Thomas Hall was a slave in Orange County, North Carolina. He was 81 when he was interviewed by the Federal Writer’s Project in 1937. Our future comes at us at an ever quickening pace and with the chaos of a globalized community – we are not taking the time to learn about our past. Here is an excerpt of Thomas Hall’s words to his interviewer:
Getting married and having a family was a joke in the days of slavery, as the main thing in allowing any form of matrimony among the slaves was to raise more slaves in the same sense and for the same purpose as stock raisers raise horses and mules, that is, for work. A woman who could produce fast was in great demand and would bring a good price on the auction block …
The food in many cases that was given the slaves was not given them for the pleasure or by a cheerful giver, but for the simple and practical reason that children would not grow in to a large healthy slave unless they were well fed and clothed, and give a good warm places to live. … – My Folks Don’t Want Me to Talk About Slavery
Many in this country believe we have a marriage problem – they say the sanctity of marriage is threatened. Now they may be talking about the definition of marriage, but the truth is that the stress of the economy, lay offs, losing a home, working multiple jobs to make ends meet, and the psychology of failing at the American dream takes its toll on a marriage. Back in the 70’s, the”New Right” coalesced from a coalition of libertarians, economic conservatives, social conservatives and neoconservatives – going with the most conservative “common denominator”, that coalition has been espousing sex only within the “sanctity” of marriage, and more and more pressure to totally eschew birth control.
A portion of the “New Right” may find those restrictive social norms to be laughable, but they are quite ok with the socially conservative wings providing the legions of new right wing followers and/or cheap labor. If a New World Order is in order, (a la accusations surrounding Agenda 21) those that currently have the most power are the heads of multinational corporations. They are also are chief polluters of the planet, and contribute to human enslavement – or indentured servitude at the least. Even if those corporation technically “keep their noses clean”, they control governments and resources and are hoarding all of the life sustaining good stuff. Humans are expendable.
Food for poor people often is sub-par. Unless they are allowed the space and time to plant and tend their own gardens, junk or inferior food is the norm. In cities in this country, food deserts are common – that is no grocery stores with healthful foods are within access of poor neighborhoods. Assuming the poorer populations are educated in nutrition (an unlikely scenario), they cannot reach the healthy ingredients necessary to be healthy. Issues like GMOs, organic produce, slow food, and local farms – all relevant to the bigger picture of our community and planetary health – can’t even be considered if you are choosing your child’s dinner from a convenience store.
In the same book Thomas Hall was quoted, many other interviews mention that fact that slaves were not allowed to be educated – it was a grievous offense to learn to read or get caught trying to teach it. The obvious reason for this is that the better educated a person is, the better they can communicate, organize, plan and figure out how to secure a happier healthier, more independent life. We see our public education system in crisis today – one faction would like to completely eliminate public education, another faction only wants public education to serve as a training ground for worker bees to contribute to the capitalist systems we have in place. Critical thinking and creativity are only encouraged if they can fit within the correct parameters – and there is an appropriate oval to be filled in next to a question.
Those with an exploitative mindset see global overpopulation not as a burden, but a rich treasure of cheap, expendable labor. The more desperate the labor force, the more work they will be willing to do to simply survive. It is the baseline of supply side economics.
Economics are ideas, just theories. Can we point to any economy that purely carried out an ideology? None are perfect, but some on paper seem reasonable but, in reality are cruel. If we can’t recognize this, then truly, are we any smarter or more civilized than the reptiles? Not if we allow reptilian brains to rule the world.