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GlobalNet21: Recreating Our Futures Message Board General Discussion › He Had a Dream...

He Had a Dream...

avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 1,284
Martin Luther King Day. January 17, 2011

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.“

~ Martin Luther King, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” 1963

We've come so far, yet have so far still to go. The dream remains unfulfilled, yet ever full of promise. King never gave up. Never stopped caring. Never let frustration or disappointment set his agenda, even when it weighed on his spirit. Racism, poverty, gender inequity and many social ills continue to afflict us. But ever greater avenues open up for communication, sharing, education and persuasion. We owe it to all who struggled for social justice before us, from Moses to Martin Luther King, to carry the torch forward.

We have explored racism in depth, not only in the United States but around the world. From the ­sugar fields of the Dominican Republic to the streets of ­South Africa. Its connection to human trafficking is undeniable, notwithstanding that victims may still include people of all races.

We see the conditions of ­chattel slavery in Sudan and Mauritania, where many thousands of dark skinned Africans are the property of their Muslim Berber 'owners'.

Here in the U.S. our legacy of slavery continues to afflict our social fabric. We have the highest per capita ­prison population in the entire world, more than two million people, and 67% of that astounding number are non-white. Does anyone believe this is a coincidence?

Even in the relatively obscure arena of ­human trafficking in organs, we see the ugly face of racism. An article in the medical journal Lancet reported “…the circulation of kidneys followed established routes of capital from South to North, from East to West, from poorer to more affluent bodies, from black and brown bodies to white ones and from female to male or from poor, low status men to more affluent men. Women are rarely the recipients of purchased organs anywhere in the world.” (Scheper-Hughes,Vol. 361, 10 May 2003)

­Domestic servitude, the second largest category of forced labor, entraps not just primarily women, but women of color.

Look at the ethnicity of ­prostituted women on any "track' in this country. These are the lowest echelon of the sex industry, the most cruelly and violently exploited women. They are overwhelmingly women of color.

Some say it is not the outcome, but the struggle that ennobles us. I hope this is so, as we have so far to go. But as every year brings new challenges, so too does it bring small victories. The modern-day abolition movement has continued to gain momentum. New York State just became the first in the nation to pass a ­Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights. I am confident that even more significant progress can be made, so long as we keep the dream alive.

The following video was brought to my attention in another forum, by one of our members. This seems an opportune time to share it. Though it runs 20 minutes, there is a great deal of valuable historic information and archival footage. It is somewhat unique in addressing racism among both black and white alike, as well as some of the more pernicious influences in our culture:

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