Slavery spreads from Africa to the US

posted at 9:40 am on December 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The AP’s Rukmini Callimachi gives a heartbreaking report on a phenomenon that has spread to the US and Europe but has not garnered much attention.  Wealthy immigrants from African countries have child labor imported to the US, where they work as slaves to the families who host them.  Their sponsoring families, and even their biological families, say they should be grateful to have a higher standard of living than what they would have otherwise had in poverty, but the abuse and damage done is obvious:

The trafficking of children for domestic labor in the U.S. is an extension of an illegal but common practice in Africa. Families in remote villages send their daughters to work in cities for extra money and the opportunity to escape a dead-end life. Some girls work for free on the understanding that they will at least be better fed in the home of their employer.

The custom has led to the spread of trafficking, as well-to-do Africans accustomed to employing children immigrate to the U.S. Around one-third of the estimated 10,000 forced laborers in the United States are servants trapped behind the curtains of suburban homes, according to a study by the National Human Rights Center at the University of California at Berkeley and Free the Slaves, a nonprofit group. No one can say how many are children, especially since their work can so easily be masked as chores.

Once behind the walls of gated communities like this one, these children never go to school. Unbeknownst to their neighbors, they live as modern-day slaves, just like Shyima, whose story is pieced together through court records, police transcripts and interviews.

Shyima is one of the fortunate ones freed from slavery.  She now refuses to speak in Arabic and has cut off all ties with her family in Egypt for selling her into bondage to pay off medical bills incurred by the family.  Her parents and siblings see it differently.  Despite being confined to a garage with no light, heat, or air conditioning, her mother claimed that it still beats living in their Egyptian tenement.  Shyima’s sisters insist that she got opportunities they will never know by working as a child slave to the doctor and his wife, who both spent more than two years in American prisons for their crime and got deported after their release.

While working for the Ibrahims, Shyima never went to school.  She worked from sunrise to well into the night.  Neighbors recall seeing her washing dishes until midnight on occasion, although it never crossed their minds that she was doing anything other than normal chores.  She did all the laundry but could not wash her own clothes or bedding in the machines; Shyima had to wash her own laundry in a bucket outside the garage and hang-dry the clothes.  Until an anonymous caller tipped Child Protective Services to her plight, Shyima never thought of escape — and in fact was so afraid of what would happen to her that she lied to investigators for months while they pieced together what had happened to her.

Now Shyima is free, but no one really knows how many more like Shyima are in the US or Europe, locked behind the doors of homes, unable to call for help and unknowing that they should.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

right4life on December 30, 2008 at 1:45 PM

There’s a huge difference between “uneducated” and “moron”, “ignorance” in a matter and being “scum”/”trash”, and the like.

And have I called you any names yet? Please let me know. Don’t remember any.

Ryan Gandy on December 30, 2008 at 2:41 PM

There’s a huge difference between “uneducated” and “moron”, “ignorance” in a matter and being “scum”/”trash”, and the like.

And have I called you any names yet? Please let me know. Don’t remember any.

Ryan Gandy on December 30, 2008 at 2:41 PM

oh yeah its a high-falutin form of put-down…..but hey I know since you do it, its OK!!

right4life on December 30, 2008 at 2:49 PM

Ryan Gandy on December 30, 2008 at 2:41 PM

I’m STILL waiting for abcurtis to rain fire and brimstone down upon your heathen head!!!

right4life on December 30, 2008 at 3:18 PM

may abcurtis is too busy…

perhaps he is speaking face-to-face with God!!!

or maybe he’s just relaxing…getting a little relief from all the pressure…like jimmy swaggert….was/is wont to do…

right4life on December 30, 2008 at 3:25 PM

right4life on December 30, 2008 at 2:49 PM

Not at all. Do you know what tact is?

This whole diatribe about “pronouncements from Sinai” and Jimmy Swaggart is really making me laugh, BTW.

Ryan Gandy on December 30, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Not at all. Do you know what tact is?

now that question made me laugh!! you should KNOW better than that!!!

This whole diatribe about “pronouncements from Sinai” and Jimmy Swaggart is really making me laugh, BTW.

thank you, glad you liked it!

right4life on December 30, 2008 at 3:54 PM

HORRIBLE!

Let the little children come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven; and unless you become as a little child, you may not enter into heaven.

This child-slave’s family in Egypt and Dr./Mrs. Ibraham were Egyptian. We know that slavery comprised the entire historical span recounted in the Bible. Furthermore, the initial interaction between Islam and Europe was via Muslim pirates enslaving whites, AFTER WHICH Crusades began, after which Turks conquered Constantinople, the Byzantine Christians and nearly Vienna as well, all the while slavery being imposed upon Europeans by conquering Muslims.

That Africa still promotes slavery, particularly child slaves, completely castrates an African-American claim that Black Americans deserve any restitution at all, particularly beyond having been given their Welfare Great Society that they’ve rotted more years than slavery existed in Colonial-Early-American history.

Asians actively promote child sex slavery.

It is horrible. I hope it is vanquished. Let Obama make anti-slavery of children HIS international cause.

maverick muse on December 30, 2008 at 6:18 PM

It is horrible. I hope it is vanquished. Let Obama make anti-slavery of children HIS international cause.

maverick muse on December 30, 2008 at 6:18 PM

It is horrible, but tell me, if you were looking at your precious daughter, and she had a good chance of dying in the next 5 to 10 years of poverty or disease…and you had a chance to send her as a “slave” to Irvine, California (ever been to Irvine?), what would you choose…her death or a chance for eventual freedom in the U.S.?
A tough choice, but easy for us sitting in our comfy chairs, 50Lbs overweight from to much food…a little tougher as you wipe the flies from her sister who has dysentary and will probably die in the next few days…

right2bright on December 30, 2008 at 6:29 PM

It is horrible. I hope it is vanquished. Let Obama make anti-slavery of children HIS international cause.

maverick muse on December 30, 2008 at 6:18 PM

And I might add, what every Christian fears and tries to hide, the bible, both the OT and the NT, never condemns slavery, indeed they set about an abundance of rules to make sure the slave is treated fairly, but never do they say “release the slaves”, the fact is, the bible condoned slavery.
So if you are a Christian, you are doing no wrong, according to scripture.

right2bright on December 30, 2008 at 6:32 PM

Well, anyway….

Reader Digest had this story 6 months ago.

http://tinyurl.com/8tu5k4

Check it out if you want to “read more about it”.

Asher on December 31, 2008 at 1:31 AM

And I might add, what every Christian fears and tries to hide, the bible, both the OT and the NT, never condemns slavery, indeed they set about an abundance of rules to make sure the slave is treated fairly, but never do they say “release the slaves”, the fact is, the bible condoned slavery.
So if you are a Christian, you are doing no wrong, according to scripture.

right2bright on December 30, 2008 at 6:32 PM

and pray tell me what other religion ever worked to ban slavery? and who were the men behind banning slavery? what religion were they?

please list for me the muslim/hindu/atheist/any other abolition societies other than christian

right4life on December 31, 2008 at 11:25 AM

And I might add, what every Christian fears and tries to hide

in your dreams. laughable.

right4life on December 31, 2008 at 11:26 AM

And I might add, what every Christian fears and tries to hide,

right2bright on December 30, 2008 at 6:32 PM

alright, you’re onto us..guess I gotta fess up…

you know Jesus said ‘the poor you have with you always’

what people don’t know, outside the elect, is that its OK to oppress people, and keep them poor!! since Jesus said we’re gonna have the poor around anyway…we decided it’d be more fun to KEEP EM POOR!!

yeah, its one of our ‘hidden’ sacraments…we do everything possible to make the poor even poorer, and take everything we can from those who have, in order to make THEM poor..and its a lot of fun besides!!

right4life on December 31, 2008 at 11:38 AM

And I might add, what every Christian fears and tries to hide, the bible, both the OT and the NT, never condemns slavery, indeed they set about an abundance of rules to make sure the slave is treated fairly, but never do they say “release the slaves”, the fact is, the bible condoned slavery.
So if you are a Christian, you are doing no wrong, according to scripture.

right2bright on December 30, 2008 at 6:32 PM

While the bible never condemns slavery, it puts quite a few rules in place to protect slaves(owned by Christians)(and by Jews in the OT) Slavery under the Mosaic Law was more like extreme indentured servitude(it allowed for your freedom after pay-off what you owed/served a specific time. The only ones who were slaves for life were those who chose to become slaves for life – usually because they loved their master. In the NT the Apostle Paul actually sends a runaway slave back to his owner(but also asks for his release so he could serve(help) Paul.
Does this mean that we as Christians should not complain about slavery? I cannot think of any modern slavery that contains the protections of the slaves that the Jews had. We need to speak out against the abuse of the helpless wherever it happens.

Corsair on December 31, 2008 at 2:47 PM

and pray tell me what other religion ever worked to ban slavery? and who were the men behind banning slavery? what religion were they?

please list for me the muslim/hindu/atheist/any other abolition societies other than christian

right4life on December 31, 2008 at 11:25 AM

I didn’t say Christians as individuals, unless you are incredibly dense, you know I am talking about scripture.
Do you believe that the bible supported banning slavery? Do you think that God condemned slavery, or did he provide guidance as to how to care for slaves?
The individual people who stood against the bible edict of condoning slavery (in the U.S.) are the brave ones. Baptists, Methodists, and other churches literally split into two “churches” over the slavery issue…one supporting slavery as biblical, the other saying it was historical and Jesus would (note the word “would”) have spoken for freedom…as I feel He WOULD have, but he didn’t 2,000 years ago…so was God right then but would be wrong now? Did God change his mind, or do we now interpret the bible different for the times we live in…once again, I get back to my basic question…who has the authority to determine God’s Word?
Obviously man has problems with it…and if God is never changing, what has changed to make slavery “sinful” or wrong.
You never answered my question…what denomination do you worship with?

right2bright on December 31, 2008 at 2:52 PM

In the NT the Apostle Paul actually sends a runaway slave back to his owner(but also asks for his release so he could serve(help) Paul.
Corsair on December 31, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Of course the rest of the story is that Paul broke the law returning the slave…the law of that land was to not return the slave, but let him be free.
So he did two things that I feel was immoral, one against Jesus’s edict, that is to follow the laws of the land, which Paul ignored. And the second, more of a moral issue, is that he led a free man back to slavery.
Call “indentured servants” what you may if that makes you feel better, but most were slaves for life.
But no doubt, the bible condoned slavery…

right2bright on December 31, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Of course the rest of the story is that Paul broke the law returning the slave…the law of that land was to not return the slave, but let him be free.

You know, you brought this up earlier, and I asked you about it. Don’t think I saw any response from you. What law was Paul breaking?

Put up or shut up time- or at least quit recycling crap you can’t prove in the same thread.

cs89 on December 31, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Right2bright, while you’re at it (and since you seem to be hung up on Paul and Philemon), maybe you can offer your expert commentary on Philemon v. 14:

“But without your consent, I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.”

Any thoughts?

cs89 on December 31, 2008 at 3:26 PM

I didn’t say Christians as individuals, unless you are incredibly dense, you know I am talking about scripture.
Do you believe that the bible supported banning slavery? Do you think that God condemned slavery, or did he provide guidance as to how to care for slaves?

you miss the point entirely. what inspired men like Wilberforce were their deep faith.

no other faith inspired the ending of slavery.

The individual people who stood against the bible edict of condoning slavery (in the U.S.)

so does the bible condone poverty? since the poor you have among you always…how about death, since it is appointed for man to die, then comes judgement??

you make straw man arguments, because you have nothing better to offer.

once again, I get back to my basic question…who has the authority to determine God’s Word?

He does. and He’s made it really clear, to any who choose to listen. its all in the bible…and its really not hard.

as far as God ‘changing His mind’ obviously not. again all you can do is spout meaningless lines that have been rehashed for millenia about christianity. can’t you ‘evolve’ some new lines at least???

sigh.

right4life on December 31, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Baptists, Methodists, and other churches literally split into two “churches” over the slavery issue…

what a shock!! christian churches splitting over differences!!! amazing! its never ever happened before…well except for the whole orthodox/catholic thing around 1000 AD and the protestant reformation and split from catholicism….

yes christians disagree on secondary issues!!! amazing isn’t it…but we don’t over fundamental issues…and yes the church has long ago decided what is a primary and a secondary issue…thats why mormons are NOT christians, as much as they proclaim they are…and catholics and protestants, and orthodox are….

we’ve been at this a while…and have all your so-called ‘issues’ settled long ago.

right4life on December 31, 2008 at 3:44 PM

This has been going on for years with the H1-b Visa program for allegededly qualified immigrants.

Sponsor backs them then pays a shitload less than the American who could do the job.

No surprise here.

Sapwolf on December 31, 2008 at 7:29 PM

You know, this could stimulate the economy.

Okay, Okay. Slavery is bad. But can I hold it over my kids’ heads to make them clean their rooms?

Mr. Joe on December 31, 2008 at 7:30 PM

Another example of how enlightened Islam really is.

Mr. Joe on December 31, 2008 at 7:31 PM

sigh.

right4life on December 31, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Yes, sigh…
You also miss my point…
on earth, who determines what God means?
You say God did not condone slavery, I say he does…I have verses to back me up, you have your feelings.

so does the bible condone poverty? since the poor you have among you always…how about death, since it is appointed for man to die, then comes judgement??

You bring in so many disjointed issues…I will ask you once more…do you think God condoned slavery? If not, show me the verses where he condemned it.
He condemned poverty, he condemned death…
Please be more reasonable in your arguments.
Now what denomination do you worship with? You seem to be dodging that question…

right2bright on December 31, 2008 at 11:10 PM

Any thoughts?

cs89 on December 31, 2008 at 3:26 PM

I don’t get this “hung up” since all of my responses have been to others posting about this. Don’t mention it, and I won’t respond.
Here is my thoughts:
Paul never condoned, nor condemned slavery…Paul’s mission was to transform relationships (in this one page letter).
Philemon was a letter and a lesson on how to deal with conflict between Christians (as well as forgiveness).
Happy New Year…

right2bright on December 31, 2008 at 11:31 PM

right2bright on December 31, 2008 at 11:10 PM

I have verses to back me up, you have your feelings.

This from the guy who doesn’t understand the versatility of a Greek word like doulos. Lawl.

Ryan Gandy on January 1, 2009 at 1:29 AM

And I might add, what every Christian fears and tries to hide, the bible, both the OT and the NT, never condemns slavery, indeed they set about an abundance of rules to make sure the slave is treated fairly, but never do they say “release the slaves”, the fact is, the bible condoned slavery.
So if you are a Christian, you are doing no wrong, according to scripture.

right2bright on December 30, 2008 at 6:32 PM

I didn’t say Christians as individuals…

right2bright on December 31, 2008 at 2:52 PM

The evidence would seem to indicate ya did, Jackass…

SuperCool on January 1, 2009 at 2:19 AM

right2bright on December 31, 2008 at 11:31 PM

Thanks for the response. Still waiting for any clue as to where you get the idea it was “against the law of the land” for Paul to send Onesimus back to Philemon, and I’m curious if you conflated this situation with the Northern states who had laws against returning slaves to the South prior to the Civil War?

Paul never condoned, nor condemned slavery…Paul’s mission was to transform relationships (in this one page letter).

I actually agree with this statement. However, I’m getting a little dizzy trying to follow the “Paul didn’t condone slavery, but did send Onesimus back” and “Jesus used slavery in parables, and didn’t explicitly reject OT slavery laws, so he condoned slavery” and “the Bible (and Jesus) condone slavery- if you don’t, you’re not following the Bible” logic.

Anyway, this thread will probably drop off the front page soon.

Happy New Year to you as well.

cs89 on January 1, 2009 at 8:52 AM

You also miss my point…
on earth, who determines what God means?

no I didn’t miss your point. its just been gone over so much…obviously *WE* do…each of us has to determine what God means by what He says in the bible….and we have this religion, called ‘christianity’ that has gone over all of these issues ad nauseam…and we have determined what is a primary issue, and what is a secondary issue. and slavery is a secondary issue. Slavery isn’t a primary issue…shocking isn’t it? as I said before, God gives us leeway in ordering our societies….free will…another shock!!

You say God did not condone slavery, I say he does…

where did I say that…post your proof. The bible accepts slavery obviously. so? the bible accepts death and poverty…so??

You bring in so many disjointed issues…I will ask you once more…do you think God condoned slavery? If not, show me the verses where he condemned it.
He condemned poverty, he condemned death…
Please be more reasonable in your arguments.
Now what denomination do you worship with? You seem to be dodging that question

sigh..they’re not ‘disjointed’ show me where the bible condemns poverty or death. how can God ‘condemn’ death, when it is a righteous judgment of His, for our sin?? He overcomes it for us, but doesn’t ‘condemn’ it. same for poverty…its a result of our actions….how can He ‘condemn’ it?? and where does He ‘condemn’ it?

you have a shallow understanding of the bible, apparently. its not like these are new issues you raise…and your failure to see the larger picture is telling.

as far as ‘dodging’ when did you ever ask me? sounds like you’ve confused me with someone else. I go a non-denominational church…you would call me a pentacostal/charismatic.

right4life on January 1, 2009 at 9:01 AM

right4life on January 1, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Really? I almost thought you were a Calvinist.

Ryan Gandy on January 1, 2009 at 12:58 PM

obviously *WE* do…each of us has to determine what God means by what He says in the bible…
right4life on January 1, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Then you help make my point, if you are the ultimate authority as to what God says, you can determine what God means.
In other words, each of us has our own definition…think about what you said, think about what you believe…you believe any interpretation, therefore there is no “wrong” interpretation.
This, I hope, has been a good exercise in looking at your faith and where you get authority…

This from the guy who doesn’t understand the versatility of a Greek word like doulos. Lawl.

Ryan Gandy on January 1, 2009 at 1:29 AM

Not worth responding to…you obviously know nothing about me or my education.

right2bright on January 1, 2009 at 2:18 PM

therefore there is no “wrong” interpretation.

I beg to differ.

Ryan Gandy on January 1, 2009 at 5:02 PM

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