This article recounts an investigation into a company named Pure Forest based in Idaho with branches into Northern California, which has been found to be the site of forced labor trafficking. Many of the migrant workers forced to work for their company are from Mexico, and “stained with toxic chemicals and threatened with guns”. They couldn’t leave because the company supervisor confiscated their passports and they are usually hidden out of sight. U.S. Attorny Benjamin Wagner stated, ” on the labor side, it’s hard to say how widespread trafficking is because it’s not a crime that has really bright lines around it- easy to find, easy to see.” They were given the opportunity to work under said company by an agency specializing in helping migrants to obtain jobs.
Recently comedian Chris Rock commented on California as a modern day slave state for people of Mexican descent. He stated while talking on Hollywood “….It’s the most liberal town in the world, and there’s a part of it that’s kind of racist — not racist like “F— you, n****r” racist, but just an acceptance that there’s a slave state in L.A. There’s this acceptance that Mexicans are going to take care of white people in L.A. that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
Do you believe this assertion by Chris Rock to be true? Is there an acception, maybe not just in California, but all across America that Mexicans, or more realistically, people of latino ethnicity, must work the menial jobs? In conjunction with the first article do you feel people are more likely to get away with forced labor trafficking because the general public allows these companies to get away with it?
Hundreds have walked out over protests against the Mike Brown Grand Jury non-indictment and now the Non-indictment of Eric Garner. However, this is not the central purpose of this post. I want to highlight the cross-border support and feedback and pose a very serious question, which is whose job is it to restore democracy, equality, and justice in America when those in power are not held accountable for their abuse of it? In situations and instances where a country has civil unrest and individuals are being oppressed by powers (who aren’t political allies, that is), the US has asserted itself as the righter of wrongs, the restorer of justice! But who will restore justice and eradicate oppression in the land of the free? The government? Thousands are protesting and even more are hearing the voices, rage, and fears of the African American community, but who among those in power can and will act for change against this system?
Throughout various institutions, including Emory, from across the borders in the UK, Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil, there has been an onslaught of support for the #blacklivesmatter movement and against the injustices we’ve watched unfold. Thousands are coming together and supporting lives and it is the decent thing to do after all. President Obama has stated that he wants the police force throughout the states to use more cameras, but we’ve seen an officer kill an individual on video, so one wonders what good police cameras will do. Many are continuing to petition for laws that protect citizens against police brutality. Amnesty International has condemned the police use of unnecessary force, and the UN has issued a statement. As people are filled with outrage and upset over these incidents, it’s good to remember all the people coming together and standing against the injustices on American soil. In a
seemingly borderless issue, who holds the power to fix this ? Does that responsibility fall in everyone’s hands?
’06 Article originally published in the Jerusalem Post on Border Creation by Elbit in US and Israel:
Elbit in US & Israel