(In response to Center for Health and Global Environment at Harvard, Facebook post-Interview by NPR with Barton Seaver, posted 8/30/2016 11:03am est)
If we knew what was happening in our global food systems we might understand what is happening in the world. Enjoying many of our favorite foods, seems to implicate us in crime. It is well known that many of our food commodities are harvested on the backs of slaves, yet largely we look the other way and maybe because it seems that it is not our problem.
We seem to think of slaves as being from their indigenous cultures, but what if they are not? We have over 400,000 missing people in this country and we make a little of it. We say, human trafficking is at an all-time high, but we are not asking the question of where they going? Some in the sex trade yes, but many are being sold as corporate slaves, to work in the farms for Cacao, sugar, and yes, even shrimp and fish.
Barton Seaver’s lecture discusses how some people are held for an entire lifetime in slave labor conditions. Would we look the other way if we knew they were also Americans? It shouldn’t matter, but maybe, it gets our attention.
Next, immigration policy shift being pushed in this country is backed by multinationals. You might think it’s the Democrats or the progressive liberals, but the new progressives are backed by corporations. Corporations have dominant control of both sides of the aisle even though the rhetoric out of politicians mouths on the Democratic side, in particular, speaks the opposite. But, the money and the laws they pass, show otherwise. Both sides serve corporate agenda and interest, neither side serve the people.
Further, California’s farms are no longer run by Americans as the majority are illegal immigrants. Not only this, but many low-wage, skilled Labor jobs in industry are done by the same group, and being an imported immigrant is no cakewalk. These people seek a better life and protections for their families, yet they get neither, in the majority of cases. The reports are they are not paid well, nor treated well, and live outside of the law regarding citizen and employee protections. We hear about the crimes they committed against Americans, but also, there is rampant crime and abuse inside their pod communities and women and children are subjected to extreme violence and poverty, even death.
Immediately, we must seek to expose the domination of multinational corporation’s in our country and how they direct our policy, our media, and the functions of industry and crime. We must hold them accountable to labor laws and extend those to all humans regardless of their citizenship. We must learn to hold values and ethics above the almighty dollar and decide how humans are treated, in this country and beyond… At least where we are involved. We must take the lead, but the only way this is going to happen is from grassroots initiatives. That means, you and me. Through sharing information, through awareness promotion, through product boycotts, media campaigns, and various other avenues. We must push the corporations out of the human crime industry and out of dominating our political systems. We must get back to people governing people.