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The contemporary victims of trafficking live monuments for remembrance of slavery
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-03-25 08:36:16
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slavery01International day of remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade is the event of the day on my calendar and doesn’t matter how much I try and the pictures I google or the stories I might read, my mind keeps going on a story I heard lately of contemporary slavery. And it was another immigrant. Another immigrant’s story that led into the drama of been inhumanly and tragically used by his own compatriots. And this mixed with pictures of the thousands that moved in chains in floating coffins from Africa and Asia to Europe or America.

And this time it is not the cotton fields but the contemporary industrial Europe and America and skin colour doesn’t really matters, it has to do with the few privilege and the many victims. And strangely the contemporary victims of trafficking and slavery have become the live monuments for remembrance. And the truth is that very little has change in the ways and the reasoning. Reading Howard Zinn’s American history you realize that slavery had to do with the colour of the skin but mainly had to do with human greed and contemporary slavery – think I mentioned before slavery among compatriots – has again to do with greed, with using the others’ weakness to defend themselves and using contemporary economic reality. Sad but reading again Zinn’s history you will find out that economically dispirit people offered themselves to slavery just to pay back loans or support families that had left behind.

slavery02Sometimes you think that in the 21st century there are guarantees that guard human dignity. We are all wrong. There aren’t. Trafficking happens all around us in just too many forms and human trafficking has too many forms. Has the form of using the desperation of a Greek boy who immigrates to find his dreams and regain his dignity and he finds that dignity and dreams go through what he can offer to his savour, how many favours and perhaps how much cash. And all that using verbal and physical force. Feeding fear and use the feeling of a foreign environment with the myths that includes to somebody who literally feels alien.

There is one book that I always use as reference for a book to make you angry and this is “Uncle Thomas cabin”. A book written from a white woman to excuse her guilt and nothing more. How can you be a “nice” boss to a slave? A slave is a slave, period. There is absolutely nothing nice and good about it. Is discussing, inhuman, criminal. But Uncle Thomas continue exist all around us, we see them in the streets, tired returning home to get some rest before the next day of slavery starts. And while there is trafficking, all kinds of trafficking, doesn’t matter the words we find to cover it the crime continues.

And all this faces, including the face of the Greek boy who was victim of the contemporary slavery becoming monuments  of remembrance of the victims of slavery and the guilt of the rest of us who don’t act!

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