Some centuries ago, the sky was truly the limit for a race. Is it true that an individual could be less than another; Is there an existential fact that a race can surmount another; Are there some more equal than others because of what they identify with?
These are the smoldering issues that have plagued us for generations and still, no propounded theory has borne an effective result that will lead to its unconditional extermination.
Rather, in the real sense, slavery is a tree that retains time and life hence conceiving the ability to replenish itself to the extent of deluding death.
Slavery over time has been rebirthed in so many forms that, the discordant tunes of some where they claim that there is a clear recovery from slavery into its annulment have proved to be of no satisfactory standing. Slavery is no longer of traditional understanding but has digressed from its earlier definitions where people are placed in the iron bit, shackles, restricted to work in plantations, and treated in clear barbaric manners. It is now configured to a structure where people are in chains but the chains lie unseen. Civilizations are oppressed but it has been drawn to look conventional whereby anything outside of it is an aberration of the character of the society and a fight against the system itself.
Slavery has gone through a convalescence in preparation for its renaissance. The typical thought process would have been that for there to be a period of healing, it would be healing from slavery but the reality that has faced today's society is the healing of slavery into its absolute rebirth.
'They are not us' is the justification for the ill-treatment matted upon human beings by another. Based on religion, race, and ethnicity, people have defined who is more human than others. If principles and ideologies are different, does it equate to the reality that dehumanizes persons with non-conformist beliefs and skin types? The Holocaust stands as an instance of the wrong that can be done against a race based on religion and other vitiating factors that were felt to justify genocide.
Exploitation is the formative element for slavery. It is the vanguard that has made slavery what it is irrespective of its form. Accordingly, in the years when the shouts in support of segregation reduced to whispers and silent grumbles, slavery was in the shadows devising ways for its comeback in full force.
African-American prisoners in the United States are victims of convict-leasing whereby, inmates are coerced into working in some manner without a means of payment, and inmates who refused to work will be given indefinite solitary confinement. This was given legal standing by the 13th amendment to the 1865 United States Constitution in which slavery and involuntary servitude were prohibited but an exception clause was " punishment for a crime wherein the party has been duly convicted."
State-sponsored labor in which citizens are forced to perform certain obligations or receive government sanctions is another form of slavery existing in today's world. In Uzbekistan, the government subject students and government workers to harvest the country's biggest exported produce which is cotton. This led to child labor for primary and secondary students.
Xinjiang in China is a hub for forced labor camps where thousands of Muslims, ethnic minorities, and political heretics are locked up and reeducated to conform to communist beliefs.
The Gulf times in 2005, reported that boys from Nepal had been lured to India and enslaved for sex. These boys were subjected to male genital mutilation(castration) and forced to live in dilapidated conditions.
Chattel slavery, also known as slavery by descent where slaves can be bought, sold, and inherited serves as the oldest form in which an enslaved is considered the property of someone else. Countries like Mauritania and Libya have such practices. In Libya, since the 2014 civil war, migrants and prisoners of war are known to be sold publicly and in marketplaces. Victims enmeshed in the system of sexual slavery are significantly chattel slaves primarily if they are compelled into prostitution.
Child marriage, as of 2002-2017, 48 states in the United States allowed the marriage of minors as long as there is judicial consent, parental consent, or if the minor is pregnant. In 2017-2018, several states began passing to either restrict child marriage or ban it. This culture has, however, been practiced for decades and it will take more to eradicate it.
Forced migrant labor, In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Foreign workers are used unjustly and made to practice domestic servitude in which people are deceived abroad while having their travel documents seized when they get to the designated countries.
Victims of exploitation are not the perpetrators and are not meant to be imprisoned, punished or ostracized for situations that they suffered from. It is simply erroneous to treat a person who has suffered in a similar gravity as one who committed the crime.
The association of particular people with deviance and profiling them according to their race is a modern-day result of loathing based on stereotypes. People are presumed to commit crimes even before they perform such acts founded on the conclusion that their skin, accent, or geology will likely mean that crime is innate to them.
That brings us back to the question; is it true that an individual could be less than another? It is safe to say that slavery in its entire existence was born from the classist idea that, a particular race or group is superior to another.
These aforementioned instances divulge a truth that has been hidden behind the drawn curtains of pretext. People have been distracted into thinking that the extinction of the conventional slavery ritual meant it had become a creature of the past. Slavery has enjoyed its renaissance and has immersed itself into our lives and consequently, we have become blind to it due to its change in nomenclature. Slavery, though veiled by various means, very much exists in modern day society. It has evolved from its medieval form of chains and forced labor to, subjugation in work places, exploitation of one human by another, domestic servitude and even human trafficking.
No one chooses where or how we are born but we can choose how we respond to and treat the next person. We can choose to look beyond the boundaries that our different religions, ethnicity and ideologies might set for us and choose humanity above all else.