Slavery: Then and now

There were many surprising facts that were mentioned in the videos about Rembrandt and Africans within the Netherlands Empire. The most interesting fact to me was the boundaries with slaves set between the colonies and the mainland. I find it odd that Holland would outlaw slavery and all practices of it while the colonies in South America that prospered and powered off slaves were allowed to keep it. It is fascinating that only the colonies used the traditional slave while the mainland shied away at using what has made the colonies, along with the Empire in general, so profitable. It shows how the exploitation of black people can be put in the background and not focused on to encourage continuation of the exploitation.

This phenomena compares well with the Black mass incarceration problems facing the United States today. The penal system today is a multi billion dollar industry that is built entirely on the backs of free labor provided by those incarcerated. Much like the Dutch colonies painted black people like animals to preserve an image, Prisons paint a bad picture of the African American to keep them incarcerated for profit. Also keeping African Americans in prisons hides them from white people within the cities much like the colonies and Holland. It is very interesting to see the parallels that have always tended to repeat in history. 

I would connect this issue to sustainability goals of inequality along with decent work and economic growth. The connection I made ties to inequality through disproportionate black incarnations. This phenomena shows how not all growth is sustainable and although things are being built it might not be sustainable or ethical in the long term.     

Interesting transcript of interview about penal labor


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