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Author Topic: Slavery case in New York  (Read 3656 times)

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Offline LilacTopic starter

Slavery case in New York
« on: May 30, 2007, 06:59:17 PM »
I know I know, human trafficking is in fact a major issue in the US but it still shocked me...

New York Millionaires get Bail in Slavery Case

Quote
"We're very, very pleased that the defendants are getting out," said Jeffrey Hoffman, a member of the defense team for Varsha Mahender Sabhnani, 35, and her husband, Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, 51.

The Sabhnanis, who operate a worldwide perfume business out of their mansion in Muttontown on Long Island, were arrested May 13 after one of the Indonesian women was found wandering outside a nearby doughnut shop. She apparently had escaped the night before when she was putting out the trash, prosecutors said.

Unable to speak English fluently, she showed her wounds and Indonesian passport to a manager at the shop and said, "Mister, mister, I want to go home, Indonesia," said Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Kristiarto Legowo.

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2007, 08:00:40 PM »
This is very ugly. Real slavery, with all the bells and whistles.
I also heard about trafficking in USA and other places, but wouldn't expect such unashamed and obvious case of well... slavery like from centuries ago...
What were those millonaire folks thinking, I'm at a loss. They could affor to hire a servant and treat them normally after all.

Online Zakharra

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2007, 08:41:20 AM »
  Uuuhh..  This is nasty. I hope they get the book thrown at them, and that the government has their case down firmly on this. I don't want them to get off on a technicality.

This is very ugly. Real slavery, with all the bells and whistles.
I also heard about trafficking in USA and other places, but wouldn't expect such unashamed and obvious case of well... slavery like from centuries ago...
What were those millonaire folks thinking, I'm at a loss. They could affor to hire a servant and treat them normally after all.

 I think it is partially cultural. They still have slaves, or treat some people like slaves in Indonesia. Human trafficing is still practiced in the far east, middle east and in parts of Africa.

Offline Ajoxer

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2007, 05:00:23 PM »
Some people get a real rush out of controlling another human's life utterly.

Some of us are healthier about it, with our little doms and subs and such here. Others... do this sort of shit.

Offline King_Furby

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2007, 11:59:35 AM »
It's still pretty fricked up though.

I am glad they got caught doing this, too bad it was not sooner though.

Offline Avi

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Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2007, 11:24:17 AM »
There was a case very similar to this in my hometown involving a couple from southeast Asia.  They kept an Indonesian woman captive in their house for 10 years.  Every now and then  you hear about stuff like this, and I agree with Zak in that I think it's a cultural thing.  In most Asian countries, there are clear class hierarchies, and the higher classes often keep lower class members as servants against the person's will.

Offline Elvi

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2007, 07:40:45 AM »
OK.....lets just cut the "it's a cultural thing" crap shall we?
I know many many Asian and particularly Indian people who are as equally disgusted by this as we are.

http://www.jrf.org.uk/knowledge/findings/socialpolicy/2035.asp

Here is an example of what is happening in the UK, I could have easily pulled out almost the same thing for the US or any other 'western civilised country', but I think this makes my point better.

This is MY culture, this is MY country, by your reconning I should just be saying "Oh this is perfectly normal, it's a cultural thing".....

Online Zakharra

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2007, 08:42:10 AM »
 I'm not saying that it's the entire culture, but there is a cultural part of the Far and middle East that lends itself to slavery. Including the religion of Islam. I'm not saying that all muslims or even most do it, but there are parts that still practice slavery. It is a cultural and in the case reported in the first post of this thread, probably the arrogance of some of the wealthy in doing this. Status, wether or not they can afford legal hiredf help or not.

 It used to be a part of the US culture to have slaves, and of the English as well. Thankfully both have left that behind. The English decades before the US.

Offline Elvi

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2007, 08:49:43 AM »
Again, you bring in Islamic culture as an argument, were the two in question Muslim? I can't find any reference what so ever to their religion and as far a sI am concerned it has bugger all to do with this matter either.


Did you actually read the link I put up?
Slavery is far from over in this country, Europe, the United states and anywhere else.
 
 

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 08:52:38 AM »
I think the only regional things that lean themselves towards slavery are poverty and being a stranger in a strange land.

Hey, there was a case of Polish people who gone to Italy hoping to earn money at a plantation and winded up in a guarded compound with hired thugs forcing them to work for free. It made the news after a join police action finally freed them.

And Poland doesn't have any pro-slavery cultural residue.

I'm pretty sure every person from every country could be enslaved if they would be both completely deprived of money and lost in a place they can't communicate with people in.

Offline Elvi

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2007, 09:08:28 AM »
From the link I gave earlier.....

The Polish workers
A group of Polish people came to work in the UK. They had expected to go to Southampton but were brought to Exeter to pack chickens for a major supermarket. Arriving late at night, they waited outside a house whilst inside frightened-looking Afghans threw their own things into bin bags before being driven away. The Poles spoke no English, had no money and didnít know who they were working for. They were not employed directly by the factory supplying the supermarket but subcontracted in a complex supply chain through labour agencies.

They were taken by van to a 2-10pm shift. There was no furniture in the house, but there were mountains of rubbish, piles of syringes, soiled mattresses on the floor and a terrible smell. Twenty people slept there, three and four to a small room. They were threatened with eviction and loss of two weeks' wages by their gangmasters if they told anyone about their conditions. They were also told to be very quiet and not go out in groups or the police would come. They felt intimidated.

They had been recruited in Poland by an English labour agency. The agency had promised the minimum wage (then £4.50ph), good accommodation for £25 per person per week, and lots of overtime. They received neither work nor wages in their first week. Contracts they signed were made without translation. Although they were sleeping on the floor in the kitchen and sitting-room (and the legal maximum rent for those on the minimum wage is under £25), they were told they must pay rent of £40 each. This was deducted weekly from their pay.

Several were given the same National Insurance number. They had tax deducted at a high emergency rate. The Tax Office said it had not yet received payments for them. After deductions, they were getting just £115 a week for 40 hours (£2.88ph). Another £15 disappeared without explanation. Most had not registered with the Home Office because they could not afford the £50 required, but this made them vulnerable to deportation. The workers finally managed to escape after a local trades union became aware of them.

Source: Lawrence, F. 'Special investigation. Polish workers lost in a strange land find work in the UK does not pay', The Guardian, 11 January 2005

I am though happy to report, that we have migrant workers living very close by, (we are a rural area and there are a lot of migrant seasonal workers in the county I live in) and they are happy, mix in with us 'locals' and have their own transport.
Yes.....instances like this are wide spread, but fortunately not everyone who comes to work in another country have to go through what these poor buggers had to......

Online Zakharra

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2007, 09:22:52 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_Slavery

 Yes. I read the link. Interesting read.

Offline Elvi

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2007, 09:40:35 AM »
Did you actually read the whole of the article that you just quoted?
Not only does it talk about Islam but what happened 'before' Islam came tyo the region it is discussing (Arabia)

And again, I ask where has it got any relavence at all in what we are talking about?
You said that it was a cultural thing.
I said it was a bigger issue than that.
You then cited that, in the case that started this thread, you believed it was and began talking about Muslims and the middle east.

Lets get our facts right here.....
The two people in question are of an Indian origin, therefore they are Asian, not far/middle eatern.
There is no reference at all to their religion.

Now I could wander off and find stuff that tells us all about Christians who practiced slavery, probably about the Jews, Hindus, I bet I could even dig up the odd Buddhist or two, but whats the point?

The point is that religion isn't the issue here, it's man's ability to use and abuse another fellow man if it suits them and they can gain something from it.


Offline LilacTopic starter

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2007, 12:46:20 PM »
This is MY culture, this is MY country, by your reconning I should just be saying "Oh this is perfectly normal, it's a cultural thing".....

I don't seem to recall her saying that it was at all normal, could you enlighten me to where she insinuated that?

Culture can do horrible, twisted, evil things and ignoring that it is a cultural problem diminishes the scope of the fight.  It took decades to purge slavery from the US, because it was a cultural thing.  The Barukamin of Japan, Dalits of India...  there are such messes everywhere.

The people involved in the slave trade deal with destitute families, like from Bangladesh there, who sometimes believe they are giving their child a better life.  They're trapped at the bottom of a corrupt hierarchy and are frequently given no other option, or any awareness that other options exist.  Their holy texts don't say its wrong, or (in the case of ritualized caste systems) actively promote it.

It's still a problem in the West, sure, but in the US and Western Europe, it's a law enforcement problem.  Other nations have widespread, epidemic situations and addressing them will likely mean addressing their culture (it is happening in some places, like the slow erosion of the caste system in Indian metropolitan centers).

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2007, 01:06:41 PM »


I didn't suspect that situation in Bangladesh and other poor countries can be this bad. I knew there was abuse there, but what was described there is a whole new level.
I would still argue that religion and culture is only part of the problem and that the other part is poverty.
Actually, religion and poverty often go together hand in hand in perpetuating this sort of stuff. Poor and uneducated people are easier to make into fanatics, probably.

I hope the author doesn't really assume that BDSM fans would get 'satisfied' with this hell and just uses it as an 'edgy' way to start the article.

Offline Elvi

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2007, 01:53:49 PM »
Forgive me Lilac, but where in that Artical you linked to, (which is a personal 'blog type' opinion, even though it does cite examples at the bottom of the page and I could infact write something of a similar slant about this country, should I choose to do so), does it mention slavery, or have we strayed that far off topic?

As to your origional question, my comments weren't just directed at Zhakara.
However my comments were directed to anyone who chooses to say that specific actions are solely due to one's culture and doesn't have a wider aspect.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2007, 01:55:23 PM »
Its not a matter of culture or certain cultures this is a violation of international human rights laws- both with regards to slave trafficking and possession and against the rights of children in many cases. The world community of civilized nations already declared such behaviour is contrary to civilized actions- period.

The only thing I have concerns with is why the US trades with nations that de facto take part of such outrages like Saudi Arabia. Its technically illegal but clearly goes on as an institution.

Offline LilacTopic starter

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2007, 02:13:42 PM »
Forgive me Lilac, but where in that Artical you linked to, (which is a personal 'blog type' opinion, even though it does cite examples at the bottom of the page and I could infact write something of a similar slant about this country, should I choose to do so), does it mention slavery, or have we strayed that far off topic?

Outside of the kidnappings and forced marriages (those are counted in human trafficking statistics), not really. It's simply the sort of situation that breeds human trading.  Families faced with that sort of future make a gamble, with the possibility that their child will have a better life somewhere else.

Quote
As to your origional question, my comments weren't just directed at Zhakara.
However my comments were directed to anyone who chooses to say that specific actions are solely due to one's culture and doesn't have a wider aspect.

I don't think anyone here made such a claim, but even if they did, it's not an indefensible position.  Culture includes far more than your religion and interpretation of it, but also thousands of mores and other social nuances that define what is acceptable and what isn't.  If, in some areas of the world, people hold some lives to be worth more than others because that's the way they understand such things (like the caste systems in India and Japan), that is a cultural problem.  A belief can be wrong, no matter how many people hold it.

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Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2007, 05:24:37 PM »
Slavery is a part of our past and, yes, 100 years from now will still be with us. We here play at it, do we ask ourselves why? Morally we say its just play and harmless.., but...

Bad! Bad Puddy tats ::)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2007, 05:50:14 PM by halspeedyrp »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2007, 05:30:30 PM »
No we do not have to put up with this. I suggest this- refuse to trade internationally with offending nations at the government level face if the Chinese, US and EU simply told these nations fine you let this happen overtly or covertly without reasonable efforts to stem it then we will not trade with you. Period. We will pay more for goods if you educate girls and improve the lot of the poorest people- even if I have to pay an extra $5 for a shirt from Walmart. And if a company supports the opposite we won't shop there.

You want to know who to blame look in the mirror this behaviour would not exist as severely if we in the First World would tell them with our actions to stop.

Offline Elvi

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2007, 06:18:03 PM »
Outside of the kidnappings and forced marriages (those are counted in human trafficking statistics), not really. It's simply the sort of situation that breeds human trading.  Families faced with that sort of future make a gamble, with the possibility that their child will have a better life somewhere else.

I don't think anyone here made such a claim, but even if they did, it's not an indefensible position.  Culture includes far more than your religion and interpretation of it, but also thousands of mores and other social nuances that define what is acceptable and what isn't.  If, in some areas of the world, people hold some lives to be worth more than others because that's the way they understand such things (like the caste systems in India and Japan), that is a cultural problem.  A belief can be wrong, no matter how many people hold it.

Yes, there is nothing there I can dissagree with. Yes no matter what reason is given, one human being should have no right to use and abuse another.

However, the point I make is that we are no longer talking about international slavery as simply just those from Indonesia or Bangladesh or any other underpriveledged country/area.
Slaves form 'some backward country' is not happening as much as it is from countries far nearer to home.

In this country (and others in Europe) it is the old 'Eastern block' countries, they have replaced the Turks, who have replaced the Asians, who replaced the Africans.
In the US it still seems to be the Hyspanics.
Those who wish to profit from another use the most convenient people at the time.

Basically what I am saying is WE cannot afford to just turn towards another country and say it's 'their fault because of their religion/culture', because it's still our culture as well.


 
No we do not have to put up with this. I suggest this- refuse to trade internationally with offending nations at the government level face if the Chinese, US and EU simply told these nations fine you let this happen overtly or covertly without reasonable efforts to stem it then we will not trade with you. Period. We will pay more for goods if you educate girls and improve the lot of the poorest people- even if I have to pay an extra $5 for a shirt from Walmart. And if a company supports the opposite we won't shop there.

You want to know who to blame look in the mirror this behaviour would not exist as severely if we in the First World would tell them with our actions to stop.

Ruby this is the sort of simplistic view I am talking about.
Who are you going to tell, who are you not going to trade with?

You live in Florida don't you?
Try reading this......  http://www.sptimes.com/2004/03/29/State/Modern_day_slavery_hi.shtml

I have already cited a doccument which discusses the use of 'slavery' in the UK, so that's we are out.
How about all those sweat shops and the slave labour used in China to produce those cheap clothes and car componants and shoes?

Yes,we need to look in the mirror, but not just past our own countries and into others.
WE ARE the offending nations.

Offline NightBird

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2007, 06:28:32 PM »
Exploitation is exploitation. Plain and simple. Only the window dressings change, and every nation, every economy, every culture and every religion has been involved in exploitation at one time or another to ends that make any caring human being cringe.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2007, 06:36:24 PM »
We don't have to be broadly based here lets pick one huge offender- Saudi Arabia for example. They are a huge and widely known end point for Asian slave trafficking so why no Embargo them internationally. Not buy their oil and clamp down. That would be a clear message we place our pride over the great value of a trade with a major nation (an oil producer).

And that would be a clear warning we will take economic hardship to promote our morals and the intent of international law.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2007, 06:39:21 PM »
If we embargo every single nation that does something morally reprehensible, we're going to have a problem.

Offline Ajoxer

Re: Slavery case in New York
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2007, 10:35:08 PM »
Capitalism and morality have fought for as long as people have traded things and thought that the big Pixie in the sky might be watching them.

Capitalism has an excellent track record of brutal, soul-crushing victory in this arena.