Thursday, June 16, 2005

Slavery in Florida

An eloquent editorial in today's edition of The Daytona Beach News-Journal about the labor camp:

Slavery in Florida in 2005, if the investigation of the Ronald Evans Labor Camp in East Palatka bears out the allegations, looks like the weathered man whose gnarled hands cut the cabbage in tonight's soup, dug the potato in the entree, picked the tomato in the salad or pulled the lemon for the tea. It is a shell of a homeless man, hidden away in squalor on the back side of one farm or another, plied with crack cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, whatever will keep him returning to the field at daybreak, too broken or afraid to run, owing his keeper more for meager comforts than his wages will cover.

Slavery in Florida once looked like black skin. In 2005, it is sometimes the face of a homeless white or black man, but more often the brown of undocumented Mexican migrant workers. It is no less ugly for the change of color.

It's worth reading the whole thing.

Previous posts here, here and here.

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