Tag Archives | slavery

Tortured & Enslaved: Enter the World’s Biggest Prison

The Empire holds by far the most prisoners than any other country on earth, in both absolute numbers and per capita. Abby Martin explores the dark reality of America’s prisons: their conditions, who is warehoused in them, and the roots of mass incarceration.

Featuring interviews with Eddie Conway, former political prisoner unjustly incarcerated for 44 years, and Eugene Puryear, author of “Shackled and Chained, Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America.”

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How the legacy of slavery affects the mental health of black Americans today

The trauma of slavery.  National Archives and Records

The trauma of slavery. National Archives and Records

On July 22, in announcing the federal indictment of Charleston killer Dylann Roof, Attorney General Loretta Lynch commented that the expression of forgiveness offered by the victims’ families is “an incredible lesson and message for us all.”

Forgiveness and grace are, indeed, hallmarks of the Black Church.

Since slavery, the church has been a formidable force for the survival of blacks in an America still grappling with the residual effects of white supremacy.

This was eloquently illustrated in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre. Americans rightly stood in awe of the bereaved families’ laudable demonstration of God’s grace in action.

But what about the psychic toll that these acts of forgiveness exact?

Events like Charleston put a spotlight on the growing body of literature that looks not only at the United States’ failure to have authentic conversations about slavery and its legacy but also at the mental health impact of forgiving acts of white racism and repressing justifiable feelings of anger and outrage – whether these are horrific acts of terrorism or nuanced microaggressions.Read the rest

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How black slaves were routinely sold as ‘specimens’ to ambitious white doctors

Stephen Kenny, University of Liverpool

The history of human experimentation is as old as the practice of medicine and in the modern era has always targeted disadvantaged, marginalised, institutionalised, stigmatised and vulnerable populations: prisoners, the condemned, orphans, the mentally ill, students, the poor, women, the disabled, children, peoples of colour, indigenous peoples and the enslaved.

Human subject research is evident wherever physicians, technicians, pharmaceutical companies (and others) are trialling new practices and implementing the latest diagnostic and therapeutic agents and procedures. And the American South in the days of slavery was no different – and for those looking for easy targets, black slave bodies were easy to come by.

Black bodies in the slave south

There is a rich and rapidly expanding scholarly literature examining the history of human subject research, including studies of the burgeoning bio-medical economy in the US in the 20th century. The Tuskegee experiment and other episodes of medical racism all feature prominently.… Read the rest

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Mass suicide at Pilenai: Lithuanian Defenders Choose Death over Enslavement


DHWTY via Ancient Origins:

The Crusades are best known as a series of military campaigns launched by Western European states, and sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church, aimed at reclaiming the Holy Land from the Muslims. Less well-known, perhaps, are the other wars sanctioned by the papacy, such as the Spanish Reconquista, the Albigensian Crusade and the Northern Crusades. It was during the Northern Crusades that a rather horrific episode in Lithuanian history occurred – the mass suicide at Pilenai, which is the largest known mass suicide in history.

The Northern Crusades (also known as the Baltic Crusades) were carried out between the 11th to the 15th centuries. On one side of the conflict were the Christian powers, including Denmark, Poland, Sweden, the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and the Teutonic Order. On the other side were the pagans of Northern Europe, including the Livonians, Estonians, Wends, Lithuanians and Samogitians.

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A Wage or A Cage: We Are All Slaves

m.a.r.c. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

m.a.r.c. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In 1865 the US formally “abolished slavery” with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. The text of the 13th reads as follows:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

That’s seriously it. Just that. Basically a resigned, “Alright guys, party’s over. No more slavin’ for us”. It even includes an “except”, because hey, there are always exceptions.

It is 2015. Slavery has only been explicitly ‘outlawed’ for the last 150 years. The historical momentum of slavery and the slave trade still informs the mentality of elites today because of its sheer ubiquity and depth as an economic system.… Read the rest

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Almost 36 million people live in modern slavery


via BBC:

Nearly 36 million people worldwide, or 0.5% of the world’s population, live as slaves, a survey by anti-slavery campaign group Walk Free says.

The group’s Global Slavery Index says India has the most slaves overall and Mauritania has the highest percentage.

The total is 20% higher than for 2013 because of better methodology.

The report defines slaves as people subject to forced labour, debt bondage, trafficking, sexual exploitation for money and forced or servile marriage.

It uses slavery in a modern sense of the term, rather than as a reference to the broadly outlawed traditional practice where people were held in bondage and treated as another person’s property.

The Global Slavery Index’s estimate is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery. In 2012, the International Labour Organisation estimated that almost 21 million people were victims of forced labour.

Read More: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-30080578

Learn More About Modern Slavery: http://www.walkfree.org/learn/

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Why the world’s largest democracy has the most modern-day slaves


via Quartz India:

India has the highest number of enslaved people in the world.

More than 14 million out of India’s population of over 1.2 billion people are living in modern slavery, according to the second edition of the Global Slavery Index. Produced by an Australian human rights body, Walk Free Foundation, the survey defines modern slaves as those without individual liberty, by being subjugated to forced labor, trafficking and sexual exploitation.

An estimated 35.8 million people worldwide, or 0.5% of the world’s population, live as modern-day slaves.

In terms of the highest number of slaves as a percentage of a nation’s population, India is ranked fifth, with 1.14% of the country’s population trapped as slaves. The worst affected are people belonging to lower castes or tribes, religious minorities and migrant workers.

Of 167 countries surveyed, the worst 10 countries are home to 71% of the world’s slaves.

Read More: http://qz.com/298005/why-the-worlds-largest-democracy-has-the-most-modern-day-slaves/

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The Ugly Truth About Your Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp LoveMichelle Chen exposes Thailand’s slave-driven shrimp industry.  Eat it up, you fat, western piece of shit.

The ocean’s culinary delights look pristine on our tables: peeled, processed and sterile. Now Western consumers are getting a taste of the human drudgery in the dregs of the supply chain.

News reports have surfaced of enslavement in the fisheries of Thailand. Men have reportedly been forced to work at boats for as many as twenty hours a day; disciplined with beatings, sometimes murders; often physically held captive on boats and at ports; and further preyed upon by usurious debts. The industry employs an estimated 650,000, with roughly 270,000 migrants on Thai fishing boats. Many have been trafficked from two poorer, less stable neighbors, Myanmar and Cambodia. Despite widespread reports of abuse and forced labor, regulatory bodies are weak and riddled with corruption, and we may never know how many have been subjected to this ferocious exploitation in order to keep our freezers stocked.

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Soul Murder and the Profound Brokenness of Human Culture

Zong_massacreRobert C. Koehler writes at Common Dreams:

All men are created equal. All chattel are insured.

I saw the movie Belle the other day and a piece of it got stuck in my head. The costume drama, set in England in the 1780s, hinged on a real historical event: the monstrous voyage of the slave ship Zong in 1781, from West Africa to the Caribbean. Its cargo when it set out on its transatlantic voyage included some 470 tightly packed human beings — too tightly packed, it turns out. Disease ran through the cargo hold. Slaves and crewmen began to die. The ship got lost. They began running low on water. Eventually the surviving crew jettisoned . . . 132 live humans, still in chains. This was business as usual.

Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship: A Human History, wrote in the Los Angeles Times in 2008, commemorating the bicentennial of the official end of the slave trade in the British Empire: “Over almost four centuries, from roughly 1500 to 1870, 12 million to 13 million Africans were forced onto slave ships and sailed to New World plantations.

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