Image: Narciso Contreras
How are people being forced into slavery in 2017? Imagine waking up and the place you have lived your entire life is a war zone. Children have become soldiers. Your family has been slaughtered. And, you have to flee in order to survive. If you have a cell phone, there is no service. You have to cross dangerous terrain to get to safety. Someone offers to smuggle you out and in the process sells you into captivity. This is Libya 2017.
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret passageways and safe houses used to smuggle slaves from bondage to freedom from the late 1700’s to 1860. In Detroit the objective was to cross the Detroit River and land in Canada breaking the chains of captivity. In Libya the objective is to cross the Mediterranean Sea where you make it to Europe safely or die trying. According to CNN over 2,800 people have died in the Mediterranean while trying to flee Africa for Europe since January 2017. Over 150,000 have made it to shore in Europe.
In America the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday. It comes as a great shock when you hear about blacks being sold for $400 on any given Friday. Turning a blind eye to things happening elsewhere is a dangerous proposition. As human beings, regardless of race we have a responsibility to treat one another as we would like to be treated or someday suffer the same fate. Atrocities of the past are revisited upon society’s most vulnerable people and usually for profit.