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Slavery in America, How could this be?
I read an article in The Florida Weekly a couple of weeks ago that greatly saddened me. I couldn’t believe that in the United States, twelve migrant farm workers were being chained to a truck at night. These men had to urinate, defecate, vomit, and sleep chained. During the day they had to work in the fields planting and picking much of the produce we eat. Kind of spoils you appetite doesn't it.
It has been over a hundred and fifty years since the thirteenth amendment was added to the Constitution. The thirteenth amendment forbids slavery. It states the following: Section:
- 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
- Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The law is clear, slavery is forbidden in the United States of America. Even though, we do not own human beings it seems it’s ok to rent them. Migrant camps are an example of the evils acts done in our society for financial gain at the expense of human rights. The Florida Weekly states that the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Migrant Labor had issued the following statement in regards to migrant labor camps: “A migrant camp is a microcosm…of nearly every social ill, every injustice, and everything shameful in our society: poverty almost beyond belief, rampant disease and malnutrition, racism, filth and squalor, pitiful children drained of pride and hope, exploitation and powerlessness and the inability and unwillingness of public and private institutions at all levels to erase this terrible blight on our country.”
These men and women also include American citizens as well as international migrants. Is this how those who put the fruits and vegetables on our table are to be treated by our nation? Are we going to go down in history as the nation that not only enslaved the blacks, over a hundred years ago, but will also enslaved others unjustly as well? There are still repercussions, even today, that are results of what was happened almost two centuries ago. Do we want to be guilty of injustices done to members of other minorities as well?
There are things we can do to lessen these injustices. First of all, make others aware that these things are taking place, and that we don’t live in a cotton candy world. We must stop turning a blind eye and we must not condone this. Being poor, should never put anyone in the danger of becoming unfairly enslaved. Check to see if the produce you buy is grown with by reputable growers. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell who a reputable grower and who isn’t.
I feel for these people and hope that some real solutions can be found. Laws don’t always protect everyone. I wish I could suggest some course of action, unfortunately there are no easy answers, but I do think awareness is a first step in trying to solve this problem. That is why I wrote this article.