Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves

By Kevin Bales | Go to book overview

2
Building the Plan

How we end slavery once and for all is the twenty-seven-million-person question. Sometimes it seems as if slavery has outdistanced our ability to think about and understand it. This is not surprising. The same often happens with crime; the media regularly introduce a new wrinkle in crime that has been “discovered.” Crimes like child abuse hide in the shadows until they are “discovered.” Like slavery, they had been there all along; people just weren’t aware, or pretended not to be. Usually, when a new outrage is discovered, the media announce a “crisis.” But slavery hasn’t even had the advantage of being declared a crisis, and if it were, that would be a mere first step toward solving the problem.

At the moment, the crime of slavery has moved ahead of us. The response to slavery tends to be unplanned and disorganized. This is not because of a lack of will or commitment on the part of those who are working against it. These new abolitionists are so committed that they often put themselves into danger, and some are even killed in the struggle. But everyone working against slavery today has to face a pervasive lack of public awareness and indifference.

American abolitionists of the 1830s confronted the same indifference, and their anger and frustration would sometimes boil over. William

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