12 Years a Slave

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They talk about human trafficking as modern day slavery… They talk about it as numerically more rampant than the slavery of the transatlantic slave trade. Yet after watching 12 Years A Slave, I am shocked and nauseated by the overwhelming similarity between the slave days of the past and the slave days of the present.

We are not done with the days when a free man may become an enslaved man.

We are not done with the days when a person can be cheated, tricked, and fooled into slavery.

We are not done with the days when a person can go from absolute liberty to suppressive subjugation in the matter of days.

We are not done with the days when a whip or a board are used to keep people in line.

We are not done with the days when a woman’s body is used as a sexual object.

We are not done with the days when rape is used as a tool of power.

We are not done with the days when a person can be forced to work day in and day out in the most menial of labor.

We are not done with the days when a person is quantified by how much profit they manage to make their master.

We are not done with the days of masters.

We are not done with the days when a person without papers is utterly helpless.

We are not done with the days when a person can be bought and sold.

We are not done with the days when a person can be transported by cart or ship or tractor to a foreign place.

We are not done with the days when humans are property and may be treated as such.

We are not done with the days when people are exploitable, disposable, and manipulatable.

We are not done with the days of slavery.

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But as horrid as the slavery of the slave days was, in some senses, slavery today is even worse. Humans today are even more of a cheap commodity. In 1860, a young male agricultural worker was worth the equivalent of $40,000. Today, that same person is worth only $300. What does that say? What do we say? Slavery was never ended. Will it ever end?

Related articles:
12 Years a Slave and the Reality of Modern Slavery

12 Years a Slave Relevance to Today

12 Years a Slave: More Than A History Lesson

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