Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On slavery…


Last year my sister C-Money and I watched the TED talk How to Combat Modern Slavery given by anti-slavery activist Kevin Bales. The video gives shocking details on modern slavery and the activism currently under way to end it.

One of the many hurdles anti-slavery activists encounter is that far too many people think slavery no longer exists.

Others, like the rancid race-baiting shits behind a series of anti-choice billboards popping up in cities across America, seek to re-write history and manipulate the understanding of slavery to fulfill their goals of demonizing women of color, resurrecting the idea that women of color have a racial obligation to breed, and shaming women of color who seek access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.

Slavery was slavery…and, to the world’s shame, slavery still is slavery.

Slavery exists…but not in healthcare centers.

People still enslave other people…but women of color seeking access to reproductive health care are not enslaving or enslaved or addicted or dangerous or perpetrating genocide.

Slavery was and is.

Combat it…expose it...end it, instead of appropriating its history to oppress women of color.

One need not open a history book to learn about slavery – Google “slavery in America” and you’ll find stories about workers kept in chains and locked in boxes, forced to work in tomato fields…case after case of forced labor and sexual exploitation in America and abroad, all very real and current examples of actual slavery that fail to capture anti-choice groups’ attention because real emancipation isn’t as appealing as oppression dressed up to look like emancipation.

Spare me the comments trying to make the case that equating abortion to slavery is accurate or that such advertisements don’t indict black women for enslaving our own or accuse us of willingly being enslaved.

Spare me the propaganda that these atrocious insults and lies are meant to liberate black people.

I am a black woman.

I am the descendent of slaves.

And I know that slavery was slavery…slavery is slavery…and the most dangerous place for my rights, my dignity, and my history is in the hands of my oppressor.

7 comments:

Nicole said...

Excellent point, perfectly stated. Thank you.

Scott said...

You always inspire me. Thank you.

Ankhesen MiƩ said...

And I know that slavery was slavery…slavery is slavery…and the most dangerous place for my rights, my dignity, and my history is in the hands of my oppressor.

Puh-reach.

Honestly, I don't like it when most WP bring up slavery because they really don't comprehend the depth of its horror. They throw the term about when they want to make an impact, but they really don't know what the hell they're talking about.

Pamela said...

Word.

Rileysdtr said...

"...they really don't know what the hell they're talking about."

By that logic the only people who should bring up slavery are those who have been slaves. The only people who should advocate for victims are those who have been victimized. The only ones who fight against hate crimes are the ones who have been subject to them?

Shenanigans!

Jay said...

There are people who are violently captured, imprisoned and sold into slavery. There is also a way of gradually descending into slavery by debt, losing everything until there is nothing left to offer in payment but your physical self. Human traffickers do this by bringing people into this country underground and trapping them until they pay off some kind of fee or cost. I am afraid that someday soon we will begin to see native born American people descending into this form of debt slavery after they have lost their jobs and homes.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

"Honestly, I don't like it when most WP bring up slavery because they really don't comprehend the depth of its horror. They throw the term about when they want to make an impact, but they really don't know what the hell they're talking about."

Absolutely correct. What they really don't comprehend is the legacy it leaves behind. . . the generational ramifications.