A Day of Awareness

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY MORE TIMELY THAN EVER

By Dinizulu Gene Tinnie

It is a fair guess that most Americans consider slavery to be a thing of the past, officially ended in the US in 1865, although more thoughtful minds among us are keenly aware that “the peculiar institution” of slavery, which defined most of this country’s history, lives on today in many forms, such as the prison system, sharecropping, migrant labor camps, under the cover of the foster care system, and among the millions of workers who are not paid a living wage. 

And perhaps most Americans are vaguely aware of global worker exploitation to produce everything from raw materials and components for our most sophisticated technological gadgets to the cheapest novelties and trinkets possible, but few dare call this system of production by its truthful name of slavery.

It may also be easily forgotten that slavery, as we will recall from the history of the Middle Passage which forcibly brought millions of Africans across the ocean, also includes human trafficking, and the brutal, exploitative practices of that barbaric business, such as extortion of the wages of the survivors who find illegal employment in wealthy nations, not to mention those, often children, sold into sex trafficking.

A Day of Awareness

It is with such concerns in mind that the United Nations, has designated December 2 (a date known in American history as the anniversary of the 1859 hanging of Abolitionist John Brown) as an International Day of awareness to call global attention to the pervasive crimes of slavery in our time.

According to the UN, “The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317[IV] of 2 December 1949).”

The UN further explains:

Slavery is not merely a historical relic. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery. Although modern slavery is not defined in law, it is used as an umbrella term covering practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.

In addition, more than 150 million children are subject to child labour, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world.

Facts and figures:

• An estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriages.

• There are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.

• 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.

• Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people in forced labour imposed by state authorities.

• Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors.

(Further information from the UN is available at these links:

On the Homefront

While the International Day is welcomed for calling attention to the many forms and magnitude of modern slavery, it is even more important as an occasion for awareness of actions and solutions, as those who are victimized, directly or indirectly, find ways to address the problem.

For example, in a timely fashion, the regular “Building Bridges” program on independent nonprofit New York radio station WBAI-FM, shares this notice via the Internet:

Farmworker women launch their “Harvest Without Violence” campaign to end sexual violence in Wendy’s fast food supply chain featuring The Coalition of Immokalee [Florida] Workers

Now, amidst the stories that are surfacing about sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape against women, too often low-wage woman workers have been subjected to sexual violence against their person in their workplace, but their voices have oftentimes been eclipsed.  And, we barely think about the workers who are responsible for the bounty of food on our tables. 

So, “Building Bridges” is off to join the formidable farmworker women leaders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (“CIW”) for a major “Harvest without Violence” march.  The CIW Women’s Group traveled to the Big Apple to demand a meeting with Wendy’s Board Chairman and major shareholder Nelson Peltz to share their powerful stories and demand Wendy’s do its part to end sexual violence in the fields. Join the farmworkers in their Boycott Wendy’s march through Midtown Manhattan to Trian Partners, the multi-billion dollar asset management firm founded by Nelson Peltz, the non-executive chairman of The Wendy’s Company, based in New York.  Declare that farmworker women should not have to surrender their dignity for the right to put food on their families’ tables!

 

Year-Round Awareness, Action, and Support

This single example, like the single day dedicated to the Abolition of modern Slavery, serves as a reminder of how many similar situations exist and how many more days of the year there are which demand awareness and resolve by thoughtful citizens everywhere to abolish all forms of modern slavery and ensure social justice, as articulated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In America, these concerns become increasingly timely as traditional jobs are increasingly lost to automation or shipped overseas, real wages remain flat while living costs increase, graduates enter limited job markets burdened with student loan debt, and the great divide between the wealthiest few and the vast majority continues to widen, aided and abetted by complicit political leadership, all of which threaten us with new, much broader forms of actual slavery by other names.

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Truth & Humanity

This conversation stemmed from a discussion on the various religions and the history created by people:

The discussion began with two Professors, women of color, Dr. F.A. and Dr. J.C., explaining to C.G., a Jewish retired teacher (K-12), about how black children have been disenfranchised by public school teachers, principals, and guidance counselors. C.G. was so touched by this information that she began to cry. Of course, tears are the pressure valve of the heart and C.G. did not know this had happened. She was one of two white teachers at a Detroit public school with a population of 99.9% black children.

Dr. J.C. had just returned from giving a presentation at a conference on “The Problem of Discipline” in public schools. She and her two panelists agreed that black children did not have discipline problems but were victims of what Dr. Joy DeGruy calls Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.  Black children are taught by white teachers who are not sensitive to their family structure, lack of attention at home when it comes to academics, financial challenges, and the lack of reading materials they are fed in school that are relevant to their life experiences.

The discussion that ensued was that Dr. J.C. stated the involvement of Jewish owners of slave ships and as the insurers of the cargo – human beings captured and kidnapped from African villages. C.G. disputed this claim and found research to dispute it:

This disputes what you said.  Jews are only 2% of the world population now, so even if SOME owned slaves (which is awful, Jews in Jamaica – 12 Jews owned slaves – only 4%)! it could never have been the propensity of Jews. This Professor at Berkeley specialized in this subject and said the book saying Jews were financiers was inaccurate and was a way to spread antisemitism. David Duke and Faracon (sp?) used this information for the scapegoating of Jews.  Islamists and early Christians wanted to falsify history to blame Jews.  [Source: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jews-and-the-african-slave-trade]

In response to Dr. JC’s contention that only books by Jews are used in public schools, CG replied:
I will continue to look into what you said about authors of textbooks.  It sounds as though it is a Muslim resource trying to create and spread antisemitism.  There were many things today said against Jews, including that Israel should belong to Palestine.
Dr. JC responded to CG’s email as follows:

First, this is how you spell Louis Farrakhan‘s name. This does NOT mean I agree with anything he says. So, let’s be clear about that.

Next, I did not say anything about Jews ‘owning‘ slaves. I said they owned the slave ships and the insurance companies that insured the cargo, which happened to be human beings in this instance. These enterprises yielded large sums of money for European Jews (not Hebrews who are from Ethiopia).

These are the names of the slave ships: http://home.btclick.com/jabu/ships.htm

Below is a list of the Jewish slave ships and the Jewish owners. We know that Africans sold Africans into slavery. However, they could not have done so if there was no market and they certainly could not have known the treachery these people would face aboard the ships and wherever they landed in South America, the Caribbean, and America.

Jewish Slave Ship Owners

Name of ship Owners Ethnicity
Abigail
Crown
Nassau
Four Sisters
Anne & Eliza
Prudent Betty
Hester
Elizabeth
Antigua
Betsy
Polly
White Horse
Expedition
Charlotte
Caracoa
Aaron Lopez, Moses Levy, Jacob Franks
Issac Levy and Nathan Simpson
Moses Levy
Moses Levy
Justus Bosch and John Abrams
Henry Cruger and Jacob Phoenix
Mordecai and David Gomez
Mordecai and David Gomez
Nathan Marston and Abram Lyell
Wm. De Woolf
James De Woolf
Jan de Sweevts
John and Jacob Roosevelt
Moses and Sam Levy and Jacob Franks
Moses and Sam Levy
Jews
Jews
Jew
Jew
Jews
Jews
Jews
Jews
Jews
Jew
Jew
Jew
Jews
Jews
Jews

Source: Elizabeth Donnan, 4 Volumes, ‘Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America’ Washington, D.C. 1930, 1935 Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pa. [http://jewwatch.com/jew-genocide-black-holocaust-slave-ships.html]

Further reading on that page:

“Jews also took an active part in the Dutch colonial slave trade; indeed, the bylaws of the Recife and Mauricia congregations (1648) included an imposta (Jewish tax) of five soldos for each Negro slave a Brazilian Jew purchased from the West Indies Company. Slave auctions were postponed if they fell on a Jewish holiday. In Curacao in the seventeenth century, as well as in the British colonies of Barbados and Jamaica in the 18th century, Jewish merchants played a major role in the slave trade. In fact, in all the American colonies, whether French (Martinique), British or Dutch, Jewish merchants frequently dominated.

“This was no less true on the North American mainland where, during the 18th century, Jews participated in the ‘triangular trade’ that brought slaves from Africa to the West Indies and there exchanged them for molasses, which was taken to New England and converted into rum for sale in Africa. Isaac Da Costa of Charleston in the 1750’s, David Franks of Philadelphia in the 1760’s, and Aaron Lopez of Newport in the late 1760’s and early 1770’s dominated Jewish slave trading on the American continent.”

Dr. Raphael discusses the central role of the Jews in the New World commerce and the African slave trade (pp. 23-25):

SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES JEWISH INTER ISLAND TRADE
CURACAO, 1656

[http://jewwatch.com/jew-genocide-black-holocaust-slave-ships.html]

Dr. JC related that “In 1999, I visited the first Jewish temple built in Curacao.

Regarding insurance companies that benefitted from the trade of humans in the middle passage:

Shocking List of 10 Companies that Profited from the Slave Trade – Your Black World

15 Major Corporations You Never Knew Profited from Slavery

Dr. JC continued:

It is clear that ALL white people did not participate in the middle passage and that only a handful of white slave owners ran the trade.  However, the supposition that whites are superior to blacks and that they should be privileged has benefitted ALL white people and been the demise of ALL black people or people of so-called minority groups, which also is not true. Although the dollar amount of the wealth of this family is said to be unfounded, the Rothschild family is a wealthy family descending from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a court Jew to the German Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel in the Free City of Frankfurt, who established his banking business in the 1760s.

Regarding Israel:

Creation of Israel, 1948. On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day.

See this PDF file: http://www.israelbonds.com/Offerings-Rates/Current-Rates/18kamendment.aspx

About the continent to which the Middle East belongs to:

Some definitions include Turkey, part of which is in Europe, all of North Africa, and Asia across to Afghanistan. The most normal definition of the Middle East, you might say, includes parts of eastern North Africa (Egypt, for example) and the far west of Asia. It’s in Asia, except for the part (according to some descriptions) that’s in North Africa. It all depends on who’s doing the line drawing. For the US Dept. of State, the “Near East” is in SW Asia and “North Africa” is, well, in northern Africa, including Mauritania and Sudan.

https://www.quora.com/Which-continent-is-the-Middle-East-located-in

The bottom line is that people say and write whatever fits their story. That does not make what they say or write the TRUTH.

 

 

Meanwhile, Who Are The Hebrew Israelites?

 

This is just some food for thought. It is not meant to be anti-semetic. This is information that Pan-Africanists have uncovered to help children of African descent and so-called Native Americans, the Moors, understand who they really are and how their history has been misappropriated and twisted.

Meanwhile, Dr. FA replied:

I learned a whole lot today and I love you both.  I believe it is so important to get to the Truth or in today’s world, receive the Truth. We are in the midst of this major, major transformation where so much is being revealed to us. It is mind-boggling. Our emotions can become so entangled in our reforming this disconnected world to one of Unity.

I believe we all want the same thing.  To get there will require patience, tolerance, and peeling of the layers of our own onions.
We all have a stake in this and we all have different sensibilities.  This is an excellent exercise for us all as we embark on this new trilogy or whatever it evolves to become. 
I want Truth too and I sometimes seek, voraciously; so just listening today to both views was for me with my five planets in Libra an opportunity to be the bridge to harmony on differing perspectives on this journey to our respective Truths.
We all know, since the beginning of time, humans have divined their own Truth from God to Yahweh, to Jehovah, to Buddha to Allah and, wait, my niece, a Hari Krishna,  mentioned one I never heard. As long as we are seeking there is hope. In the Final Call, all there will be is the Truth we choose to take with us. 
When my sister died in March, I knew part of her suffering was due to gross misconceptions in her spiritual beliefs and there was nothing I could do about it. My siblings sat around saying “Wow, I am bewildered, our pastor always said if you trust in God, your prayers would be answered.” 
We prayed for her to recover from cancer but she suffered and died horribly.  They were bewildered because when she died, they could not find God as they knew it because they were never taught who or what God is beyond “Pass the plate.”
For me, that was witnessing people creating their own reality or allowing their Truth to be created for them, putting it in a box, and not allowing anything else in because my pastor said so.  TRUTH!  It’s a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it. We can no longer be asleep or is that sheep? And the journey continues.
I love you both.💋💖
To Dr. FA’s remarks, CG responded as follows:
I love your remarks, Dr. F, and want to make sure to say, before we put this discussion to bed,  that if we are digging up all of this history against the Jews, to explain why black families are still entrenched in discontent, poverty, and crime, so that they can pin on 2% of the world population, all of the burden for their current and past injuries, then how is that different than the Christians saying Jews murdered their Christ or the whites saying blacks are responsible for most of the crime because they’re mostly the ones in jail?
It’s a dirty business digging up a bunch of history to blame a people.  There is a lot of history to use to prove all sorts of things and it serves to divide us, to blame rather than take responsibility. Jews were kicked out of everywhere in pogroms, were always the underdog, were always turning the other cheek, and learned many lessons – the biggest to go on and learn what you can take with you. What we learn stays with us.
Is there a propensity of Jews in Hollywood? I’d say yes. We learned to be the jokers, the entertainers, the artists, the healers, the learned men and women, the bakers, the seamstress, and the teachers. I’m not saying the ONLY ones.  We overcame years of persecution and slavery as well.  Yet, there has not been a Jewish president,  but there has been a multiracial one.  And racism still exists! Look at our current President! 
I don’t want to fight or offend and I do want to tell you that the history that keeps pointing to the Jews being at fault for everything is a sham and anti-semetic.  Even if the Jews owned the ships you say they did, that is only 2% of ALL of the slave ships that existed.  We can build walls or bridges. With me, you will build a wall by continuing to tell me that my people created racism and all of the strife the African Americans now have.  Think about it. Think about who’s saying it and why we need to be blaming someone at all! 
Love you really! 
CG
Dr. FA responded to this with:
I have been in similar discussions for a while. But not in the way it occurred yesterday.  My approach is to belong to a group called Coming to the Table.  The group consists of blacks and whites coming together, voluntarily, for racial healing through an organized process.  I prefer this way. 
Yesterday was, perhaps, unfair to you in that you were bombarded with a lot without advance notice. I have to respect how you were impacted and caught off guard when you opened your home, hospitably. Thank you for your hospitality,  I realize you were offended by some of the discussion. I hope I did not offend you. 
I agree we need to build bridges. However, rather than try to convince my white friends and family of what I perceive, I suggested joining this group for those kinds of discussions.  Each of us, yesterday, had different views. I did not agree nor disagree with all of the things either of you studied, as I could only be an observer of a lot of it.  I just did not see the value in debating at the table about whose ‘herstory’ is the correct one.  
That could have continued for another six hours.  I don’t think any of us needs to convince the other that their view is the right one in a social setting. It may never happen. But there is a process, an exchange of ideas that can happen.  Generations of historical validation are not going to happen in 2.5 hours. So, for a first time coming together, it was probably not the best choice to dive into that discussion.

Here is my approach:http://comingtothetable.org

People in the United States are starving for something different in how we engage with each other, and how we address the legacies of slavery and racism (from increased xenophobia, killings of unarmed black youth, political divisiveness, and more). I joined Coming To The Table because of its unique approach to address, holistically, the deeply rooted nature of racism. Coming to the Table has impacted my life and continues to deeply transform the lives of so many people and communities across the United States. If you care about racial healing and building a thriving, inclusive and compassionate democracy for the future of this country, Coming to the Table is the organization to join.” – Fabrice Guerrier, Past-President of Coming to the Table (2016-17)

 

Dr. FA continued:
This process is admittedly painful.  This group which was started by white Mennonites, in order to facilitate racial healing between white and black people, based on Dr. Joy DeGruy’s book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, and her Masters-level courses that she teaches on racial healing.  Dr. DeGruy’s philosophy on racial healing addresses white privilege and the discomfort that accompanies discussing it. I  found having a group and a guided process for racial healing and managing the discussion is more productive.
Everyone in the group agrees to respect everyone’s right to share their views and must respectfully share why they disagree.  The white people who started the group remind the white people who join to be prepared to admit, even if their ancestors never participated in slavery, that they always enjoyed white privilege and often silently received it as an entitlement.  Historically, white privilege has been taught by design and part of the reason it still exists is not just due to those who instituted it but due to those who silently enjoy it as if it is fair in America.
I am a healer and diplomat by nature. I did read your article in full and I see in it some of what offends in America with those who were not excessive participants or perhaps did not own slaves or own many slaves.  I did not find any comfort in it.  This is why I joined Coming to the Table so I can share my thoughts and indicate why I receive it this way which is different from how a Jewish person would.  That is very simple. It is not to blame. It is a different perception and, to me, the reason why we need to have these discussions in the proper context.
Dr. FA said, My thoughts:
Somewhere in between the lines, this reads (to me) as if there were an acceptable number of slaves to be owned.  If this was intended to relieve responsibility for the atrocity of slave ownership it failed, miserably.  This is like saying our pollution will only kill 100 people and that is an acceptable number of deaths because their pollution kills 100,000. Perhaps it was not the intent but this article condones slave ownership as ‘a little bit’ of slavery.  Perhaps 1 in 100 was my ancestor.  
These distinctions are what Coming to the Table addresses. Having these discussions in a group dedicated to that effort makes a huge difference in building bridges. I invite you to join me there.  There is also a Facebook Group. 
Regarding the statement by Dr. FA that CG’s home was not the best locale for this discussion, Dr. JC did indicate that these three women’s souls had agreed eons ago to come together to have this discussion. 
Meanwhile, in the email exchange, CG wrote:
Drs. FA and JC,
Never would I choose to offend you. It sounds like a great program, Come to the Table, although, currently, I am extended enough. I don’t know if you both saw what I had written and what was written in the article.  It was an atrocious time.  Even one slave ever owned is too many.  And no one ever has the right to take or use another’s life.
I am sorry for what any of my ancestors and yours may have done to harm another in any way!  Have a wonderful, blessed, and meaningful day! I often have discussions like these with friends. I believe in truth-seeking. But we must be careful to not attack or offend and must know there are different “histories” and different “truths”.   History serves to remind us to not do it again.  For me, that’s all that looking back needs.
Now live in the Now! That’s me! I’m not a historian.
Thank you both for your love and peace and teaching on the 🌎 planet!
In Love and 💡 light,
CG
In response to CG’s message, Dr. JC wrote:
CG,
These are powerful insights and words. I think you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head.
For me, it goes back to what my father told me, when I said, “Oh, I didn’t know that.”
He said, “Renee, the things you don’t know will make another world.”
From then on, I gave myself the benefit of the doubt but remained open to correction. What we know, truly know is from personal experience and, even then, we can only believe half of what we see and none of what somebody tells us until we see it for ourselves. I experienced this a few times this year with people telling me about someone and I did not accept their opinion until I saw it for myself. Actually, three of my students were the target of this inquiry. Other students told me the student did or didn’t do this, that or the other, and I waited to see if that was the case. Well, it was.
However, when it comes to religion and history, I realized decades ago that men created both. They made themselves right and others wrong. The elevated themselves above women out of a need to inflate their own ego and to the detriment of the only beings on earth they cannot do without. I chanted Hari Krishna in my 20s and attended services at the Krishna Temples in Philadelphia, New York, and Miami. I found Buddhists friends from time to time who explained the principles of Buddhism to me and I read several books on Buddhism, Krishna Consciousness, Islam, and the Mystics of Christianity. Everything I researched about religion and faith led me to one conclusion: I am God/Goddess/All That Is having a human experience. 
The one truth that I am absolutely sure of is that it will be Women who will save this planet and the people on it.
In that light, I do hope you, Francine, and I, with a few others we know can organize a committee to build a learning institute that is open, objective, and filled with the truth of our humanity.
Dr. JC