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Opinion: Are you contributing to today’s slavery?

In a recent letter to the editor, it was mentioned that "we cannot move past slavery’s history without trying to make amends."

I would like to add to that statement. You are not going to move past slavery as long as you keep funding it. Slavery continues today to the tune of an estimated 20 to 46 million people enslaved worldwide, according to Politifact, with the United States being among the contributors. 

If you are buying a $5 cup of coffee knowing slave labor is used to pick coffee beans, you might be part of the problem. How about the shoes and clothes you wear? Ever ask yourself which products were made by slaves? Some 1,200 people die fighting over fancy sneakers each year, according to a 2015 GQ documentary, “Sneakerheadz.” How about chocolate? According to the Food Empowerment Project, more than 70% of the world's cocoa comes West Africa — mostly Ghana and the Ivory Coast, where slavery is still going on.

Of course, Atlanta is one of the biggest hubs of sex trafficking nationwide. So after celebrating Juneteenth, perhaps you should ask, how are you contributing to slavery? Are you wearing the fruits of your plantation? After all, it’s your choice of how you spend your money. If you are truly concerned about slavery, perhaps you should stop funding it.

Barry Colbaugh


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