ZERO PLUS 1087 DAYS--New York, NY, Wednesday,
September 1, 2004--Slavery
isn't dead, it's just not easily recognizable. That's the
theme of a story today in the Christian
Science Monitor reminding the world that slavery exists
just as it did not long ago in America, and, that it's growing.
labor is sometimes used for work in Multan, Pakistan,
where women earn $2 for 1,000 bricks. If they are debt
laborers, their pay can never meet the debt owed
The Monitor reports
that nearly 30 million slaves exist today, more than ever
before in history based on sheer numbers, but is the lowest
percentage in relation to total population. There are more
than 6 billion people on the globe today.
of these "slaves" are bonded workers, the Monitor
reports, from India, Pakistan and Nepal. To pay off debts
these people virtually "sell" themselves or are
"sold" to others. The catch is they never work off
their debt because their "owners" cook the books,
insuring they don't ever get out of debt.
Then there are
the sex and domestic slaves smuggled into various countries,
including America. Illegal immigrants are forced to surrender
their freedom either for sex or labor. Between 14-17,000 people
are illegally trafficked into America each year, and a conservative
80,000 "slaves" are in some form of bondage either
in domestic, labor or sex.
The modern definition
of slavery goes back over 75 years: "Slavery is the status
or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers
attaching to the right of ownership are exercised" (Slavery
Convention of the League of Nations, 1926).
Korean Women were held as sex slaves during World War
There are many
forms of slavery. Globally, one billion people earn only $1
a day. Poverty is a form of slavery.
of slavery is debt itself. Americans are reported to have
more household debt than disposable income. The average credit
card holder has more than $8,000 in debt at an interest rate
that seems impossible to ever pay.
rate is the lowest in our history.
the question is--Are we slaves to our own debt? Are we "bonded
servants" to our desires to have now and pay later?
Most of us don't
have to rush to the statistical pages of Google to verify
this fact. All we have to do is look at our bills and our
income to agree that we are "slaves" to debt.
We are self-imposed
slaves. This is a major difference from those who may not
have a choice to buy something now and pay for it the rest
of their lives. But, the impact is the same.
Our lives can become bondage
to paying off our debts
Our lives become
bondage to paying off our debts. Those around us suffer because
our first concern is making enough money, not loving enough,
caring enough, or living enough. The result is a tension and
alienation from our children and our own sense of worth because
we know we cannot afford to "let up" or our ship
There is another
form of slavery we subject ourselves to that is perhaps more
deadly than debt.
That is political
We begin to see
the world as oppressors and victims, as slave owners and slaves.
In New York City, the world is watching the Republican Convention
being hailed by New Yorkers--eighty-percent of which are Democrats--as
a group of "slave drivers" abusing the nation and
forcing everyone under their control to do what isn't good
for the nation.
many of the protestors feel they are leading as "slave"
revolution. Yesterday, was anarchist day in New York. More
than 1,000 were arrested as they broke down barriers and tried
to enter secure areas. They were hoping the world would see
them as the poor, oppressed slaves trying to roust freedom
from the horrible Republican Romans who feast on their sweat
there are many who believe that America is divided along slave
and slave-holder lines.
world is cleaved in such a manner as to suggest the upcoming
election will be about the oppressed versus the oppressor,
while the true enemy, Terrorism, slips through the cracks.
slavery is more deadly than debt
me about this is that Terrorism is all about enslaving one's
mind into one singular belief and trying to promote that narrow-minded
view onto others.
the freest nation on earth. They are far from being slaves
politically or economically, yet so many act as though they
were members of a third-world country.
is the result of irresponsible money management. Political
debt is about narrow mindedness, an excessive expenditure
into what is wrong rather than trying to make things better.
I find it difficult
to speak with protesters and extreme liberals because they
have become enslaved in the belief that a certain group, such
as the Republicans and especially George Bush, is an evil
slave owner who want to put their children in chains and make
them pick cotton until their fingers bleed.
about spewing venom onto the world. It's about doing what
is right for our children's futures, and their children's
It means that
we must be open not closed to options, and seek the best of
the best not the worst of the worst.
of opinion is running wild in New York City handcuffing
the minds of many
I see slavery
running wild in New York. I see the slavery of opinion handcuffing
the minds of many into such a frenzy they become blinded to
any sunlight that might shine through the darkness.
gives refuge to the Beast of Terror, for the more we attack
one another and manacle ourselves, the more freedom we give
the Beast of Terror to prepare for his next attack.
It's time to
break the bonds of Slavery.
spoke about unity at the Republic Convention. He came here
as an immigrant, worked hard, and has risen to the top of
political and economic acclaim as the Governor of California
and lead speaker of the Republican convention.
is a Hercules symbolizing how to break the chains of
If there is a
Hercules who symbolizes how to break the chains of slavery
it is Arnold. And, he's a Republican--perhaps a new breed
of them. But the protestors don't see that. All they see is
their own hatred and their own restraints they have put on
themselves and their children--victims of oppression.
The only true
oppression, the only true slave master that exists is our
narrow-mindedness. If we are to attack a true enemy, it must
be the one we see in the mirror that is so busy hating and
opposing that it has no time to build and reinforce.
Take the Pledge of Vigilance.
To Yesterday's Story: "The New York Protest March--Teaching
Children To Hate"