Race

So you thought slavery was over?

September 16, 2012

America is a society where its people are programmed to believe things are great. Its people believe they are living in the world’s best country. However, this is a country built on lies and deceit. A country that rakes away its old leaves by hiding them underneath the shade and disguising them by another name.

In history class, teachers teach slavery in the past-tense. Yet slavery still goes on today. Florida farms house drug-addicts who don’t get paid and receive threats if they wish to leave. Students don’t learn about what’s happening in their backyards. Adults don’t even know. But thanks to excellent reporting, people have the opportunity to know.

Ben Montgomery, Tampa Bay Times staff writer, illuminates on the heart-wrenching reality of slavery today. This is the link to the article. The lead immediately draws the reader in. Once the reader gets the gist of the article, it’s impossible to stop reading. Montgomery gives this issue a face by speaking to people who were enslaved. He gives first-hand accounts of what life was like on these farms. Instead of saying the workers were offered drugs, he gives specifics. He gives the name of alcohol: White Irish Rose. His words form a picture in the reader’s mind. The last paragraph brings chills up and down one’s spine.

This article fights off stereotypes for homeless, drug-addicted men. Montgomery gives a brief history on  LeRoy Smith. While people passing Smith by on the street may think he was never a successful man, Montgomery shows he once was. Smith had a college degree, had a high-paying job and was off to a good start. But sometimes, people lose their way. He humanized this issue, making it easier for the reader to sympathize and understand these workers. It was easier to understand why these drug-addicts would put up with the housing standards they were given. They were being fed drugs, and that’s all they wanted.

The worst part is that slavery’s face hasn’t changed. Black males are still pinpointed. People think equality is no longer an issue. Psh. Yeah, right. Every time I introduce myself to someone, I get that, “How do you say your name again?” It may seem minor to some, but I’m sure if I said, “Leslie,” there would be no problem. America can swim in its ignorance, but I sure won’t.

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