How The Left Abuses The Word ‘Slavery’

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Posted: Oct 15, 2019 9:48 AM
How The Left Abuses The Word ‘Slavery’

Source: AP Photo/Richard Vogel

The left uses false narratives to attack America. A case in point is the claim that America is still awash in slavery. But what do they mean by slavery? A traditional and useful definition of slavery is: forced servitude through the threat of force or use of force that directly deprives the victim of one or more natural rights. But according to the left, a person is enslaved if they chose demeaning jobs in their pursuit of things that they very much desire (such as food, medical care or, perhaps, drugs).

A web search of "slavery" reveals the left’s assertion that there are millions of American citizens serving as slaves. Under the heading “Slavery in the United States” Wikipedia reports “17,500 foreign nationals and 400,000 Americans” in addition to millions of convicts as being victims of “…slavery and human trafficking [that] are still prevalent in modern America…”.[1]

Let’s look at the two major categories that the left claims are slaves (other than convicts, discussed later).

1.  Sex slaves, principally women, “forced” into prostitution to obtain food and housing. 

2.  Domestic workers, agricultural laborers and other laborers “forced” into low paying jobs that do not offer enough financial resources to enable their escape to voluntary employment opportunities.

If the left is so smart that they can identify all the problems of America, why don’t they demonstrate how to solve the problems? They claim that these modern American slaves are hard-workers who simply lack access to better opportunities. If these victims are so capable, why don’t left-leaning business people hire them? Imagine legions of leftists scouring the country to help these modern-day slaves escape from their captors to the wonderful job opportunities created by the left-leaning business people to utilize their talents while offering a “living wage”. They could call it an “above-ground railroad” since it is perfectly legal!

But of course the left claims that government money and intervention is necessary. Clearly, the left cannot solve these problems even when supplied with abundant money and power. Note that most of these so-called slaves in America are in those areas where the left is in full control: major urban areas.

In more rational times, the term “slavery” denoted the vile practice of physically preventing innocent humans from escaping via chains and threats of physical punishment; whipping them for refusal to labor; physically forcing separation of families; and imposing breeding choices on them. Now the term has been stretched to include convicts, low-income workers unable to find a better job, sex-industry workers, drug-addicted prostitutes and others.

A reasonable assertion can be made that the forced labor of convicts is a form of involuntary servitude (and perhaps it can be stretched much further to be viewed as slavery). This view is reinforced by the inclusion in the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery and involuntary servitude “[…] except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” But it is ludicrous to argue, as many leftists do, that America is incarcerating felons for the net financial gains of capturing their labor.

Our differences with regard to political issues such as slavery arise from differences in our underlying beliefs regarding natural v. claim rights. Conservatives analyze the issues based on natural rights (embodied in the Bill of Rights) including the rights to property, life and liberty. Leftists think in terms of claim rights such as those proclaimed by FDR’s Second Bill of Rights including the so-called right to a fair income.[2]

An honest and lawful approach to changing the foundation of our government would be to amend the Constitution. But the left is not yet able to win that battle. Perhaps the left could start by clarifying whether the slave reparations they endorse will apply to all the people they claim have been and are still being enslaved or only to a specific voting block: ancestors of true African-American slaves.