Hannah Tosse: Think slavery is in the past? Think again
To shock you even more, let me show you how you support modern-day slavery.
Back in 2020, and even before that, there was a shirt with a famous slogan that read “End slavery in our lifetime.”
It’s so easy to look at present day typical white America and think, 'Hey, we’ve progressed since the Plantation era and segregated busses time period,' but even though we may not still practice white on Black physical slavery such as demonstrated in young America, slavery still exists.
It’s so easy to look around our highly interconnected and technologically advanced world with increasing human rights developments and modern medicine with all our achievements over the past century and think that all is “pretty good.”
But even in our rapidly advancing and developing world, slavery still rears its ugly head. To shock you even more, let me show you how you support modern-day slavery.
Slavery is practiced in the modern day United States when wealthy, oftentimes white, businessmen unfairly “employ” migrant workers who come here and are at risk and are very financially unstable. The needy being taken advantage of for cheap labor is slavery.
Slavery is practiced in the modern day United States through sex trafficking. Girls and boys and women and men who are being held captive and having violence being done to them by someone else is slavery. When you are not in control of your own body it is slavery.
Slavery exists in Guangzhou, China, where sweatshop labor fuels the massive fast fashion giant Shein. Workers put in about 18 hours a day with only one day off for a month, and are supposed to be paid a base salary of $556 (4000 yuan) per month. Companies and employers that exploit a vulnerable population for unlivable wages is slavery.
Slavery still exists in the Congo, where child labor is used to fuel tech giants' cobalt batteries. Human rights abuses run rampant in the Middle East, and women’s rights remain undefended.
Racial abuses remain unanswered in the United States social and legislative spheres, and people continue to be robbed of opportunity, which puts them in an exploitable state.
You support slavery by buying from Shein. You support modern-day slavery by choosing to be unaware of how racial injustices impacted the formation of the United States. You support slavery by exploiting sex workers.
You can help put an end to slavery by educating yourself. You can put an end to slavery by not buying from fast fashion and starting to buy sustainable products. You can help end slavery by just acknowledging its existence.
Hannah Tosse is a senior at Schaeffer Academy. Send comments on teen columns to Jeff Pieters, email@example.com .