On Modern Day Slavery

I was just shopping for cheap clothing, and then was convicted. I just shared with a friend, earlier, that I believe most of us are still active participants in slavery and wouldn’t be able to live the lifestyles we live without it. It isn’t in America, so we don’t see it right in front of our faces, but it IS happening. If we buy any of the following brands, at least, we are supporting the evil practice of slavery, STILL:

“Abercrombie & Fitch, Acer, Adidas, Alstom, Amazon, Apple, ASUS, BAIC Motor, BMW, Bombardier, Bosch, BYD, Calvin Klein, Candy, Carter’s, Cerruti 1881, Changan Automobile, Cisco, CRRC, Dell, Electrolux, Fila, Founder Group, GAC Group (automobiles), Gap, Geely Auto, General Motors, Google, Goertek, H&M, Haier, Hart Schaffner Marx, Hisense, Hitachi, HP, HTC, Huawei, iFlyTek, Jack & Jones, Jaguar, Japan Display Inc., L.L.Bean, Lacoste, Land Rover, Lenovo, LG, Li-Ning, Mayor, Meizu, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Mitsumi, Nike, Nintendo, Nokia, Oculus, Oppo, Panasonic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Roewe, SAIC Motor, Samsung, SGMW, Sharp, Siemens, Skechers, Sony, TDK, Tommy Hilfiger, Toshiba, Tsinghua Tongfang, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret, Vivo, Volkswagen, Xiaomi, Zara, Zegna, ZTE. Some brands are linked with multiple factories.”

UGH. That’s a lot. It’s convicting. It gives new perspective, for me, of some slave owners. Bear with me. I’m not saying slavery is okay, at all. Here are my thoughts about supporting modern-day slavery, and I imagine some, in the south, so long ago, felt the same way:I HATE slavery. I HATE the mistreatment of people. AND I don’t know how to get out of budgeting limitations that won’t allow me to buy all fair-trade, locally-made, hand-crafted everything. I don’t think I can even own a cell phone at all that isn’t manufactured with slave-labor. I think the only kind of vehicle we could drive is a Ford, to avoid supporting slave-labor, maybe (are they truly completely American-made?). With five kids, and the bills, and a need to put food on the table AND clothe my kids AND furnish my house, I find myself reliant on cheap goods in order to maintain my way of life….Do you guys follow?

I’m a well-meaning person. I don’t think I’m racist. I don’t hate any human group anywhere. I believe that all people were created in the image of God and I want all of them to have the same freedoms that I have.

This is a heartbreaking position!

I know there have been terrible slave owners who treated people worse than they would treat their dog. That is horrendous and I cringe thinking about it. I believe there were some well-meaning, stuck in an ugly system people, too. I think some of them did the best they could, and took in “slaves” but really treated them like children, like they were adopted. (Like Phillis Wheatley’s family), or treated adult slaves like members of the family instead of like servants. I would like to think I would have been one of them. The slaves should have been free to live where they wanted and do whatever kind of work they pleased. Period. So, no matter how good they were treated by their “masters,” it wasn’t an okay system. I think there were also people who didn’t own slaves who indirectly supported the very system they fought against, by buying cheap cotton and other goods that could only be purchased so cheaply *because* of slavery. I don’t know if they understood how their dollars supported the ugly system of slavery?

I hate slavery. I hate it. I want it to end, worldwide. I don’t want to be a part of it .Let’s start dialogue. How do we end it? For me, I’m thinking through: American-made clothing or at least not slave-labor clothing…Used furniture or American made or locally crafted. (I say that and think of dollar signs). I don’t know what to do about phones, other technology and cars.How do we end worldwide slavery together? Right now, all of us, who buy any of these brands, and so many others, are active participants, supporting slavery with our dollars. My guess is, if we buy anything “cheap,” like from Dollar Tree, Walmart, etc., we are supporting slavery. Not to throw certain businesses under the bus, but, really, how do they get such inexpensive products? What do we do? How do we get past real budget restraints and still pay people fair wages?

Update:

Okay, about my earlier post: WOW, I am so thankful to learn that we, as a country, are not going to be supporting this modern-day slavery any longer. This is new as of Sept 2020! https://www.congress.gov/…/116…/senate-bill/3471/text…https://www.westernjournal.com/trump-sanctions-chinese…/ Also, the Obama administration refused to exclude countries known for using slavery and human trafficking in his progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, according to Huffington Post. Trump got us out of that deal quickly. Biden wants to get back in. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/slavery-really_b_7462932…https://www.forbes.com/…/09/08/biden-vs-trump-on-trade/… Moral of the story? If you hate slavery, you cannot vote for Biden. He WILL have our country supporting modern-day slavery in China. Trump has fought hard to make sure America has no part in this. We can make personal choices, sure, but if we want to make a GIANT impact on current-day slavery, our vote matters this November! https://dailycaller.com/…/trump-to-prioritize-ending…/

https://patriotpost.us/opinion/72224-bidens-callous-disregard-for-chinas-human-rights-abuses-2020-07-17?fbclid=IwAR1GniGYrEMiB4yNNeCTCW5z6WAj79F2kDfvPAGnUqm82SfaB8WpLPthpiQ

“Best chance” may be an understatement. Biden is China’s only chance.” Only chance meaning, the only chance for China to be on top again in world trade, to trade freely without the tariffs Trump put in place, and to trade freely using whatever means of labor they see fit. Joe Biden has said some scary things about China, like that he “understands” their one child policy that forces women to have abortions when they want to keep their baby. Wow.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2019/08/27/joe-biden-is-probably-the-only-man-who-can-save-china-in-202o/?fbclid=IwAR352IzWSc3WEZU7uVi0VhC3vBF-H22s6VccBeFUfxnH11C2IYeUtiGDb5Y#fe81d2f38264

Some of my replies to others:

“As far as not supporting slave labor, Congress has passed a law that is not going to allow ships of goods that were produced with slave labor to enter our country. Trump did try to negotiate, but China “re-framed” their slavery situation and called concentration camps industry training facilities, or something like that. I think sometimes, when a country refuses to change, we have to make hard rules that impact them in big ways. That’s my thought.”

“I hear you, but if we’re using slave labor to get our cheap products, should we continue in that practice, or cut it off right away? And then, shouldn’t we just learn to deal with the higher prices, because that is reality without slave labor? I think we, as Americans, are caught in a system that is based on false realities. Mortgages, high mortgages, car payments, buying things we couldn’t afford if they were made by fairly paid workers, etc.”

“I think most Americans really do live in a completely false world (me included). Most of us live in homes we couldn’t afford to buy outright and they aren’t really ours until 30 years later. Most people have car payments on cars they can’t afford to buy outright and that they don’t technically own until 5 years later…Most people buy disposable junk products, products that make life easier, without thinking of any consequences of those products (Consequences to human life, consequences to the recycling plants or the dumps, etc…). It’s easy to get stuck in this way of life and to think it’s normal, and to not question it. But, if we were in the south and people had slaves still today, and we were having this conversation—would it be okay (looking back), to say “but if they stop slavery so abruptly, cotton will be way, way, way too expensive and people won’t be able to afford it anymore”? Having to pay more for cotton would be painful, but we would have to deal with it, right? Now that we know about how horrible slavery was in our country, of course, we’d be willing to pay more to free people, right? I think we are facing the same exact dilemma right now, but it’s not in front of our eyes and we can’t see the faces of the people being mistreated. I think China is just the first step for the President, and mainly because it’s so bad there and so big there. But we’ve known that for years. People have joked about how cheap “Made in China” products were, maybe without realizing how they were so cheap (slave labor). I’m just thankful that President Trump is standing up to it and not encouraging China to continue in these evil practices (Obama did give them freedom to continue, and Biden would too). I agree there is slavery in other places, too, and I think all of it needs to be addressed. Under-paid, poorly-treated illegal immigrants who work in our meat plants (which are owned by China, by the way) in our country have been on my mind for so many years. I personally drew a line at cheap meat from these factories a long time ago, and I only rarely buy it (it is difficult to find boneless skinless chicken breasts or drumsticks at local farms, so sometimes I compromise for variety…Wish I didn’t…). I figured out how to budget for farm-fresh meat and purposely seek out buying 1/4 of a cow, or 1/2 of a pig at a time, etc. and fill a chest freezer with that meat (it’s cheaper per pound than buying each cut individually). I stretch the meat with a lot of soups to make it so that we can afford this. I do it for two reasons: 1. Our health, I think “Good fat” is super important for a healthy gallbladder and other organs and I don’t want to feed our family bad fat (fat is where the toxins go, so pork from these factories is particularly concerning to me). 2. I don’t want to support the ugly labor practices any longer. I read a book about a woman who was an illegal immigrant working in a tomato field with her baby attached to her, and she was working directly with pesticides and got cancer. All to feed us. It’s NOT okay, and stuff like that makes me so upset. It’s one of the reasons I started a blog about agriculture and farming practices 10+ years ago. So I started becoming a farmer’s market advocate and try to go often (every weekend if I can). Okay, I am babbling….But I think, overall, mistreatment of people has to stop everywhere, and I agree, it’s going to hit us hard when we have to pay the real costs of the things we buy….But–bring it on….In reality, we should probably all live in cheap houses, and buy our meats from farms that treat their employees well, and buy cars we can buy for cash, and stop buying junk products from slave-labor in China… ❤

“I don’t think we did away with slavery. I think we just moved it overseas. 🙁

“I wrote an article on my blog once about how we don’t think about our trash. What if we all had to keep all of our own trash on our own piece of property, forever? How much more careful would we be about the disposable stuff that we use? We aren’t being good stewards.”

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