604: Slavery in modern times


Not all Civil War monuments celebrate slavery – many memorialize the Americans who served and died, whose relatives raised the money to erect a memorial in their honor, as a remembrance of lives lost in armed conflict. There is nothing stopping others (whose views and memories are different) from raising the funds and erecting new memorials that reflect their differing views. There is room to coexist.

I come from that part of the USA that has a unique history. We are the only American citizens to suffer defeat in armed combat – if you don’t count the recent military “actions” that were never rightfully called a war, even though Americans also fought and died there in armed conflict, too.

Georgia (and her Confederate sisters) was defeated. Yankees still to this day call what we did in those times as “treason,” although no Southerner calls what we did (honorably seceding from the federal union), treason. Many southerners fought that war for state’s rights, since many (most) southerners were not wealthy enough to even own slaves – what we are continually told (lectured) was the sole cause of that conflict. If the North thought the South committed treason when they seceded, perhaps freeing the slaves was not the sole reason they fought, either. Especially considering that when they freed the slaves, they did not promote them to equal status even in their own self-righteous northern homelands. Even into the 1960’s, a white boarding house owner in Green Bay, Wisconsin (among other northern states) was not allowed, by law, to rent a room to a colored man, even if he *was* a team member of the Green Bay Packers that they were all ostensibly so proud of.

My Wisconsin-born husband tells me gleefully about when the other sports fans disdainfully referred to his Green Bay Packer fans as “cheeseheads,” and how they  took that slur and made it a point of pride for the Packer nation. And he completely and willfully ignores how the term “Rebel” came to be a point of pride for oppressed Southerners during the very long years of Reconstruction that the entire region suffered under the hands of rapacious Yankees and the low-life Southern-born who sucked up to them, and who should have been raised better. Blacks like to claim that the repercussions of slavery still resonate today – and that, to a large extent, is still true for Southern people of whatever skin color.

LEGAL slavery ended in the USA as a result of the defeat of the Confederacy – and states’ rights died there, too. Slavery in modern times is primarily economic (overlooking the recent horrific actions of the Islamic State). Modern slaves are those people who, through economic need, are forced to submit to providing their labor for less than a living wage. I’ve been hearing a lot (from liberals, primarily) about how illegal aliens are beneficial to the USA economy and their illegal status should be overlooked and forgiven because they take the jobs no American citizen will take.

Well, DUH.

What do you think the South’s primary reason for importing forced labor (slaves) into the cotton and tobacco fields (labor-intensive cash crops) was, idjits? They were imported to perform necessary work that few free Americans would take, because the work was not worth the wages. That legal slavery wasn’t a whole lot different from the sharecropping that white and black Americans did, and it wasn’t much different from laying those railroad tracks across the West that the Asians did, and it wasn’t much different from the coal mining that the Irish immigrants and poor whites did. It was economic slavery. And now, in your enlightened liberal minds (ha!), you want to PROMOTE economic slavery for a whole new crop of human beings who happen to be primarily Hispanic.

Yeah right – we can be SOOOOOO proud of our self-righteous humanitarian progress in the USA, can’t we?


472: Fair trade clothing

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Most people do not consider clothing when they think about fair trade: they think instead of diamonds or of coffee. Not everyone drinks coffee or can afford to buy diamonds. However, every human on the planet wears clothing of some sort. Therefore, the issue of fair trade in the manufacture of clothing items is a far larger issue than fair trade with either coffee or diamonds.

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Fair trade refers to the ethical and humane treatment of the people (and other living creatures, such as sheep) who all participate in the production of clothing from fiber origin to the ultimate consumer. This includes the farmers who grow organic fibers, the miners who produce the raw materials which are used to manufacture inorganic, or synthetic fibers, the workers engaged in the production of yarns, those who weave or knit the fabric in factories or in collage industries, those who cut and sew the clothing items, those who dye, embellish or otherwise enhance the finished garments, inspectors who ensure quality, and transportation workers who move the finished products to market – not to mention the people involved in the marketing and sales of the finished clothing. Many people are employed in the creation of clothing, and all of them deserve to be treated ethically, without exploitation of their labor.

The primary role of enforcing fair trade ethics in the clothing manufacturing industry world-wide lies with the various governments that oversee the countries where garment manufacture takes place. There are still countries in the world where laws that restrict child labor, or forced labor do not exist.

CNN (http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/15/world/child-labor-index-2014/) reported the to 10 countries for the worst child labor abuses as the following:


It should be clear that this is a prevalent problem in developing nations, but it should be noted that even so-called advanced countries are not immune from child labor abuses. So-called sweat shops don’t only employ children. Often adults who are desperately in need of employment work under inhuman conditions. The owners of such factories are able to exploit their workers’ need for a job, any job.


Fair trade clothing is produced using a supply chain from origin to consumer that is guaranteed legal and ethical, with fair practices employed in the treatment of all the humans and animals involved. Consumers who choose to purchase only clothing articles identified as fair trade are choosing not to financially support the exploitation of people and animals.