Slavery is Still a Thing
I think all right minded people will agree that slavery in any form is wrong. An evil that you would think would be consigned to the history books.
However, in 2018 the Global Slavery Index estimated that there are approximately 40 million caught in modern slavery, with 71% being women and 1 in 4 being children. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_21st_century
I totally understand the injustice of historic slavery and indeed the anger that some people feel towards the perpetrators or historic slavery. There is even a small part of me that can understand that that anger can manifest itself as statue abuse, toppling and cancelling. I understand the argument for expunging historic slave owners and profiteers from history, from society. But, and it’s a big but, those that delete history are destined to repeat it.
I don’t understand why these passionate, committed anti-slavery campaigners are focusing on slavery that can’t be changed. Not one historic slave will lead a better life because a statue is torn down, because a University building changes its name, or students refuse to accept a historic grant funded by a trust founded by a historic slave trader.
Surely protest is about making change, making lives better?
Surely we should be fighting modern slavery, fighting to protect the lives and rights of the 40 million that are being exploited in the here and now?
Profiteering from the forced efforts of others is abhorrent. It was hundreds of years ago, it still is today. We should be focusing our attention on slaves that are alive today.
As a society, we could expunge society of every single reminder of historic slavery, and it would not change a single life of a slave or the exploited.
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We have an opportunity to actually do some good. To change lives, to improve lives, to free the enslaved but no one seems to be focused on it.
In 200 years time we will more than likely see young enthusiastic activists tearing down the statues of 21st Century slave owners. It will happen unless we change our thinking and campaign to end this abhorrent practice worldwide.
Between the 16th Century and 1807 around 12.5 million slaves were transported by Britain from Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean.
Modern slavery is as big or bigger than historic slavery. It is happening today. This is the war we need to fight, not cancelling historic figures related to slavery.
In the UK alone it was estimated in 2019 that we have 10,000 or more victims of modern slavery https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/modern-slavery/
This is an issue we can address, a problem we can fix, real lives that we can improve. Modern slavery is where our attention should lie & it has been ignored for too long.