
Millions of men, women and children around the world are forced to live the life of a slave. People are sold like objects at some junkyard market, forced to work for little to no pay at all. Banned in most countries today, it is also prohibited by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1956 UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery.
And yet eastern European women are as I write, being forced into prostitution, children are being trafficked between West African countries and men are being forced to work in Brazil, on agricultural estates. Very little has changed over the years.
Slavery has evolved, has branched out into all aspects of life and now, each aspect has its own given name. Take ‘bonded labor’ for example. You can beat me around the head and tell me I’m Chinese, but I will still reply in English. I think you know what I mean.
That’s all for today – until part 2 …