Slavery Today

Among the things that bug me about our current obsessions with race is that dwelling on our past makes us ignorant of the evils we can actually do something about. Power Line has a post calling attention to a new book by Ben Skinner, A Crime So Monstrous. They invite Skinner to summarize his book for their readers and he writes
There are more slaves in the world today than at any point in human history, and A Crime So Monstrous is their story, in full color. For four years, I traveled in over a dozen countries, talking to slaves, traffickers and liberators, going undercover when necessary in order to infiltrate slave trading networks.

The book is a record of evil. I witnessed the sale of human beings on four continents, once being offered a suicidal, mentally handicapped young woman as a sex slave in exchange for a used car.

But it is also a story of survival. A young man in Sudan escapes slavery in the Muslim north, finds Christ, and frees his mother and sisters. A Haitian girl is freed when two Americans of sterling conscience discover her domestic bondage in a suburban Miami home.

And it is a living history of quiet heroism. John Miller, a former Republican congressman appointed to be America's antislavery czar, zealously cajoled foreign governments—friends and foes alike—to bear their responsibility and free their slaves. At the same time, he battled State Department elites in an attempt to convince them that abolition mattered. Thanks to his efforts, the Bush Administration can boast of the most aggressive antislavery record since Lincoln.

The research quickly shattered many of my internationalist preconceptions. Global abolition is part of the UN mandate. But the UN Human Rights Commission cottoned to genocidal regimes like Khartoum that demanded it expunge the word "slavery" from its lexicon, and certain UN peacekeepers actually participated in the slave trade in countries like Eritrea and Cambodia.

My research also reinforced a belief: the pillars of America—faith, the free market, and the inherent nature of human liberty—are also universal ideals, and they are the keys to ending slavery worldwide.