Slavery: Then and Now

Slavery: Then and


When we think about slavery many things
come to our mind. There are many different ways one can describe
slavery. If you were to look it up in a dictionary it would say that a
slave is "one who is owned and forced into service by another," this was
the definition given in the Websterís Dictionary. But then again if you
were to look it up in the Oxford Dictionary the definition given here is
of one who is an "obsessive devotee." On the whole slavery can have different
meanings to different people.

The meaning of slavery has a different
meaning today than it did years ago. As Alex Haley wrote, slavery was difficult
to explain years ago because it was going on at the time. Today when someone
says the word slavery more than half of the people would think of plantations
and people being forced to work the land and being mistreated. But what
do you say to a little child who comes up to you and asks you want slavery
is? In todayís society we can take the word slavery and put it to the modern
days. Would one say that slavery only existed years ago when plantation
owners would buy people to force them to do hard labor and mistreat them,
or would one mention about the slavery that goes on in todayís society?

What about the people who are forced to do hard labor like many years ago?

Many people do not realize it but indeed
we do have modern-day slavery. What is todayís modern day slavery? There
are several things that can be put into todayís slavery. This is one problem
that is often over looked in todayís society. It may not have as much impact
as it did years ago, but if we stop and think about it, this problem is
still as harsh and crude as it was years ago. I would think that up to
some extent the problem has grown now because it is in fact often overlooked.

For example in Sudan, as a result of an

Islamic vs. Christian civil war, women and children that are mostly black
and Christian are captured in raids. They are later sold as chattel slaves
in "modern day slave markets". Now the question that I have is, " Does
a human life have a price?" Well according to these people it does, and
the price that they decided to put on a human life has been as low as fifteen
dollars. Slaves who attempt to run away are castrated or branded like animals.

Have we learned nothing from our history? It is said that history repeats
itself and thus we should learned from it. Obviously some people have not
and are repeating the same harsh mistakes that we have supply worked so
hard to fix.

Another example of modern-day slavery occurs
in Brazil. In Brazil, poverty-stricken young men are promised good work
by harvesting crops. Impressed by the opportunity to better their lives
they agree to for the work. Instead of going to work they are trucked hundreds
of miles to isolated jungles and forced at gunpoint to clear rainforest.

I donít know about you, but harvesting and clearing up the rainforest are
totally different things.

In Haiti men are also trucked but these
men are trucked across the island of Hispaniola to the Dominican Republic
and forced to cut sugar cane. The men in Haiti do not have it as bad though;
sure they get paid for working twelve hours a day, seven days a week. How
much? Well their wages, if they could be called that, is below the cost
of food. Some people would say that they are getting paid for their work
so they are not really considered slaves, but according to the Websterís

Dictionary they are because these men remain captives for many years, some
even for life.

Modern-day slavery does not discriminate.

In Pakistan and India hundreds of thousands of little children, some as
young as seven, work in slavery to make beautiful oriental carpets. Where
do the parents come in? Well the parents are tricked into allowing their
children to be taken from their home, they are promised that their children
will be well taken cared of and that they will learn a trade. What parent
would not want this for his child, especially when they canít offer anything
better to them.

Now according to the Oxford Dictionary,
there is still another form of slavery. In some way we can still call it
modern-day slavery. If we think back