In the U.S slavery has grown to be a huge economic value and has changed more than we all want to realize because even though it is illegal it happens every single day right under our noses. Although it started at the ancestors of African Americans it did not end there after laws were passed, but instead became an equal opportunity for all races, genders, and ethnicities. Slavery is no longer owning someone or having them as a piece of property but instead, it is taking someone’s free will and raping, controlling, brutalizing, and many more harmful things that I cannot imagine. Our society has changed drastically, and today authorities do not treat modern slavery as a civil rights issue but decides to treat it as it does not exist.
Until 1865 slavery was legal and was all about the best slaves and the tasks, they could perform for their slave owner. Slave owners took pride in owning a slave and this is how they got their status and made a lot of their money. A single slave was worth about 40,000 dollars and was a huge economic value, while today a single slave is only a few hundred dollars. These men and women were told to do everyday tasks for their masters and if they dare to break the rules or refuse, they would be beaten and tortured. For the people before 1865, this was not a huge problem and it was a part of their everyday lives to own someone and treat them as they were less. If you were not royalty or did not have a lot of money, then you had to provide for your family in any way possible. These men and women were treated poorly and if they even looked the wrong way they were punished and could not defend themselves in any way because their owners could kill them if they wanted to. Slavery is and was a disgrace and to sell another human being or own someone just so you could feel like you were better than someone else is horrible. It is cruel and it is ridiculous how the world sought out to abuse fellow human beings for their own pleasure. Monti Datta a Professor of Political science took data on these crimes. In 2005 the estimated number of enslaved people where 12.3 million but researchers felt that “trafficking and slavery remain the holy grail of modern slavery studies. The public may never know the true number of enslaved today because modern slavery is a hidden crime.” Today slavery is illegal but still more alive than it has ever been in the U.S. It has become more than just pride and ownership but is being performed in many different forms.
Slavery in the U.S. today is no longer chains and whips but has grown to be something even crueler. People are being used for sex, human trafficking, domestic work, and many more things. Slaves are hidden right in front of us and could be in our everyday lives and we would not think a thing about it. They are no longer being used for housework or picking cotton but are being used for sexual pleasure, to work in harsh environments, and even debt bondage. There are women who are going through sex trafficking and are being raped and sold every day. They believe they have no hope to survive what they are going through. These women are not being taken care of most of the time and will be raped until they are impregnated. Some of these abusers will even keep these women and give birth to their unborn children without any medical attention. I could not imagine what these people go through and how they feel. If these women and children are ever found, they come out and become a totally different person than what they were. They blame themselves and struggle to regain control of the stolen lives they once had. In the “Slaves of the Free Land,” Ron Soodalter tells us about how the newly enslaved in America were 14,500 to 17,500 people in 2006, but authorities only brought charges to 110 traffickers. This is less than 1 percent of slavery and trafficking cases being solved. Modern-day slavery has gotten out of control and our society tends to ignore it, but it needs to stop before authorities cannot control it anymore.
In the article ‘Slaves in the land of free” Bales, Kevin, and Ron Soodalter tell us a story about a girl named Maria who was put through a form of slavery by a woman named Sandra Bearden. Sandra Bearden was a normal woman who we probably would not suspect to harm anyone. She went and chose Maria a poor vulnerable twelve-year-old, to come across the border and work for her in exchange for school and learning English. When Maria got there Sandra used violence and terror to get work and obedience out of Maria. She chained her up, beat her, and even starved her and left her outside in the cold. The poor girl would just sit chained up outside her days off and no one ever noticed. When authorities finally found her, she was too weak to walk and maybe could have died if she had stayed any longer. It is rare to find these victims and authorities fail to bring the people that hurt them to justice. The media described Maria as “a lucky slave” because most slaves spend four to five years in bondage, maybe even more. I think she was lucky to survive, but she is not a lucky slave. If our authorities and media cared more about the situation then there would not be so many people in modern slavery today. I am not saying that the media and authorities do not care at all because a policeman in Maria’s story stated, “I’ve never seen anything like it before” and he began to cry. If we do better and pay more attention to our surroundings maybe others like Maria could be found and happy to survive this horrific crime. These victims are put through so much, and it breaks my heart that there are people in the world who pay to hurt other human beings. It makes me wonder and realize that this world is scary, and at any time I or someone I love could be snatched up in seconds and never return.
Today’s society is different than it used to be back then and has become an equal opportunity for slavery. Slaves no longer consist of just the poor or African Americans and is no longer a sport, but slaves now come in all races, genders, and ethnicities and are used more for pleasure. Criminals now prey on the most desperate and vulnerable human beings. They do not think about how their victims feel or their health but torture them in ways I do not want to imagine. These people are being hidden and brutalized for years without anyone ever figuring it out. Authorities claim that they try but not nearly enough for these victims and their families. This crime has gone unpunished and has had a huge rise in the American crime rate. Authorities and the media do not pay attention to this civil rights issue and maybe it is because they have never lost anyone to this horrific crime or just because they do not care about what these people could be going through. Either way, it has grown enough, and we should not keep sitting around waiting for the next group of people to be taken or sold. Like Monti Datta stated “If the public doesn’t know who today’s enslaved are and where they are, their presence will remain invisible.