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.