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Hannah Brown was born in Bradford in 1809. Hannah was interviewed by Michael Sadler and House of Commons Committee on 13th June, 1832.
Question: How early did you begin to work in mills?
Answer: At nine years old.
Question: What hours did you work?
Answer: I began at six o'clock, and worked till nine at night.
Question: What time was allowed for your meals?
Answer: No, none at all.
Question: Did this work affect your limbs?
Answer: Yes, I felt a great deal of pain in my legs.
Question: Did it begin to produce deformity in any of your limbs?
Answer: Yes; both my knees are rather turned in.
Question: Was there punishment?
Question: Has Mr. Ackroyd ever chastised you in any way?
Answer: Yes; he has taken hold of my hair and my ear, and pulled me, and just given me a bit of a shock, more than once.
Question: Did you ever see him adopt similar treatment towards any others?
Answer Yes: I have seen him pull a relation of mine about by the hair.
Question: Do you mean he dragged her?
Answer: Yes, about three or four yards.
The article examined in the paper is “Linking Emotional Dissonance and Service Climate to Well-Being at Work: A Cross-Level Analysis.” As described in the title, this article examines the use of emotional dissonance and service climate as independent variables in predicting well-being at work. The research was performed because employee well-being continues to be a topic of social interest as the service sector is the largest in total jobs in the United States and Europe (Bureau of Labour&hellip
Crafts explores the experiences of Hannah, a house slave in North Carolina. In the preface, Crafts writes that she hopes "to show how slavery blights the lives of whites as well as the black race."
The novel opens by narrating how Hannah grew up on a plantation in Virginia, where she was taught as a child to read and write by Aunt Hetty, a kind old white woman, who was subsequently discovered and reprimanded, as the education of slaves was supposed to be limited. This establishes her literacy, which is important in grounding her right and ability to tell her story. She describes herself as of a "complexion almost white." Later she is sold to the Henrys and the Wheelers, ending up in North Carolina with the latter family.
As a young woman, Hannah serves as a lady's maid at Lindendale plantation. Her master and mistress host a large wedding. During the party, Hannah notices an unattractive old man following her new mistress. Hannah concludes that "each one was conscious of some great and important secret on the part of the other." In the coming weeks, after observing her new mistress lock herself away most of the day, Hannah comes to learn that the old man is Mr. Trappe, a crooked lawyer who has discovered that the mistress is a fair-skinned mulatto who is passing for white.
Hannah and the mistress flee the plantation in the middle of the night, become lost, and stay the night in a gloomy shack in the forest. The shack was recently the scene of a murder, and is strewn with bloodstained weapons and clothes. Under these conditions, Hannah's mistress starts to go insane.
Months later, the women are found by a group of hunters who escort them to prison. One of them, Horace, informs Hannah that her master slit his throat after their escape. The women are taken to prison, where they meet Mrs. Wright, a senile woman imprisoned for trying to help a slave girl escape. The mistress' insanity worsens. After several months, the women are moved to a house, where conditions are much better, but they are unable to leave or know the identity of their captor. After a lengthy imprisonment, it is revealed that their captor is Mr. Trappe. The mistress, upon learning this, suffers a brain aneurysm and dies.
Hannah is sold to a slave trader. As she is being transported, the cart horse bolts and runs the cart off a ledge. The slave trader is killed instantly. Hannah wakes up in the home of her new mistress, Mrs. Henry, a kindly woman who treats her well. As Hannah recuperates, Mrs. Henry is told that Hannah's previous owner wishes to claim her.
Despite Hannah's pleas, the young woman is returned to the status of house slave, but she is sold to the Wheelers. She describes Mrs. Wheeler as a vain, self-centered woman. At one time, her husband serves as the United States Minister to Nicaragua. (This was one of the details that led to tracing Crafts as a slave held by John Hill Wheeler.)
One day, when sent to town for facial powder, Hannah hears news of Mr. Trappe's death. After Mrs. Wheeler uses the new facial powder, she discovers that it reacts with her perfume or smelling salts, causing a blackening effect on her skin.   Mrs. Wheeler realizes she had blackface in an encounter with a prominent woman, causing her much emotional discomfort.  After the family moves to North Carolina and she replaces Hannah as her maid with another house slave, Mrs. Wheeler suspects Hannah of telling others about the blackface incident. As punishment, she orders Hannah to the fields for labor, and plans for her to be raped. Hannah escapes and flees to the North. 
Along the way, Hannah comes under the care again of Mrs. Hetty, the kind white woman who originally taught her to read and write. Mrs. Hetty facilitates Hannah's escape to the North, where the young woman rejoins her mother. There she marries a Methodist minister and lives in New Jersey.
- Hannah—The narrator of the story. She is a young slave woman of mixed race who twice runs away. The character is believed to be analogous to Hannah Crafts, the author of the book, although the name was most likely a pseudonym.
- The Mistress— The Mistress at Lindendale (who remains unnamed throughout the novel) is a fair-skinned mulatto who was switched with another baby at birth and raised as a wealthy aristocrat. After her secret is discovered by Mr. Trappe, she is manipulated until she succumbs to the pressure and dies.
- Aunt Hetty— the kindly white woman who originally teaches Hannah to read and write. After running away a second time, Hannah is aided by Aunt Hetty in her escape to the North. It is not known if this character is based on someone in the author's life.
- Mr. Trappe— The main antagonist of the story. A crooked lawyer, Mr. Trappe discovers and exploits the secrets of rich families. The character may be modeled after Mr. Tulkinghorn from Charles Dickens' novel Bleak House. 
- Mrs. Wheeler—A woman who buys Hannah after her accident. She has little respect for Hannah. After being humiliated in a blackface incident, she orders Hannah to be given to a slave overseer to use as his wife. Hannah flees before this can occur.
The novel shows that Hannah Crafts was aware of and influenced by the popular literary trends of the day and major works by British novelists. Henry Louis Gates Jr. found that her master John Hill Wheeler's library was filled with works of contemporary fiction. Compared to the 100 autobiographical works by blacks published before 1865, Crafts exceeded them in the number of quotes from other texts, demonstrating her wide reading.  Literacy for slaves was an act of resistance, and scholars are interested in evidence of what they were reading.
Literary scholar Hollis Robbins first observed that Crafts must have read Charles Dickens' Bleak House  (although this was not included on Wheeler's library list), Walter Scott's Rob Roy, and Scientific American. Robbins has written that Crafts may have read a serialized version of Dickens' novel in Frederick Douglass's Paper, which had a high circulation among fugitive slaves. Scholar Catherine Keyser has noted influences from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre in Crafts' writing.
In total, Gates and Robbins document that Crafts
echoes or lifts passages from a remarkably impressive range of English and American literature, including Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Walter Scott's Rob Roy and Redgauntlet, Thomas Campbell's Life and Letters, Dickens's Old Curiosity Shop and Bleak House, Felicia Heman's poetry, John Gauden's Discourse on Artificial Beauty, William Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, Shakespeare's Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra, Michel Chevalier's Society, Manners and Politics in the United States and Phillis Wheatley's To a Lady on the Death of Her Husband, as well as Douglass's Narrative and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Each of these -- except for Bleak House -- appears in the 1882 catalog listing the books that her master owned (and Wheeler owned four other works by Dickens). 
Gregg Hecimovich of Winthrop University, who in 2013 documented the author as Hannah Bond, learned that girls from a nearby school often boarded at the Murfreesboro plantation where she worked as a lady's maid for Ellen Wheeler. Part of the girls' curriculum required them to read and memorize Dickens' Bleak House. Bond borrowed some of its elements for her novel, and may have heard the girls reading aloud or read from one of their copies of the book. 
The initial scholarly response to the book appeared in a collection of essays entitled In Search of Hannah Crafts, featuring literary scholars Nina Baym, Lawrence Buell, William Andrews, John Stauffer, William Gleason, and many others.  Scholar Anne Fabian, for example, argued that Crafts is a literary iconoclast and rule breaker, breaking the rules that governed texts previously written and published by slaves.  Jean Fagan Yellin examined the influence of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin on Crafts and Shelley Fisher Fishkin examined the influence of William Wells Brown's well-known play The Escape, or, A Leap for Freedom, casting light on Crafts's class and race consciousness.  William Gleason argued that The Bondwoman's Narrative is deeply invested in the politics of architectural form and reveals a sophisticated sense of the relationship between race and architecture.  In addition to Hollis Robbins's work on the borrowings from Charles Dickens and Walter Scott, Catherine Keyser focuses on Crafts's borrowings from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, making a thorough textual-critical case for her literary transformations. 
Important scholarly work published after In Search of Hannah Crafts includes "Missing Intertexts: Hannah Crafts's "The Bondwoman's Narrative" and African American Literary History Gill Ballinger, Tim Lustig and Dale Townshend  R. J. Ellis (2009) '"so amiable and good": Hannah Crafts's The Bondwoman's Narrative and its Lineages'  and R. J. Ellis (2007) '"Whatever the law permits": Hannah Crafts's The Bondwoman's Narrative'  Rachel Teukolsky (2009), "Pictures in Bleak Houses: Slavery and the Aesthetics of Transatlantic Reform."  Daniel Hack, "Close Reading at a Distance: The African Americanization of Bleak House" 
Other scholarship by Richard J. Gray and others builds upon existing findings. Gray, for example, re-emphasizes that Crafts creates a heroine who is a young orphan woman, and who is literate and refined, as found in novels by Austen and Bronte. 
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. acquired the manuscript in 2001 in an annual auction by Swann Galleries. The catalogue described the novel as an "Unpublished Original Manuscript a fictionalized biography, written in an effusive style, purporting to be the story, of the early life and escape of one Hannah Crafts." Its history could be traced to the 1940s, when it was owned by African-American scholar Dorothy Porter.  [ page needed ]
Gates bought the historic manuscript at a relatively low price of $8000.  He proceeded to verify the text as an historical artifact, and drew on expertise by a variety of scholars. Wyatt Houston Day, a bookseller and authenticator, wrote, "I can say unequivocally that the manuscript was written before 1861, because had it been written afterward, it would have most certainly contained some mention of the war or at least secession."  Kenneth W. Rendell identified the original ink as iron gall ink, most widely used up until 1860. Joe Nickell, Ph.D., the author of numerous books on literary assessment, used a variety of techniques to evaluate the manuscript, studying the paper, ink, provenance, writing style, etc.  As a result of his review, Gates agreed with others who concluded that Crafts was most likely black because she portrays her black characters first as people, and demonstrates knowledge of the slave caste system.  In addition, she demonstrates insider knowledge of specifics regarding slave escape routes and makes numerous conventional mistakes in language. 
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. noted that Crafts referred to historical figures and actual places in her novel among those were the Cosgroves, found in the Virginia census Mr. Henry, a Presbyterian minister in Stafford County, Virginia and Jane Johnson, a slave from John H. Wheeler's Washington, DC household, who gained freedom in 1855 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (a free state). Wheeler was taking her and her two young sons along with his family en route to his posting as US Minister in Nicaragua. The case received national coverage because abolitionist Passmore Williamson was jailed for contempt of court by a federal district judge, and because of conflicts between state and federal laws related to slavery.   
After verification and editing, Gates arranged for publication of the novel by Time-Warner in 2002, as The Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts (Author), Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Editor) (it includes material about his authentication and trying to identify the author.) Due to the intense interest in such an early work, the only known novel by a fugitive slave and likely the first by an African-American woman, its publication was followed closely.  The book quickly became a bestseller. 
Efforts continued to identify the author, and the book attracted widespread attention. Learning that Jane Johnson lived in Boston, Katherine E. Flynn, a scientist and skilled genealogist, began to research her life. In addition to being able to document major life events for Johnson after she reached Boston, Flynn concluded that she might have been Hannah Crafts, as her novel appeared to have been written by someone close to the John Hill Wheeler household. Flynn published an article on this in 2002 in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. 
In 2003, Gates and Hollis Robbins published In Search of Hannah Crafts about their research on this topic, as well as more on the literary influences found in the novel.  No conclusions were reached as to Crafts' identity, though Gates and Robbins note the promise of Gregg Hecimovich's research.
In 2013, Gregg Hecimovich of Winthrop University in South Carolina, announced having documented Crafts' identity as Hannah Bond, an enslaved African-American woman on the plantation of John H. Wheeler and his wife Ellen in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Bond served there as a lady's maid to Ellen Wheeler, and escaped about 1857, settling finally in New Jersey. In his documentation of Hannah Bond's life, Hecimovich found that the paper in her manuscript was a distinctive one used by the Wheeler family and kept in their library. It had already been established that Crafts/Bond had read widely among the books of the library, as she quoted these in her work. 
The Civil War: 1861-1865
"For blacks, slave or free, the Civil War was the true American Revolution"
--Antonio F. Holland, "African Americans in Henry Shaw's St. Louis" (Essay from the book, "St. Louis in the Century of Henry Shaw", edited by Eric Sandweiss Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, Mo 2003
Fremont's Emancipation Proclamation:
On August 30, 1861 Gen. John C. Fremont declared that anyone who has taken up arms against the Federal government or "actively supported those who did so", would be tried by court-martial, shot and all property confiscated. Any slaves among this property would be declared free.
President Lincoln was opposed to Fremont's proclamation. Lincoln said if ". you shoot a man, according to the proclamation, the Confederates would very certainly shoot our best men in their hands in retaliation." Also, the emancipation of slaves would "alarm our Southern Union friends". Lincoln told Fremont's wife, Jessie Benton Fremont, "General Fremont should not have dragged the Negro into it. " Thus, Lincoln ordered Fremont to rescind the proclamation.
Did Fremont's proclamation free any slaves ?Yes, but very few. Author James Neal Primm states that "the first slave so freed, and the first freed anywhere in the nation by federal authority was Hiram Reed, the property of Thomas L. Snead of St. Louis." Snead had sided with Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson who commanded the rebel "Missouri State Guard".
What was the difference between Fremont's emancipation proclamation and Lincoln's First Confiscation Act (issued Aug 6, 1861) ? Fremont's proclamation would have freed slaves peacefully employed on farms or businesses owned by Confederate soldiers (or even by friends or relatives that may have sent letters or "care packages" to someone serving in the Confederate Army). Lincoln's 1st Confiscation Act, on the other hand, generally was restricted to slaves that were actively employed in the rebellion (construction of rebel defenses, production of war supplies, or combat support functions)
Lincoln's 2nd Confiscation Act (issued July 1862) was very similar to Fremont's proclamation in regard to property. It was based upon the confiscation of property of persons disloyal to the United States. In unclear situations where slaves were owned by close relatives of a Confederate soldier (like a father, son or sibling), "disloyalty" needed to be proven in a Federal civil courts. In Fremont's proclamation, a military court decided who was disloyal.
Federal Procedures of Processing of Slaves in Civil War Missouri:
Missouri had two governments during the Civil War, one Confederate (under Gov. Claiborne F. Jackson) and the other Union (Gov. Hamilton Gamble). The Constitutionally elected government was driven into exile by Federal forces. This government in exile (under Gov. Jackson) would join the Confederacy. Although the U.S. military occupied Missouri, the pro-Union government under Gov. Gamble was staunchly pro-slavery. For this reason, most Missouri slave owners were at least nominally pro-Union in sentiment. They formed a very strained alliance with anti-slavery citizens. Because of the loyalty of Missouri's slave owners, President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not pertain to Missouri's slaves. Slaves in Missouri would remain slaves until 1865. But the State was inundated by slaves from the Confederate States that were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Sorting runaway Missouri slaves from emancipated slaves was a big problem for Federal officials in St. Louis.
Enforcement of these policies tended to vary depending on the general in charge of the Department of Missouri. For instance, Gen. Samuel Curtis, was fairly liberal with the issuance of "Certificates of Freedom" often simply based up "on the mere statements of slaves." Primarily due to protest by pro-slavery Unionists, President Lincoln removed Curtis from command and replaced him with slavery friendly Gen. John M. Schofield. (Curtis was in command from September 1862 to May 1863)
How it worked under Gen. Curtis:
1) Slaves captured in the service of the Rebels: In Missouri these were deemed "Contrabands" and given their freedom under the 1st Confiscation Act. In reality, Missouri had very few slaves that fell into this category. In other slave States contrabands were sometimes treated harshly, such as in Louisiana, many were forced to work on government owned plantations.
2) Slaves freed by Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation (issued Jan 1, 1863): Missouri slaves did not qualify for freedom under this proclamation. If slaves entered Missouri originating from States that did qualify them for freedom under this provision, they were required to provide some proof that their owners lived in qualifying areas. If they could do this, then they would receive a "Certificate of Freedom".
3) Slaves that were owned by "disloyal" owners. If slaves could provide proof of this and the evidence was credible, these slaves were issued a "Certificate of Freedom" under the 2nd Confiscation Act.
4) Slave refugees entering Missouri from Kentucky or Tennessee: These slaves were "presumed free" (mainly because of the difficulty of verifying if out-of-state owners were loyal or not), but they were NOT given "Certificates of Freedom". They were, instead granted a pass to depart Missouri and enter a free State, like Illinois or Iowa.
5) Slaves wishing to enlist in the Union Army: The Union Army began recruiting slaves in Missouri after May 1863. Loyal slaveowners were paid $300 for each slave that enlisted. The soldier was given his freedom from slavery upon enlistment. If a slave attempted to enlist without their owner's permission, the owner sometimes punished the family they had left behind. Also slaves were frequently killed on the roadside by "bushwhackers" while they attempted to reach enlistment posts. In Feb 1864, male slaves of military age qualified for the draft. Over the duration of the war, over 8,300 Missouri blacks served as soldiers in the Union Army.
6) All other slaves in Missouri remained slaves until the State issued its own Emancipation Proclamation, January 14, 1865.
How Slaves Were Processed Under Gen. John M. Schofield and Provost Marshal James O. Broadhead:
As reported by The Westliche Post, a St. Louis German language newspaper:
MISSOURI AS HUNTING-GROUND FOR NEGRO-CATCHERS.
Our Jail, under the administration of General Schofield and Provost-Marshal
Broad-head, has become area "slave-pen? Every day blacks and colored people
of all shades--men, women, and children--are thrown into it, who had
believed in the gospel of liberty proclaimed by "honest "--it is too great a
shame that this word must now be written with quotation marks--by honest
Father Abraham. This honest man has made Missouri a real hunting-ground for
nigger-catchers, and the authorities appointed by him protect this "honest"
calling in every possible way. If we say the Jail has become a slave-pen, we
don't mean to censure the jailer. He is bound to receive the slaves that are
arrested by order of the provost-marshal and brought to jail he is bound to
do it as his duty, and we are sure it is a disagreeable duty to him. But who
has given our Provost-Marshal-General Broadhead authority to recall and
declare null and void the free papers which have been given by his
predecessors or by former commanders of this department to the slaves of
rebel masters? Does a slave become a free man by a certificate of liberty,
duly made out by competent authority, or is such a certificate of liberty a
mere piece of paper, which may be torn up at pleasure? Is the great liberty
proclamation of the President himself also a mere rag, which every
provost-marshal may spit upon and kick with his feet, if he so chooses?
Every day fugitive slaves from all quarters of the rebellious States are
arrested in our streets by professional rascals and dragged to jail. The
process of such an outrage is a very- simple one. Any rebel from Missouri,
Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, or any other slave
State sells his human property to a dealer in men's flesh, who is, of
course, a "loyal" man, Just as Mr. Lincoln is an "honest man, and this
slave-trader puts immediately his blood-hounds on the track of the scented
game, which is then surely fated, for the provost-marshal-general never
neglects to play his role. Thus, in the past month hundreds of liberated
slaves have been carried back into slavery thus, yesterday, six of them sat
in the jail waiting for the next boat to Kentucky, and thus things will
continue as long as Schofield and Broadhead are at the head of affairs, and
probably as long as "honest Old Abe" sits in the White House. We spoke to an
old soldier of the Twelfth Regiment, who had carried a musket in the service
of liberty since the commencement of the war, and we heard him say, "May my
right hand wither before it ever again throws a ticket for Abraham Lincoln
into the ballot-box and may my lips be struck dumb if ever I pronounce that
name otherwise than with contempt!" A negro who has gone through all the
toils of the Twelfth Regiment for two years is now a fugitive slave in the
jail, caught on Lincoln's slave-hunting ground in Missouri.
To such a pass has a weak-brained and weak-spirited Republican
administration brought affairs in Missouri that it has incurred the hatred
and the disgust of all true Union men, of all true emancipationists, and of
all those who are honestly in favor of liberty. "
"Every damned abolitionist in the country ought to be hung."
--James O. Broadhead, Union Provost Marshal St. Louis, Mo.
Child Welfare Must Face History To Get Past It
History is deeply embedded in the child welfare system. Courts and stakeholders often rely on a family’s history to determine the current level of threat to children. They look at “historical documents:” court orders, prior child protection system (CPS) reports and prior evaluations.
A family’s history, for example, is often the basis for moving straight to termination of parental rights. If a parent has had an involuntary termination of a child and the ‟circumstances” leading to that event have not been resolved, the court may direct a child welfare agency not to provide any efforts to reunify the child. And CPS “histories” often trail families from state to state in databases that are incomplete, vague and, often, wrong even as they play an important role in child removal.Emma Brown-Bernstein, attorney in the parent attorney division of the Fulton County Public Defender office. Photo courtesy of Brown-Bernstein
Familial history also figures into policies regarding placement of children with extended family or fictive kin. Department policy typically requires family members to provide their criminal histories if they wish to be considered for placement of children. CPS or criminal history can constitute an automatic disqualification from such a placement.
But the child welfare system has masked, since its inception, the other historical narratives of America — narratives about race, poverty and discrimination. As is reported time and time again, families of color are overrepresented in the child welfare system — these families are disproportionately living in poverty, more likely to be investigated by the state and are subject to higher rates of removal. As Dorothy Roberts asserts in her recent op-ed for The Imprint, America has failed to see how child protective service agencies are an ‟integral part of the U.S. carceral regime” whose ‟origins [lie] in slave patrols…”
Despite the important recognition of this historical dynamic outside of courtrooms and agency buildings, the reverberations are rarely identified or adequately addressed in court orders, agency policy or law.
Similarly, as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on into 2021, I am surprised at the sparse mention of this life-altering reality in my day-to-day work. I have yet to receive a case plan that adequately addresses steps for handling reunification in the midst of a pandemic. We know that case plans should be specifically tailored to the family, but they should also be specifically tailored to the time. In other words, it is not “reasonable” to give a parent a bus pass to facilitate visitation if the bus is no longer running.
In the years to come, as the country grapples with the after effects of the pandemic, which will be disproportionately shouldered by our clients in the child welfare system, documents generated now must clearly lay out the unique struggles of the time. Otherwise we risk this reality being lost to the ages, an erasure for which our clients will undoubtedly pay. Without recognition of the ways in which history shapes our clients’ lives today, be it a pandemic or the fight for racial justice, there is little hope for meaningful and lasting change.
Our understanding of history evolves as we evolve. Our behavior changes over time as a result of cultural shifts and advances in science, technology and medicine. This evolution is critical to child welfare, especially in the context of neglect. What constitutes neglect of a child is necessarily rooted in cultural norms, beliefs and historical preferences. One such example is child welfare’s approach to substance abuse, which has evolved along with an increased tolerance of marijuana use and a societal reframing of drug use as an illness that requires medically sound treatment and therapeutic judicial approaches.
When I first started this work in 2012, I witnessed a termination of parental rights because the mother continued to test positive for marijuana. Since that time, many states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana (including the jurisdiction in which I practice). This is not to say that child welfare always gets it right when it comes to drug use — because it doesn’t — but there are at least attempts to modernize previous approaches to treatment of parents with substance dependency issues.
So how can we achieve a more equitable child welfare system that addresses the historical challenges of our clients? One possible response is to dismantle the entire system and create something new with this historical framework in mind. Another is to promulgate laws that acknowledge and attempt to address historical inequities.
While this is no easy task, there is precedence for how to address a history of marginalization in child welfare — the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which was passed in 1978 expressly to address the large-scale removal of Indian children from their parents that had been happening for decades. Although ICWA is not infallible, it provides a valuable context for recognizing in law that families also exist in a historical context and that policies and laws are not applied equally to all people.
As we work toward these loftier goals, there also are a few concrete steps we could take right now to ensure that existing laws and policies better account for history. First, all state agencies and child welfare organizations should be at the forefront of advocating for appropriate and significant social welfare supports for families including: housing, child-care, medical care and education, with the ultimate transformative goal of, as Dorothy Roberts put it, “diverting the billions of dollars spent on separating children from their families to … material supports provided directly and non-coercively to parents and other family caregivers and care networks.”
Second, given what we know about the incarceration rate of people of color, and especially Black men, state agencies need to reform their policies regarding criminal background history for relative placement — criminal history should never bar or delay placement of a child with a relative absent egregious circumstances. The same should be true of prior CPS history.
Third, as Vivek Sankaran points out in a recent blog post, we must move away from discretionary legal standards that insulate racial biases in child safety determinations.
Finally, existing data demonstrates that systemic racism exists in many of the institutions that are mandated to report child abuse including police forces, health care organization and educational institutions. Given the historic power and privilege of these entities, child welfare agencies should analyze reports of abuse and neglect with this data in mind and advocate for strong legal representation for parents at all stages of the proceeding including pre-removal.
It is past time for child welfare to deal with history on a grand scale. We need to grapple with where we are and where we are going. After all, it is often said that those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it. No one can afford that in 2020.
Thanks to NewsMatch, all donations to The Imprint are doubled through Dec. 31. Any amount helps us continue to cover child welfare and youth justice with independent, untold stories.
The U Team
Ryan has 20+ years of experience, with 15 years of that being in leadership and management roles, in the education sector. Starting off as a first grade basketball coach Ryan has built his career in the field of education and has become an innovative and well respected early childhood and school-age educator. His enthusiasm and passion for working with children as well as his engaging stories of experience translate into powerful, inspiring, and informative guidance for others.
- Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education Administration and Leadership from The University of Michigan.
- Current member of Washtenaw Community College Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee.
- Early Childhood Education Lecturer/Student Supervisor at UM-Dearborn.
- Transitional Toddler Teacher at Allen Creek Preschool
- Lead pre-kindergarten teacher at Bright Horizons (NAEYC accredited center) in Redwood City, CA. At Bright Horizons, Ryan was recognized by his peers, families, and school leaders with awards such as The Family Partnership Award, The Rising Star Award, and the Teamwork Award.
- Director of Green Adventures Camp, an Ann Arbor Public Schools/Rec & Ed summer academic enrichment camp.
- Supervisor of Ann Arbor Public Schools before, kindergarten, and after school child care programs.
- YMCA Early Childhood Sports Supervisor.
- Loving husband of Hannah Brown (see below) and father of three boys (14 years, 10 years, and 3 years old).
Assistant Program Director
For most of her life, Andrea has worked in roles and spaces that serve children, including schools, a museum/science center, a nature center, and organizations that serve families experiencing homelessness. She has a Master of Science in Early Childhood: Inclusive Education/Curriculum & Instruction from Portland State University. Her graduate research focused on the role that natural loose parts have on play and the creation of special/imaginative places outdoors. She also has a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership: Global & Organizational Leadership (with a focus on youth-serving organizations) from Western Michigan University. As a passionate researcher, Andrea enjoys digging into scholarship about all things early childhood: development, play, leadership, and nature-based learning. She loves living in Ann Arbor with her partner and their young daughter. When she’s not at the U School, she can be found around town with her family perusing libraries, playing in parks, and supporting local businesses.
Teacher Charlie has been at the U School since it opened in September, 2015. He is the lead teacher of the 3/4 classroom, and the U School’s resident mindfulness coach.
After beginning with adult ESL teaching in 2002, Charlie moved from his hometown of Ann Arbor to the Bay Area to pursue a credential in public school teaching. After eight years teaching high school English, he made the switch to working in preschools, remaining in California for three more years to teach in Montessori classrooms. When the time came to come back home to Michigan, he heard about a new place called the U School from the family of Ryan Brown’s nephew, who happened to be in Charlie’s class in San Francisco.
Back when he was teaching high school and trying to stay sane, Charlie learned how to meditate using the Unified Mindfulness system, and also received training in how to teach the system to others. He teaches the U Family Mindful Parents & Educators program, and his main interest is in developing more ways to share awareness practice with children, families, and fellow educators.
Susan has over 18 years of teaching experience. She has taught science in Africa and Detroit, and elementary school in Alaska. Most recently, she is returning to the US after teaching kindergarten for three years in South Africa. Susan’s true passion is for the preschool age group — she had taught at an Ann Arbor preschool for 10 years prior to moving to South Africa. She is excited to be returning to Ann Arbor and enjoying some of the things they missed: fall apples, cross-country skiing and Michigan football. She and her husband have lived in Michigan for over 20 years and have four grown children.
Lesley is a Michigan native who has taught and worked with children and their families for over twenty years. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Elementary Education. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Chicago, IL and made her home there. She taught elementary school for several years, until she and her husband started their own family. When she returned to work after a five-year break, she began teaching preschool. She discovered early childhood was her passion and has been teaching preschool for the last nine years. Five years ago, her husband’s job change led them back to Michigan. Lesley and her husband David, have two children, Sam (18) and Josephine (15) as well as two dogs, Champion and Frankie.
I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Central Michigan University. I have worn multiple hats in this field including Lead Teacher (3’s, 4’s, and Young 5’s), After School Program/Summer Program Director/Liaison, and Curriculum Director at multiple early childhood centers as well as public schools. My long term goal is to obtain my Masters degree in Child Policy and Advocacy to help advocate for and assist early childhood centers, teachers, directors, and parents. In my free time, I enjoy attending concerts, hiking, hammocking, and being outdoors. I am super excited to grow and learn with your children throughout this year!
Francesca graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Psychology, and focused her coursework on developmental and educational psychology. Francesca knew she wanted to pursue a career working with children at the age of 16. Through her courses at UM she discovered a passion for Early Childhood Education (ECE) with a particular interest in curriculum development. Francesca is now pursuing her MA in ECE Administration & Leadership from UM-Dearborn.
In her interactions with young students, Francesca always strives to incorporate thoughtful and meaningful learning experiences into any activity. Francesca was born and raised in South Africa, only moving to Michigan for her freshman year of college she is especially thrilled to continue her career at a school that has a strong connection to an important South African philosophy, Ubuntu, and looks forward to the adventures ahead!
I am a true Michigander. I was raised on a farm here in SE Michigan and have lived here my whole life and yes, I point to my palm when asked where certain cities are in our state. Being a caregiver by nature and loving children, I started caring for children in their homes at a young age. This led me to studying early childhood education after high school graduation. I earned my associate degree from Washtenaw Community College and have worked as a preschool teacher for 23 years. I particularly enjoy establishing deep relationships with children where they feel seen, heard and valued. I have been intrigued by The U School since it opened and when the opportunity arose for me to become part of this team and community, I jumped on it! I have 3 wonderful children, who have taught me a lot about child development, growth and changes that occur as infants grow into young adults. I live with my wife and a cat named, “Snoop” who is as curious as a young child. I am looking forward to exciting things to come.
Kassandra, Kassie for short, was born and raised in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Growing up her family embarked on frequent camping trips, fostering Kassie’s love of the great outdoors. Kassie began working with young children in high school, teaching swimming lessons at her local YMCA she went on to work in multiple preschool settings while obtaining her degree in education. Kassie graduated from Lake Superior State University in 2018 with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and an Associate in Social Work. After graduating Kassie moved down to Jackson, MI, where she worked as Lead Teacher and Program Director of Little Acorns Nature Preschool for two years. Kassie has developed a passion for teaching her students through meaningful interactions and experiences in nature.
Kathryn attended Eastern Michigan University for Children’s Literature/Theatre for the Young and went on to become a copy editor for a short while before discovering The U School. Her dad, David Szczygiel (a profound environmental educator for the Ann Arbor public schools), encouraged Kathryn to become a teacher at an amazing new preschool his friend, Ryan Brown, had just started. This brought her to instantly fall in love with The U school and the philosophies behind it. Five years later, she still refuses to let go of The U School, after all the joy and love it’s given in her life. Outside of school life, Kathryn loves to draw and paint in her free time, and she brings her love of art into her teaching as much as she can. She lives with her husband and cat in Ypsilanti.
Anjelica began working in early childhood development when she was very young at her mom’s friend’s daycare. There she helped by making infant bottles and prepping snacks. Later on Anjelica spent time working in the infant room at her church’s children’s ministry. There she moved up in age and worked in their pre-kindergarten room. Over the last four years Anjelica has been working in child care center preschool classrooms.
Anjelica loves working with preschoolers and says this age is her, “favorite, because they have beautiful imaginations.” She is currently pursuing an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Development from Schoolcraft College and plans to acquire a Bachelors Degree and then a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. Anjelica is excited to work at the U School and gain inspiration from the U School teaching team, families, and new friends in the classroom.
Ryan is the child of a preschool teacher and a college professor. He started subbing at the U School while trudging through an advanced degree in history at Michigan State. He enjoyed many years of teaching college students and was surprised to find that teaching preschoolers was not all that different. He is learning more about child development every day as the parent of a toddler and the partner of an early childhood expert.
Dorrian has six years experience working with children ages 5-14. His experience includes AAPS Rec & Ed basketball and after school sports coach, refereeing, and for the last two summers he has been a counselor at Camp Al-Gon-Quin. Dorrian says he enjoys working with kids because they always want to have fun and they’re full of energy. He is ready for the fun!
Shalae has various experiences working with children including three years as counselor at Camp Al-Gon-Quian, coaching and refereeing for AAPS Rec & Ed, and being the oldest sibling of six children. Shalae also serves as board member of A2PBSU (Ann Arbor Pioneer Black Student Union). Shalae loves working with children and is here to have fun!
Art Studio Teacher & Pedagogy Support
Lauren Roy graduated with honors in 2014 from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Bachelor degree in Elementary Education and holds an Early Childhood endorsement (General and Special Education). While completing her undergraduate studies, she served at the University of Michigan – Dearborn Early Childhood Education Center as staff and a Great Parents, Great Start teacher. Eager to discover more about how children learn, since completing her degree, Lauren has traveled to various cities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New York, and Reggio Emilia, Italy. The enthusiasm and passion she cultivated from diverse areas has played a strong role while serving as a lead teacher and art studio teacher in both preschool settings.
On a personal side, Lauren and her husband Joel enjoy traveling, hiking, kayaking, and waterfall gazing. A new chapter recently opened in March as the couple transitioned into parenthood to daughter Braelynn. Now their daughter joins them on these adventures and offers a new lens of joy!
Lauren is super excited to be part of the U School and looks forward to growing as a parent in this strong community.
Fabio da Cunha (Lobinho)
Fabio Cosmo da Cunha, known in the capoeira world as “Contra Mestre Lobinho” began training Capoeira in 1998 in Sao Paulo, Brazil under Mestre Coruja of the group Cordao de Ouro. He is full of positive energy, and has a wonderful background working with children of all ages. Coming from Brazil, Lobinho offers a different perspective on life and coming from a close knit community, he offers values and lessons based on his own experiences.
Child & Family Support Coordinator
Hannah has broad experience working in child and family focused environments. She started her professional career working with children in child care environments where she found a love for working with families and great teams. Those experiences led her to pursue studies in social work, culminating in a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, with an additional certification in School Social Work and training in art therapy. Hannah now holds a Clinical License in Social Work Hannah and has worked with families at Ele’s Place, New Beginnings Academy, Interfaith Hospitality Network at Alpha House, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor Public Schools School-Aged Child Care program, Americorps, and Shelter Networks Haven Family House (a transitional housing family shelter in Northern California). Hannah is the mother of three delightfully charming boys.
- Nathan Ayers – Chiwara Permaculture
- David Klingenberger – The Brinery
- Curtis Wallace – CWCreatyv (Media-Art Specialist/Graphic Design)
- Ramsey Bishar – Big George’s
- Andrea Ridgard – Grounded Here (Yoga, Food and Life Nourishment)
- Jeannine Palms – Children’s Wet Meadow Project
- Michael Firn – Sic Transit Cycles
- Mary Thiefels – Tree Town Murals, The Neutral Zone (Visual Arts Programs Coordinator)
- Jamall Bufford – The Neutral Zone (Music Program Coordinator)
- Rodger Bowser – Zingerman’s Deli
- Dave Szczygiel – AAPS Environmental Education
- Joanna Hastings – Summers-Knoll School
- Marie Klopf – Ann Arbor Art Center
- Amy Grambeau
- Amy Szymaszek
- Anne Montague
- Anupa Bhise-Pierre
- Bethena Wallace
- Briana Murphy
- Candi Gonzalez
- Caitlin Klein
- Carol Ludwig
- Carol Perry
- Chris Swinko
- Claudia Repsold
- Curtis Wallace
- Daniel Beider
- Daniela Bach
- Dave Arbury
- Deanna Jones
- Denise Cope
- Diana Miller
- Eileen Kreiner
- Ellen Brody
- Emily Greene
- Emma Raynor
- Eric Zinn
- Eril Andes
- Erin Pons
- Evelyn Yocum
- Fa’al Yamin Ali
- Fernanda Repsold
- Frank Perry
- Gregor Repsold
- Gregory Lang
- Heather Halabu
- Helen Pankowski
- Isley Brown
- Jackson Perry
- Jamall Bufford
- Jamie Pons
- Jan Ulrich
- Jane Levy
- Jason DePasquale
- Jason Steingold
- Jay Stanton
- Jeff Hamilton
- Jeffrey Klein
- Jen Babycz
- Jennifer Quadro
- Jeremy Cavagnolo
- Jessica Rodriguez
- Jessica Adelle McCumons
- Joe Abrams
- Joe Malcoun
- Johanna Horn
- John Stahly
- Jonathan Gillies
- Joshua Remsberg
- Julie Golden
- Julie Zinn
- Justin Harper
- Kadesha Baker
- Kate Beck
- Kathi Cohen
- Ken Ludwig
- Ken Raynor
- Ko Shih
- Laura Pershin Raynor
- Lauren Stine
- Linda Robinson
- Lisa Dengiz
- Liza Brereton
- Lizann Amason
- Lori Stark
- Lucie Keiner
- Margaret B. Lansing
- Maria Cecilia
- Maria Eduarda Braga Padilha
- Mariana Repsold
- Mariann Airgood
- Mark Miller
- Martin Smith
- Mary Mathias
- Matthew McCumons
- Mayra Pereira
- Michael Demps
- Michelle Carolan
- Michelle Mendlewicz
- Mike Perry
- Mike Zinn
- Natalia Bae
- Natalie Christian
- Nathan Ayers
- Nathan Klussmann
- Neil Miller
- Nicole Arbury
- Oana Nitulescu
- Patti Dizon Woods
- Paquetta Palmer
- Ricardo Marcondes
- Robin Schultz-Purves
- Ryan Rooney
- Seth Yocum
- Sharon Watling
- Sherry Murphy
- Steve Perry
- Terri Nelson
- Theadora Yocum
- Tim Ludwig
- Tom Williams
- Toni Morell
- Travis Amason
- Victoria Groom
- Wendy Carty-Saxon
- Paul Saginaw – Co-founder Zingerman’s Community of Businesses
- Lisa Dengiz – Co-creator of numerous youth projects and non profits in Ann Arbor
- Laura Pershin Raynor – Youth and Adult Services Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library
- Robin Schultz-Purves – Community Education Coordinator at Rec & Ed
- Dr Seong Hong – Early Childhood Program Coordinator at UM-Dearborn
Happy, healthy and inspired children make the world a better place.
The U School is a “new-model” early childhood and family learning center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We offer an innovative educational experience for families with children ages 3-5 years old.
To offer a happy, healthy, and inspired early childhood learning environment that builds a positive sense of self in children and a connectedness to community.
If true justice and equality are ever to be achieved in the United States, the country must finally take seriously what it owes black Americans.
It feels different this time.
Black Americans protesting the violation of their rights are a defining tradition of this country. In the last century, there have been hundreds of uprisings in black communities in response to white violence. Some have produced substantive change. After the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, uprisings in more than 100 cities broke the final congressional deadlock over whether it should be illegal to deny people housing simply because they descended from people who had been enslaved. The Fair Housing Act, which prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, gender and religion, among other categories, seemed destined to die in Congress as white Southerners were joined by many of their Northern counterparts who knew housing segregation was central to how Jim Crow was accomplished in the North. But just seven days after King’s death, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act into law from the smoldering capital, which was still under protection from the National Guard.
Most of the time these uprisings have produced hand-wringing and consternation but few necessary structural changes. After black uprisings swept the nation in the mid-1960s, Johnson created the Kerner Commission to examine their causes, and the report it issued in 1968 recommended a national effort to dismantle segregation and structural racism across American institutions. It was shelved by the president, like so many similar reports, and instead white Americans voted in a “law and order” president, Richard Nixon. The following decades brought increased police militarization, law-enforcement spending and mass incarceration of black Americans.
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The changes we’re seeing today in some ways seem shockingly swift, and in other ways rage-inducingly slow. After years of black-led activism, protest and organizing, the weeks of protests since George Floyd’s killing have moved lawmakers to ban chokeholds by police officers, consider stripping law enforcement of the qualified immunity that has made it almost impossible to hold responsible officers who kill, and discuss moving significant parts of ballooning police budgets into funding for social services. Black Lives Matter, the group founded in 2013 by three black women, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, saw its support among American voters rise almost as much in the two weeks after Floyd’s killing than in the last two years. According to polling by Civiqs, more than 50 percent of registered voters now say they support the movement.
The cascading effect of these protests has been something to behold. The commissioner of the N.F.L., which blackballed Colin Kaepernick for daring to respectfully protest police brutality, announced that the N.F.L. had, in fact, been wrong and that black lives actually do matter. (Kaepernick, on the other hand, still has no job.) HBO Max announced that it would temporarily pull from its roster the Lost Cause propaganda film “Gone With the Wind” — which in classically American fashion holds the spot as the highest-grossing feature film of all time. NASCAR came to the sudden realization that its decades-long permissiveness toward fans’ waving the battle flag of a traitorous would-be nation that fought to preserve the right to traffic black people was, in fact, contrary to its “commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.” Bubba Wallace, the only full-time black driver at the sport’s top level, who had called on NASCAR to make the move, drove victory laps in an all-black stock car emblazoned with the words “#BLACKLIVESMATTER.”
Multiracial groups of Americans have defaced or snatched down monuments to enslavers and bigots from Virginia to Philadelphia to Minneapolis and New Mexico, leading local and state politicians to locate the moral courage to realize that they indeed did have the power to purge from public spaces icons to white supremacy. Even the University of Alabama, the place where Gov. George Wallace quite literally stood in the schoolhouse door to try to block the court-ordered admission of two black students, a place whose Grecian-columned campus and still largely segregated sororities pose the living embodiment of Dixie, is removing three plaques honoring Confederate soldiers and will study whether to rename buildings holding the monikers of enslavers and white supremacists after a student-led campaign garnered more than 17,000 signatures.
Unlike so many times in the past, in which black people mostly marched and protested alone to demand recognition of their full humanity and citizenship, a multiracial and multigenerational protest army has taken to the streets over the last month. They’ve spread across all 50 states in places big and small, including historically all-white towns like Vidor, Texas, where as recently as 1993 a federal judge had to order its public housing integrated. Shortly after, white supremacists ran out of town the handful of black people who had moved in. That Vidor, Texas, which remains 91 percent white and 0.5 percent black, held a Black Lives Matter rally in early June. In countries as disparate as England, Brazil, Kenya and Turkey, crowds pumped fists and carried signs with George Floyd’s name.
And this month, a Monmouth University poll showed that 76 percent of Americans, and 71 percent of white Americans, believe that racial and ethnic discrimination is a “big problem” in the United States. Just a few years ago, little more than half of white Americans believed that. The numbers in the Monmouth poll were so high that it left some political scientists questioning the poll’s quality.
“This number is crazy,” Hakeem Jefferson, a Stanford University political scientist, told me. “When I saw it, I thought, ‘This is a polling error.’ So I did what good social scientists do. I opened the methodological report, worried that they had done a weird sampling. But this is high-quality data.”
It is hard in the midst of something momentous to pinpoint exactly what has caused it. What we’re seeing is most likely a result of unrelenting organizing by the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s the pandemic, which virtually overnight left staggering numbers of Americans without enough money to buy food, pay rent and sustain their businesses. For many white Americans who may have once, consciously or unconsciously, looked down upon this nation’s heavily black and brown low-wage service workers, Covid-19 made them realize that it was the delivery driver and grocery clerk and meatpacker who made it possible for them to remain safely sequestered in their homes — and these workers were dying for it. Black Americans, in particular, have borne a disproportionate number of deaths from both Covid-19 and law enforcement, and many nonblack protesters have reasoned that black people should not have to risk their lives alone in taking to the streets demanding that the state not execute its citizens without consequence. And as they did, white Americans both in the streets and through the screens of their phones and televisions got a taste of the wanton police violence that black Americans regularly face. They saw the police beating up white women, pushing down an elderly white man and throwing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets at demonstrators exercising their democratic right to peacefully protest.
With so many Americans working from home or not working at all, they have had the time to show up to protests every day. These protests not only give Americans who are not black a moral reason to leave their homes after weeks of social isolation they also allow protesters to vent anger at the incompetence of the man in the White House, himself a product of this nation’s inability to escape its death pact with white supremacy, who they sense is imperiling this terribly flawed but miraculous country.
It has been more than 150 years since the white planter class last called up the slave patrols and deputized every white citizen to stop, question and subdue any black person who came across their paths in order to control and surveil a population who refused to submit to their enslavement. It has been 150 years since white Americans could enforce slave laws that said white people acting in the interest of the planter class would not be punished for killing a black person, even for the most minor alleged offense. Those laws morphed into the black codes, passed by white Southern politicians at the end of the Civil War to criminalize behaviors like not having a job. Those black codes were struck down, then altered and over the course of decades eventually transmuted into stop-and-frisk, broken windows and, of course, qualified immunity. The names of the mechanisms of social control have changed, but the presumption that white patrollers have the legal right to kill black people deemed to have committed minor infractions or to have breached the social order has remained.
In a country erected on the explicitly codified conviction that black lives mattered less, graveyards across this land hold the bodies of black Americans, men, women and children, legally killed by the institutional descendants of those slave patrols for alleged transgressions like walking from the store with Skittles, playing with a toy gun in the park, sleeping in their homes and selling untaxed cigarettes. We collectively know only a small number of their names: Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Kendra James, Breonna Taylor, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Tanisha Anderson are just a few.
And because of what is happening now, George Floyd’s name will forever stand out since enough Americans have decided that his death mattered.
What has spawned this extraordinary reckoning, the fire this time, was our collective witness of what must be described without hyperbole as a modern-day lynching. In his 1933 book, “The Tragedy of Lynching,” the sociologist Arthur F. Raper estimated that, based on his study of 100 lynchings, white police officers participated in at least half of all lynchings and that in 90 percent of others law-enforcement officers “either condone or wink at the mob action.” The nonchalant look on Officer Derek Chauvin’s face — as, hand in pocket, for 8 minutes 46 seconds, he pressed his knee against the neck of a facedown black man begging for his life — reminds me of every callous white face captured in the grisly photos taken in the 1900s to mark the gleeful spectacle of the public killings of black men and women.
It devastates black people that all the other black deaths before George Floyd did not get us here. It devastates black people to recall all the excuses that have come before. That big black boy, Michael Brown, must have charged the weapon-carrying officer. Eric Garner should have stopped struggling. Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend had a weapon in her home and shouldn’t have shot at the people who, without a knock or an announcement, burst through her door. We’re not sure what Ahmaud Arbery was doing in that predominantly white neighborhood. Rayshard Brooks, who in the midst of nationwide protests against police violence was shot in the back twice by a police officer, just shouldn’t have resisted.
It should devastate us all that in 2020 it took a cellphone video broadcast across the globe of a black man dying from the oldest and most terrifying tool in the white-supremacist arsenal to make a vast majority of white Americans decide that, well, this might be enough.
We, now, have finally arrived at the point of this essay. Because when it comes to truly explaining racial injustice in this country, the table should never be set quickly: There is too much to know, and yet we aggressively choose not to know it.
No one can predict whether this uprising will lead to lasting change. History does not bode well. But there does seem to be a widespread acceptance of the most obvious action we could take toward equality in a nation built on the espoused ideals of inalienable, universal rights: pass reforms and laws that ensure that black people cannot be killed by armed agents of the state without consequence.
But on its own, this cannot bring justice to America. If we are truly at the precipice of a transformative moment, the most tragic of outcomes would be that the demand be too timid and the resolution too small. If we are indeed serious about creating a more just society, we must go much further than that. We must get to the root of it.
Read More From the Magazine and Nikole Hannah-Jones
The 1619 Project Aug. 14, 2019
America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made It One Aug. 14, 2019
Fifty years since the bloody and brutally repressed protests and freedom struggles of black Americans brought about the end of legal discrimination in this country, so much of what makes black lives hard, what takes black lives earlier, what causes black Americans to be vulnerable to the type of surveillance and policing that killed Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, what steals opportunities, is the lack of wealth that has been a defining feature of black life since the end of slavery.
Wealth, not income, is the means to security in America. Wealth — assets and investments minus debt — is what enables you to buy homes in safer neighborhoods with better amenities and better-funded schools. It is what enables you to send your children to college without saddling them with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and what provides you money to put a down payment on a house. It is what prevents family emergencies or unexpected job losses from turning into catastrophes that leave you homeless and destitute. It is what ensures what every parent wants — that your children will have fewer struggles than you did. Wealth is security and peace of mind. It’s not incidental that wealthier people are healthier and live longer. Wealth is, as a recent Yale study states, “the most consequential index of economic well-being” for most Americans. But wealth is not something people create solely by themselves it is accumulated across generations.
While unchecked discrimination still plays a significant role in shunting opportunities for black Americans, it is white Americans’ centuries-long economic head start that most effectively maintains racial caste today. As soon as laws began to ban racial discrimination against black Americans, white Americans created so-called race-neutral means of maintaining political and economic power. For example, soon after the 15th Amendment granted black men the right to vote, white politicians in many states, understanding that recently freed black Americans were impoverished, implemented poll taxes. In other words, white Americans have long known that in a country where black people have been kept disproportionately poor and prevented from building wealth, rules and policies involving money can be nearly as effective for maintaining the color line as legal segregation. You do not have to have laws forcing segregated housing and schools if white Americans, using their generational wealth and higher incomes, can simply buy their way into expensive enclaves with exclusive public schools that are out of the price range of most black Americans.
It has worked with impressive efficiency. Today black Americans remain the most segregated group of people in America and are five times as likely to live in high-poverty neighborhoods as white Americans. Not even high earnings inoculate black people against racialized disadvantage. Black families earning $75,000 or more a year live in poorer neighborhoods than white Americans earning less than $40,000 a year, research by John Logan, a Brown University sociologist, shows. According to another study, by the Stanford sociologist Sean Reardon and his colleagues, the average black family earning $100,000 a year lives in a neighborhood with an average annual income of $54,000. Black Americans with high incomes are still black: They face discrimination across American life. But it is because their families have not been able to build wealth that they are often unable to come up with a down payment to buy in more affluent neighborhoods, while white Americans with lower incomes often use familial wealth to do so.
The difference between the lived experience of black Americans and white Americans when it comes to wealth — along the entire spectrum of income from the poorest to the richest — can be described as nothing other than a chasm. According to research published this year by scholars at Duke University and Northwestern University that doesn’t even take into account the yet-unknown financial wreckage of Covid-19, the average black family with children holds just one cent of wealth for every dollar that the average white family with children holds.
As President Johnson, architect of the Great Society, explained in a 1965 speech titled “To Fulfill These Rights”: “Negro poverty is not white poverty. … These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice and present prejudice. They are anguishing to observe. For the Negro they are a constant reminder of oppression. For the white they are a constant reminder of guilt. But they must be faced, and they must be dealt with, and they must be overcome if we are ever to reach the time when the only difference between Negroes and whites is the color of their skin.”
We sometimes forget, and perhaps it is an intentional forgetting, that the racism we are fighting today was originally conjured to justify working unfree black people, often until death, to generate extravagant riches for European colonial powers, the white planter class and all the ancillary white people from Midwestern farmers to bankers to sailors to textile workers, who earned their living and built their wealth from free black labor and the products that labor produced. The prosperity of this country is inextricably linked with the forced labor of the ancestors of 40 million black Americans for whom these marches are now occurring, just as it is linked to the stolen land of the country’s indigenous people. Though our high school history books seldom make this plain: Slavery and the 100-year period of racial apartheid and racial terrorism known as Jim Crow were, above all else, systems of economic exploitation. To borrow from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s phrasing, racism is the child of economic profiteering, not the father.
Numerous legal efforts to strip black people of their humanity existed to justify the extraction of profit. Beginning in the 1660s, white officials ensured that all children born to enslaved women would also be enslaved and belong not to their mothers but to the white men who owned their mothers. They passed laws dictating that the child’s status would follow that of the mother not the father, upending European norms and guaranteeing that the children of enslaved women who were sexually assaulted by white men would be born enslaved and not free. It meant that profit for white people could be made from black women’s wombs. Laws determining that enslaved people, just like animals, had no recognized kinship ties ensured that human beings could be bought and sold at will to pay debts, buy more acres or save storied universities like Georgetown from closing. Laws barred enslaved people from making wills or owning property, distinguishing black people in America from every other group on these shores and assuring that everything of value black people managed to accrue would add to the wealth of those who enslaved them. At the time of the Civil War, the value of the enslaved human beings held as property added up to more than all of this nations’ railroads and factories combined. And yet, enslaved people saw not a dime of this wealth. They owned nothing and were owed nothing from all that had been built from their toil.
Slavery’s demise provided this nation the chance for redemption. Out of the ashes of sectarian strife, we could have birthed a new country, one that recognized the humanity and natural rights of those who helped forge this country, one that attempted to atone and provide redress for the unspeakable atrocities committed against black people in the name of profit. We could have finally, 100 years after the Revolution, embraced its founding ideals.
And, oh so briefly, during the period known as Reconstruction, we moved toward that goal. The historian Eric Foner refers to these 12 years after the Civil War as this nation’s second founding, because it is here that America began to redeem the grave sin of slavery. Congress passed amendments abolishing human bondage, enshrining equal protection before the law in the Constitution and guaranteeing black men the right to vote. This nation witnessed its first period of biracial governance as the formerly enslaved were elected to public offices at all levels of government. For a fleeting moment, a few white men listened to the pleas of black people who had fought for the Union and helped deliver its victory. Land in this country has always meant wealth and, more important, independence. Millions of black people, liberated with not a cent to their name, desperately wanted property so they could work, support themselves and be left alone. Black people implored federal officials to take the land confiscated from enslavers who had taken up arms against their own country and grant it to those who worked it for generations. They were asking to, as the historian Robin D.G. Kelley puts it, “inherit the earth they had turned into wealth for idle white people.”
In January 1865, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order 15, providing for the distribution of hundreds of thousands of acres of former Confederate land issued in 40-acre tracts to newly freed people along coastal South Carolina and Georgia. But just four months later, in April, Lincoln was assassinated. Andrew Johnson, the racist, pro-Southern vice president who took over, immediately reneged upon this promise of 40 acres, overturning Sherman’s order. Most white Americans felt that black Americans should be grateful for their freedom, that the bloody Civil War had absolved any debt. The government confiscated the land from the few formerly enslaved families who had started to eke out a life away from the white whip and gave it back to the traitors. And with that, the only real effort this nation ever made to compensate black Americans for 250 years of chattel slavery ended.
Freed people, during and after slavery, tried again and again to compel the government to provide restitution for slavery, to provide at the very least a pension for those who spent their entire lives working for no pay. They filed lawsuits. They organized to lobby politicians. And every effort failed. To this day, the only Americans who have ever received government restitution for slavery were white enslavers in Washington, D.C., who were compensated for their loss of human property.
The way we are taught this in school, Lincoln “freed the slaves,” and then the nearly four million people who the day before had been treated as property suddenly enjoyed the privileges of being Americans like everyone else. We are not prodded to contemplate what it means to achieve freedom without a home to live in, without food to eat, a bed to sleep on, clothes for your children or money to buy any of it. Narratives collected of formerly enslaved people during the Federal Writers’ Project of the 1930s reveal the horrors of massive starvation, of “liberated” black people seeking shelter in burned-out buildings and scrounging for food in decaying fields before eventually succumbing to the heartbreak of returning to bend over in the fields of their former enslavers, as sharecroppers, just so they would not die. “With the advent of emancipation,” writes the historian Keri Leigh Merritt, “blacks became the only race in the U.S. ever to start out, as an entire people, with close to zero capital.”
In 1881, Frederick Douglass, surveying the utter privation in which the federal government left the formerly enslaved, wrote: “When the Hebrews were emancipated, they were told to take spoil from the Egyptians. When the serfs of Russia were emancipated, they were given three acres of ground upon which they could live and make a living. But not so when our slaves were emancipated. They were sent away empty-handed, without money, without friends and without a foot of land on which they could live and make a living. Old and young, sick and well, were turned loose to the naked sky, naked to their enemies.”
Just after the federal government decided that black people were undeserving of restitution, it began bestowing millions of acres in the West to white Americans under the Homestead Act, while also enticing white foreigners to immigrate with the offer of free land. From 1868 to 1934, the federal government gave away 246 million acres in 160-acre tracts, nearly 10 percent of all the land in the nation, to more than 1.5 million white families, native-born and foreign. As Merritt points out, some 46 million American adults today, nearly 20 percent of all American adults, descend from those homesteaders. “If that many white Americans can trace their legacy of wealth and property ownership to a single entitlement program,” Merritt writes, “then the perpetuation of black poverty must also be linked to national policy.”
The federal government turned its back on its financial obligations to four million newly liberated people, and then it left them without protection as well, as white rule was reinstated across the South starting in the 1880s. Federal troops pulled out of the South, and white Southerners overthrew biracial governance using violence, coups and election fraud.
The campaigns of white terror that marked the period after Reconstruction, known as Redemption, once again guaranteed an exploitable, dependent labor force for the white South. Most black Southerners had no desire to work on the same forced-labor camps where they had just been enslaved. But white Southerners passed state laws that made it a crime if they didn’t sign labor contracts with white landowners or changed employers without permission or sold cotton after sunset, and then as punishment for these “crimes,” black people were forcibly leased out to companies and individuals. Through sharecropping and convict leasing, black people were compelled back into quasi slavery. This arrangement ensured that once-devasted towns like Greenwood, Miss., were again able to call themselves the cotton capitals of the world, and companies like United States Steel secured a steady supply of unfree black laborers who could be worked to death, in what Douglass A. Blackmon, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, calls “slavery by another name.”
Yet black Americans persisted, and despite the odds, some managed to acquire land, start businesses and build schools for their children. But it was the most prosperous black people and communities that elicited the most vicious response. Lynchings, massacres and generalized racial terrorism were regularly deployed against black people who had bought land, opened schools, built thriving communities, tried to organize sharecroppers’ unions or opened their own businesses, depriving white owners of economic monopolies and the opportunity to cheat black buyers.
At least 6,500 black people were lynched from the end of the Civil War to 1950, an average of nearly two a week for nine decades. Nearly five black people, on average, have been killed a week by law enforcement since 2015.
The scale of the destruction during the 1900s is incalculable. Black farms were stolen, shops burned to the ground. Entire prosperous black neighborhoods and communities were razed by white mobs from Florida to North Carolina to Atlanta to Arkansas. One of the most infamous of these, and yet still widely unknown among white Americans, occurred in Tulsa, Okla., when gangs of white men, armed with guns supplied by public officials, destroyed a black district so successful that it was known as Black Wall Street. They burned more than 1,200 homes and businesses, including a department store, a library and a hospital, and killed hundreds who it is believed were buried in mass graves. In 2001, a commission on the massacre recommended that the state pay financial restitution for the victims, but the State Legislature refused. And this is the place that in the midst of weeks of protests crying out for black lives to matter, Donald Trump, nearly 100 years later, chose to restart his campaign rallies.
Even black Americans who did not experience theft and violence were continuously deprived of the ability to build wealth. They were denied entry into labor unions and union jobs that ensured middle-class wages. North and South, racist hiring laws and policies forced them into service jobs, even when they earned college degrees. They were legally relegated into segregated, substandard neighborhoods and segregated, substandard schools that made it impossible to compete economically even had they not faced rampant discrimination in the job market. In the South, for most of the period after the Civil War until the 1960s, nearly all the black people who wanted to earn professional degrees — law, medical and master’s degrees — had to leave the region to do so even as white immigrants attended state colleges in the former Confederacy that black American tax dollars helped pay for.
As part of the New Deal programs, the federal government created redlining maps, marking neighborhoods where black people lived in red ink to denote that they were uninsurable. As a result, 98 percent of the loans the Federal Housing Administration insured from 1934 to 1962 went to white Americans, locking nearly all black Americans out of the government program credited with building the modern (white) middle class.
“At the very moment a wide array of public policies was providing most white Americans with valuable tools to advance their social welfare — ensure their old age, get good jobs, acquire economic security, build assets and gain middle-class status — most black Americans were left behind or left out,” the historian Ira Katznelson writes in his book, “When Affirmative Action Was White.” “The federal government … functioned as a commanding instrument of white privilege.”
In other words, while black Americans were being systematically, generationally deprived of the ability to build wealth, while also being robbed of the little they had managed to gain, white Americans were not only free to earn money and accumulate wealth with exclusive access to the best jobs, best schools, best credit terms, but they were also getting substantial government help in doing so.
The civil rights movement ostensibly ended white advantage by law. And in the gauzy way white Americans tend to view history, particularly the history of racial inequality, the end of legal discrimination, after 350 years, is all that was required to vanquish this dark history and its effects. Changing the laws, too many Americans have believed, marked the end of the obligation. But civil rights laws passed in the 1960s merely guaranteed black people rights they should have always had. They dictated that from that day forward, the government would no longer sanction legal racial discrimination. But these laws did not correct the harm nor restore what was lost.
Brown v. Board of Education did not end segregated and unequal schools it just ended segregation in the law. It took court orders and, at times, federal troops to see any real integration. Nevertheless, more than six decades after the nation’s highest court proclaimed school segregation unconstitutional, black children remain as segregated from white kids as they were in the early 1970s. There has never been a point in American history where even half the black children in this country have attended a majority-white school.
Making school segregation illegal did nothing to repay black families for the theft of their educations or make up for generations of black Americans, many of them still living, who could never go to college because white officials believed that only white students needed a high school education and so refused to operate high schools for black children. As late as the 1930s, most communities in the South, where the vast majority of black Americans lived, failed to provide a single public high school for black children, according to “The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935,” by the historian James D. Anderson. Heavily black Richmond County in Georgia, for instance, did not provide a four-year black high school from 1897 to 1945.
The Fair Housing Act prohibited discrimination in housing, but it did not reset real estate values so that homes in redlined black neighborhoods whose prices were artificially deflated would be valued the same as identical homes in white neighborhoods, which had been artificially inflated. It did not provide restitution for generations of black homeowners forced into predatory loans because they had been locked out of the prime credit market. It did not repay every black soldier who returned from World War II to find that he could not use his G.I. Bill to buy a home for his family in any of the new whites-only suburbs subsidized by the same government he fought for. It did not break up the still-entrenched housing segregation that took decades of government and private policy to create. Lay those redlining maps over almost any city in America with a significant black population, and you will see that the government-sanctioned segregation patterns remain stubbornly intact and that those same communities bore the brunt of the predatory lending and foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s that stole years of black homeownership and wealth gains.
Making employment discrimination illegal did not come with a check for black Americans to compensate for all the high-paying jobs they were legally barred from, for the promotions they never got solely because of their race, for the income and opportunities lost to the centuries of discrimination. Nor did these laws end ongoing discrimination any more than speed limits without enforcement stop people from driving too fast. These laws opened up opportunities for limited numbers of black Americans while largely leaving centuries of meticulously orchestrated inequities soundly in place, but now with the sheen of colorblind magnanimity.
The inclination to bandage over and move on is a definitive American feature when it comes to anti-black racism and its social and material effects. A joint 2019 study by faculty members at Yale University’s School of Management, Department of Psychology and Institute for Social and Policy Studies describes this phenomenon this way: “A firm belief in our nation’s commitment to racial egalitarianism is part of the collective consciousness of the United States of America. … We have a strong and persistent belief that our national disgrace of racial oppression has been overcome, albeit through struggle, and that racial equality has largely been achieved.” The authors point out how white Americans love to play up moments of racial progress like the Emancipation Proclamation, Brown v. Board of Education and the election of Barack Obama, while playing down or ignoring lynching, racial apartheid or the 1985 bombing of a black neighborhood in Philadelphia. “When it comes to race relations in the United States … most Americans hold an unyielding belief in a specific, optimistic narrative regarding racial progress that is robust to counterexamples: that society has come a very long way already and is moving rapidly, perhaps naturally toward full racial equality.”
This remarkable imperviousness to facts when it comes to white advantage and architected black disadvantage is what emboldens some white Americans to quote the passage from Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech about being judged by the content of your character and not by the color of your skin. It’s often used as a cudgel against calls for race-specific remedies for black Americans — while ignoring the part of that same speech where King says black people have marched on the capital to cash “a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’”
King has been evoked continuously during this season of protests, sometimes to defend those who looted and torched buildings, sometimes to condemn them. But in this time of foment, there has been an astounding silence around his most radical demands. The seldom-quoted King is the one who said that the true battle for equality, the actualization of justice, required economic repair.
After watching Northern cities explode even as his movement’s efforts to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act came to fruition, King gave a speech in 1967 in Atlanta before the Hungry Club Forum, a secret gathering of white politicians and civil rights leaders.
King said: “For well now 12 years, the struggle was basically a struggle to end legal segregation. In a sense it was a struggle for decency. It was a struggle to get rid of all of the humiliation and the syndrome of depravation surrounding the system of legal segregation. And I need not remind you that those were glorious days. … It is now a struggle for genuine equality on all levels, and this will be a much more difficult struggle. You see, the gains in the first period, or the first era of struggle, were obtained from the power structure at bargain rates it didn’t cost the nation anything to integrate lunch counters. It didn’t cost the nation anything to integrate hotels and motels. It didn’t cost the nation a penny to guarantee the right to vote. Now we are in a period where it will cost the nation billions of dollars to get rid of poverty, to get rid of slums, to make quality integrated education a reality. This is where we are now. Now we’re going to lose some friends in this period. The allies who were with us in Selma will not all stay with us during this period. We’ve got to understand what is happening. Now they often call this the white backlash. … It’s just a new name for an old phenomenon. The fact is that there has never been any single, solid, determined commitment on the part of the vast majority of white Americans to genuine equality for Negroes.”
A year later, in March 1968, just a month before his assassination, in a speech to striking, impoverished black sanitation workers in Memphis, King said: “Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality. For we know that it isn’t enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a hamburger?”
As we focus on police violence, we cannot ignore an even starker indication of our societal failures: Racial income disparities today look no different than they did the decade before King’s March on Washington. In 1950, according to a forthcoming study by the economists Moritz Schularick, Moritz Kuhn and Ulrike Steins in The Journal of Political Economy, black median household income was about half that of white Americans, and today it remains so. More critical, the racial wealth gap is about the same as it was in the 1950s as well. The typical black household today is poorer than 80 percent of white households. “No progress has been made over the past 70 years in reducing income and wealth inequalities between black and white households,” according to the study.
And yet most Americans are in an almost pathological denial about the depth of black financial struggle. That 2019 Yale University study, called “The Misperception of Racial Economic Inequality,” found that Americans believe that black households hold $90 in wealth for every $100 held by white households. The actual amount is $10.
About 97 percent of study participants overestimated black-white wealth equality, and most assumed that highly educated, high-income black households were the most likely to achieve economic parity with white counterparts. That is also wrong. The magnitude of the wealth gap only widens as black people earn more income.
“These data suggest that Americans are largely unaware of the striking persistence of racial economic inequality in the United States,” the study’s authors write. Americans, they write, tend to explain away or justify persistent racial inequality by ignoring the “tailwinds that have contributed to their economic success while justifying inequalities of wealth and poverty by invoking the role of individuals’ traits and skills as explanations for these disparities.” They use the exceptional examples of very successful black people to prove that systemic racism does not hold black Americans back and point to the large numbers of impoverished black people as evidence that black people are largely responsible for their own struggles.
'Game Of Thrones' star Hannah Waddingham: I was waterboarded for 10 hours to film torture scene
Game Of Thrones star Hannah Waddingham has described a torture scene in the hit fantasy series as "the worst day of my life", claiming she was actually strapped down and waterboarded for 10 hours.
The 46-year-old English West End theatre actor played devoted follower of The High Sparrow, Septa Unella in the HBO show – who was tortured by villainous queen Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, in season six.
Waddingham told Collider’s Ladies Night podcast: “There I was strapped to a wooden table with proper big straps for 10 hours. And definitely, other than childbirth, it was the worst day of my life.
"Because Lena was uncomfortable pouring liquid in my face for that long, and I was beside myself.”
The Sex Education star admitted she had opted to be submitted to the real-life torture for the sake of her performance.
She went on: "I could barely speak because I had been screaming through The Mountain's hand.
"So I had no voice at all to barely whisper, bruises already coming up like I had been attacked, and I was like, ‘I've basically just been waterboarded for 10 hours.'
“The one thing I kept thinking to myself [was] ‘the production company aren't going to let you die, so get on with it, be uncomfortable’.”
But Waddingham admitted she was so traumatised by the experience she had to speak to a counsellor about suffering claustrophobia and a fear of water as a result of the torture scene.
The Ted Lasso star also revealed the original script included her character being raped by brutal knight The Mountain, played by Icelandic strongman Hafpor Julius Bjornsson, as part of her torture, but that part of the scene was cut.
Waddingham said: “Unella was meant to be raped by The Mountain.
“I think they'd had so many complaints about the rape of Sansa that they chose not to go with it.”
Watch: Hannah Waddingham and the Ted Lasso cast discuss the new football comedy
Australia's Perth city locks down in stepped up fight against Delta virus variant
The Australian city of Perth began a snap four-day COVID-19 lockdown on midnight Tuesday, joining Sydney and Darwin as authorities struggle to contain fresh outbreaks of the highly infectious Delta virus variant. Residents of Perth, Western Australia's capital, and the neighbouring Peel region must stay home except for urgent reasons after officials detected a third case, linked to the outbreak in Sydney - the nation's largest state. Concerns the Delta strain could touch off significant outbreaks have forced lockdowns in three state capitals, while most other cities have imposed some form of restrictions with more than 20 million Australians, or about 80% of the population affected.
Rudy Giuliani's son Andrew gets zero votes from GOP leaders in bid for New York governor
Andrew Giuliani worked in the Trump White House before announcing his campaign for the New York governor's office in 2022.
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After so much drama and many police visits, she got the upper hand. Who would’ve thought that a small piece of paper has such power?
Hikers capture ‘terrifying but awesome’ video of two bears facing off in Alaska park
“My guide wanted to get us close, ended up almost on top of us.”
Hikers capture ‘terrifying but awesome’ video of two bears facing off in Alaska park
“My guide wanted to get us close, ended up almost on top of us.”
Hikers capture ‘terrifying but awesome’ video of two bears facing off in Alaska park
“My guide wanted to get us close, ended up almost on top of us.”
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If prosecutors charge Trump's company or one of its executives this week, the former president can still be targeted down the line
Manhattan prosecutors reportedly may charge the Trump Organization or its CFO this week. Donald Trump himself would remain legally vulnerable.
Bloodhound tracks missing 6-year-old girl to an abandoned shed in Tennessee, cops say
“He licked her face and she gave him a big hug.”
Bloodhound tracks missing 6-year-old girl to an abandoned shed in Tennessee, cops say
“He licked her face and she gave him a big hug.”
‘F*** Israel’ written in Myrtle Beach sand in big letters near hotel, police confirm
Antisemitism organization: “Sad to think Jewish children are waking up seeing this while on vacation with their families.”
Brown emigrated to Australia when she was three years old, returning to Scotland in 1999.  Brown has three children, with her youngest being born when she was 44 years old.  In 2016 founded the South Ayrshire Babybank and remains a volunteer for the organisation. 
Brown joined the Scottish National Party (SNP) the day following the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.
In 2017, Brown was elected as a councillor for the Ayr West ward of South Ayrshire Council. 
In May 2021, she was elected as a member of the Scottish Parliament for Ayr with a majority of 170 votes, replacing John Scott who had been the Conservatives' longest serving MSP.  During her Scottish Parliament Election campaign, Brown was criticised for alleged ageism as she claimed to be more fit to represent the constituency than her older campaign rivals. 
- ^ Hilley, Sarah (25 September 2020). "Politician enters SNP selection race to unseat Ayr Tory". Daily Record . Retrieved 8 May 2021 .
- "Session 6 COVID19 Recovery Committee". www.parliament.scot . Retrieved 23 June 2021 .
- "South Scotland Region: Statement of Persons and Parties nominated and Notice of Poll" (PDF) . Argyll and Bute Council. 31 March 2021 . Retrieved 1 April 2021 .
- "Ayr Constituency: Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll" (PDF) . South Ayrshire Council. 31 March 2021 . Retrieved 1 April 2021 .
- ^ abc
- Brown, Siobhian. "Why independence is crucial for every child's future". The National . Retrieved 7 May 2021 .
- Duffy, Judith (28 March 2021). "SNP hopeful embarks on one of the toughest challenges in Scotland". The National . Retrieved 7 May 2021 .
- ^ ab
- Healey, Derek. "SNP candidate Siobhian Brown in age discrimination row". The Courier . Retrieved 12 May 2021 .
- Rodger, Hannah (7 May 2021). "SNP take Ayr from Conservatives in second gain". HeraldScotland. Herald and Times Group. Newsquest Media Group . Retrieved 7 May 2021 .
This article about a member of the Scottish Parliament is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
· Legislation proposed by Senator Tom Harkin and Representative George Brown in March 1993 seeks to curtail both U.S. imports of, and international trade in, products made with child labor. The Congress has already mandated the U.S. Department of Labor to provide it with a list by July 15, 1994, of specific industries within specific foreign countries that employ child labor.
· The Harkin/Brown bill would require U.S. importers of products on this list to certify that they have taken “reasonable steps” to ensure their imports are not made with child labor. Without this “certification,” imports of specified products would be banned.
· While there is an extremely wide range of estimates on the prevalence of children working on South Asian looms in violation of national laws, handmade carpets woven in India, Pakistan, and Nepal will almost certainly be included on the Department of Labor list.
· Carpet production and the use of child weavers on family looms have a long and legal tradition in India and Pakistan dating back to the 15th century. Carpet production in Nepal, on the other hand, started only in 1959.
· The Harkin/Brown bill as drafted contains no “positive alternatives” to the use of illegal child labor in South Asia and elsewhere. Any legislation must contain a judicious mix of “carrots” and “sticks” if it hopes to address child labor in a responsible and meaningful way.
· The Harkin/Brown bill should be amended, inter alia,
* to promote “positive alternatives,” especially compulsory, universal education
* to help step up enforcement of national child labor laws
* to differentiate between types of child labor and otherwise to reflect internationally recognized standards
* to require the Secretary of State to make a biennial “determination” as to whether countries are making progress in addressing child labor problems identified in the Department of Labor study now underway.
II. The Oriental Rug Importers Association and the U.S. Carpet Industry
The Oriental Rug Importers Association (ORIA) represents approximately 100 of the leading importers of handmade carpets into the U.S. market. Its membership includes the largest American importers of handmade carpets produced in India, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Carpet imports into the U.S. market, estimated at $691 million in 1992, play an important and growing role in the American economy. The annual retail value of these imports exceeds $1 billion. The U.S. carpet industry– composed of large department stores, rug and specialty shops, and furniture stores– employed a total of approximately 48,000 Americans across the country in 1992, up three per cent from 1991. While ORIA membership is concentrated in the six states of New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, Florida, and Oregon, its imports of handmade carpets are sold in all 50 states.
III. The Harkin/Brown Child Labor Bill
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representative George Brown (D-CA) introduced the “Child Labor Deterrence Act of 1993” (S. 613 and H.R. 1397) in their respective houses of Congress on March 18, 1993. Senator Harkin had offered the same legislation in August 1992 but the Congress adjourned before considering the bill. Congressional interest in child labor dates at least to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which defined and prohibited “oppressive child labor.”
The stated purpose of the Harkin/Brown bill is to serve as a first step in curtailing international trade in products made in whole or in part by children under the age of 15 who are employed in industry or mining. Its co-sponsors in the Senate include Senators Conrad, Inouye, Grassley, Rockefeller, Metzenbaum, Feingold, Campbell, Dorgan, and Riegle in the House, they include Representatives Lantos, Kaptur, Berman, Sanders, and Towns.
The highlights of the Harkin/Brown bill are as follows. It:
· directs the U.S. Secretary of Labor to compile and maintain a list of foreign industries and their respective host countries that use children under 15 in the manufacture or mining of products for export
· prescribes three tests for determining which foreign industries in which foreign countries are to be included on such a list:
(a) whether they comply with applicable national laws prohibiting child labor in the workplace
(b) whether they utilize child labor in the export of products
(c) whether they have on a continuing basis exported products of child labor to the United States.
· prohibits imports into the United States of any product made, in whole or in part, by children under 15 who are employed in industry of mining
· makes violators of this import ban subject to civil and criminal penalties
· includes provisions such that the import ban does not apply if U.S. importers take reasonable steps to certify that the product from the targeted industry and its host country is not made by child labor
· requires U.S. importers to sign certificates of origin to affirm that they have taken such reasonable steps to ensure that products imported from targeted industries are not made by children under 15 who are employed in industry or mining
· urges the President to seek an international agreement with other trading nations to invoke an international ban on trade in products made by children under 15 who are employed in industry or mining.
The Harkin/Brown bill includes language similar to that contained in earlier International Labor Organization (ILO) and United Nations (UN) declarations and conventions. One of the first conventions adopted by the ILO at its initial session in 1919 was the Minimum Age (Industry) Convention (No.5). Later ILO/UN efforts on child labor specifically cited by the Harkin/Brown bill are the Declaration of the Rights of the Child proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1959, and the ILO’s Minimum Age Convention (No. 138) and accompanying Recommendation (No. 146) of 1973.
While no congressional hearing have been held on the Harkin/Brown proposed legislation since its introduction, there were two related and significant developments in fall 1993. First, Senator Harkin on September 23 introduced, and the Senate passed, a non-binding “Sense of the Senate resolution” containing language drawn from the Harkin/Brown bill. The resolution, passed in the form of an amendment to the Fiscal Year 1994 Foreign Operations Act, reads as follows:
“It is the sense of Senate that —
1) the economic exploitation of children, especially the practice of bonded child labor, should be strongly condemned
2) it should be the policy of the United States to not allow the importation of products made by children who are employed in industry or mining and
3) the President should take action to seek an agreement with government that conduct trade with the United States for the purpose of securing an international ban on trade in products made with child labor.”
Secondly, the Fiscal Year 1994 U.S. Labor Department Appropriations Act provided funds for an in-depth study of child labor worldwide and directed the Secretary of Labor to complete this review by July 15, 1994. The study, which will identify foreign industries and their host countries that utilize child labor, is essentially the same as envisaged by the Harkin/Brown bill. In order to write the study, the Act directs the Secretary of Labor to utilize “all available information,” including information supplied by the ILO and human rights organizations.
In addition, all U.S. Embassies have received instructions to advise the Departments of State and Labor on “ whether or not child labor is known or widely believed to be used” in their host country industries that export to the United States.
With the U.S. Department of Labor study now underway, a major portion of the Harkin/Brown bill has in effect already been enacted. It is widely anticipated that the sponsors of the Harkin/Brown bill will seek congressional passage of the remaining provisions of the proposed legislation in 1994, with the goal of having a new child labor law in place by the end of the year. According to their staff members, enactment of the “Child Labor Deterrence Act of 1993” is the top legislative priority in 1994 for both Senator Harkin and Representative Brown.
The Clinton Administration has yet to take a formal position on the Harkin/Brown bill. The agencies and departments that will be instrumental in formulating the Administration’s position include the Labor and State Departments as well as the U.S. Customs Service.
IV. The History of Carpet Production and Regulation of Child Labor in India,
Pakistan, and Nepal
The South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, and Nepal constitute the world’s largest and most important region producing handmade carpets. While estimates on the extent of child labor in the region’s carpet industry vary dramatically, each of the three countries has enacted legislation designed to curb the use of child labor outside of the traditional family structure.
Historian and carpet experts agree that children have played a role in the production of handmade carpets since the craft started some 2000 years ago. Following tradition in various parts of Asia, according to one author, “Girls learn to weave as soon as they are old enough to have the manual dexterity. Their first efforts are often made on a miniature toy loom.” Carpet weaving has generally remained over the years a supplementary occupation for agricultural workers and peasants many carpets continue to be woven on family looms with children typically working alongside adult family members, as they do in agriculture and other economic activities.
There are multiple reasons why children weave carpets. First, they learn a traditional craft that they in turn can teach their future children. Second, children are employed to supplement their families’ incomes, which in South Asia are among the world’s lowest. In the poor rural areas in which most weaving in India and Pakistan takes place, family economics often dictate that children work in addition to going to school — or, as is often the case, work instead of going to school, as schools as such simply do not exist. For the loom owner, the attraction of employing child labor is its relative abundance, although child weavers are generally regarded as less productive than their adult counterparts.
The nature of the employment of children in carpet production varies among the carpet producing countries of South Asia. In India, for instance, child weavers are almost exclusively boys, whereas girls predominate in both Pakistan and Nepal. In addition, children and adults alike in India and Pakistan weave in an unorganized, rural-based “cottage industry,” where it is rare for more than five looms to be located in one cottage or shed. In contrast, children in Nepal typically work in urban compounds with other family members.
Despite these differences, the carpet industries of India, Pakistan, and Nepal are similar in one key respect: estimates of the number of children working the looms, either legally or illegally, in each country, and their percentage of the workforce in the carpet sector, vary widely and strikingly. As this paper will show, these estimates cover such a wide range that almost all, if not all, must be viewed with considerable skepticism. However, child labor in all three countries can be broadly classified into three major categories:
1) “family child labor,” where children work alongside their parents or family on looms, learning a craft that they may in turn transfer to their own future children and families. This category of child labor is generally viewed as non-exploitative and essential to the economic well-being of the family
2) “hired child labor,” in which children work in their village or neighborhood for a loomowner other than a family member and
3) “bonded,” “migratory,” “forced,” or “slave labor,” where children are sold by their family of, in some cases, abducted to work away from their home or village. In many cases, parents of these children receive and advance payment from either a loomowner or his agent against the child’s future earnings.
Following are overviews of carpet weaving in each of the three South Asian carpet-producing countries and a description of how each regulates child labor, particularly “bonded” child labor.
Although hand-knotted carpets can be traced back more than 2000 years, they first appeared in India in the 15th century. The Mogul Emperor Akbar is widely credited for starting the Indian carpet industry in earnest in the 16th century when he brought Persian carpet weavers from Persia to India, where they established a royal workshop in his palace and produced carpets equal to those of their own country. After the fall of the Moguls and the rise of British India, carpet weaving declined until the end of the 19th century, when it was reorganized to meet the demands of the European market and large numbers of rugs were exported for the first time.
Relatively low-quality rugs continued to be exported until well after World War II. Efforts to improve the quality of Indian carpets resulted in a substantial increase in production and exports in the 1960’s. During this period of growth for the industry, children began to form a larger proportion of its workforce.
India, which exports over 90 per cent of its carpet production, by 1980 surpassed Iran as the single largest carpet exporter in the world. Its carpet exports in 1992-93 were valued at some $300 million. While India’s major market was traditionally the United Kingdom, which took nearly half of India’s carpet exports in the 1960’s, Germany and the United States are now India’s biggest customers. The United States currently imports roughly 40 per cent of India’s carpet exports.
Regulation of child labor
The Government of India’s efforts to curb child labor date to 1881, and the practice is either outlawed or circumscribed in a dozen pieces of legislation. Bonded child labor was addressed in the Children (Pledging of Labour) Act of 1933, in which the parent or guardian of a child was prohibited from receiving payment in return for a child’s work. The Employment of Children Act of 1938 listed carpet manufacturing as one of the processes in which children under the age of 14 were prohibited from employment. The Factories Act of 1948, which applies, inter alia, to establishments employing 20 or more workers without the aid of power, lays down age limits, hours of work, and conditions of work for children and other workers. The Act, however, is of limited usefulness as it applies only to duly registered undertakings. Subsequent to the Factories Act, Article 24 of the Indian Constitution prohibited employment of children under 14 years of age in factories, mines and certain other areas.
The most recent Indian legislation directed at child labor is the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986, which replaced the Employment of Children Act. The Act bans the employment of children under 14 in hazardous occupations, including carpet weaving. The 1986 Act specifically permits children under 14 to work in a family “workshop.” Under the Act, “family” in the context of a loomowner, for example, is defined as his/her wife or husband, his/her children, and his/her brother or sister. Press reports from July 1993 indicate that the Indian Labour Ministry is planning new child labor laws to close loopholes in existing laws, including the 1986 Act.
The Government of India’s efforts to combat child labor, which also include the creation in 1987 of a child labor division in the Ministry of Labour, are augmented by the work of international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and industry groups. Two ILO programs — the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and the Child Labour Action and Support Program (CLASP) — devote considerable attention and funds to the elimination of illegal child labor from carpet looms. Recent articles from Indian publications note that the ILO this year allocated $2.5 million to undertake 20 new projects to eliminate illegal child labor throughout India. The ILO programs are funded by Germany, India’s largest single carpet export market.
The South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS), set up the India-based Bonded Labour Liberation Front, is the primary Indian NGO focused on child labor issues. SAACS and a number of Indian carpet manufacturers are working together under the sponsorship of the Indo-German Export Promotion Programme (IGEP) in an attempt to devise a certification system whereby carpets manufactured without illegal child labor could be distinguished by means of a so-called “Rugmark” label.
As for the carpet exporters, the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) has formed a Joint Action Committee for Carpet without Child Labour. It has formulated and put into place a Code of Conduct that requires all loom owners from whom CEPC members purchase carpets to register and to give undertakings that they will not violate the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986.
Violation of the Code of Conduct results in termination of CEPC membership. The CEPC is also working on its own scheme whereby carpets made without illegal child labor might, if practical, be certified and identified.
Although it is impossible to quantify the magnitude of illegal child labor in India, the country’s overall child labor force — estimated at between 17 to 120 million, depending on the source — is undoubtedly the world’s largest. According to Indian Labour Ministry statistics cited by the U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights report, one out of four Indian children between the ages of 5 and 15 is working. In the carpet industry specifically, estimates run a huge gamut: as few as 40,000 and as many as one million children are employed , many of them legally under Indian law and ILO standards. The use of illegal bonded child labor in Indian carpet weaving has been estimated at anywhere between 3-13 per cent of the workforce.
Since Pakistan was part of India until 1947, its history of carpet weaving closely resembles India’s. Carpet weaving in what is now Pakistan, however, probably predated Akbar’s efforts to bring carpet artists and weavers from Persia. By then, nomadic weavers in the Sind and Baluchistan, in addition to carpet production in the Punjab, already flourished. Akbar’s contribution was to establish royal looms at Lahore, the current seat of Pakistan’s carpet business.
After partition, Pakistan’s carpet production took a different course from India’s. Its decline was reversed with heavy government support that included both subsidies and reorganization. Moslem weavers who had immigrated from India were joined by Turkoman weavers from the north in large weaving centers located in and around the cities of Lahore and Karachi. Pakistan’s carpet weaving was booming by the early 1960s and now accounts for export earnings in excess of $235 million per year. The Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCM&EA) estimates that 97 per cent of the country’s carpet production is exported.
Regulation of child labor
Child labor in Pakistan is limited by at least four separate statutes and Article 11 of the Constitution. The definition of what constitutes a child was most recently found in the Employment of Children Act, passed by the National Assembly in 1991, which stated that a child was “a person who has not completed his 14th year of age.” The Act also reiterated restrictions against the employment of children in hazardous industries but did not include tougher enforcement provisions.
The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1992 was the first law officially recognizing the existence of bonded labor, including that of children in Pakistan. It outlawed the bonded labor system, canceled all existing bonded debts, and forbade lawsuits for the recovery of existing bonded debts. Violations of the Act are punishable by a five year prison term and a $2000 fine.
As is the case in India, estimates of the number of children working on Pakistan’s carpet looms span a wide range. The PCM&EA estimates that a total of 1.5 million weavers are employed in Pakistan making handmade carpets, of which eight per cent — or 120,000 — are children. The PCM&EA further states that the major portion of the children employed as weavers in Pakistan work on family looms. Senator Harkin, in introducing his child labor bill in March 1993, cited a 1991 ILO estimate of 50,000 children working as bonded laborers in Pakistan’s carpet production. By contrast, another study reportedly concluded that about a million children are engaged in carpet weaving in Pakistan, although the study did not differentiate between those employed legally and illegally.
Yet another organization — the Pakistan Bonded Liberation Front — claims that the Government of Pakistan maintains 50,000 boys and girls aged 4-12 at state-run carpet weaving “factories” and that an additional 500,000 children are employed at privately owned carpet centers. Critics of this last organization point out that carpet production is a cottage industry in Pakistan, that no carpet “factories” exist in the usual sense of the word, and that looms are owned by private individuals, not the Government.
In order to tackle the problem of illegal child labor in Pakistan’s carpet production, the PCM&EA recently proposed that a Committee for Eradication of Child Labour be formed. Its membership would include the PCM&EA as well as NGOs, human rights organizations, and the Pakistani Government. The objective of the new organization would be to coordinate efforts to end all illegal and exploitative forms of child labor, especially in the carpet sector.
Nepal has historically never been considered even a minor rug producing country. Unlike the long tradition of carpet weaving in India and Pakistan, the Nepalese carpet industry did not exits until 1959, when an influx of Tibetan refugees started production of rugs that are largely faithful to traditional Tibetan designs.
There are three principal differences between carpet weaving in Nepal and elsewhere in South Asia: carpet design, knot count, and location of looms. Nepalese carpets mainly employ Tibetan designs — or, in some cases, contemporary designs Indian and Pakistani carpets primarily use designs of Persian origin. Weaving technique is totally different from that found in India and Pakistan, as there are usually 30-50 knots per square inch compared to 120-400 in a typical Indian or Pakistani carpet.
Further, carpet production in India and Pakistan is a cottage industry, with looms scattered over hundreds of thousands of miles in rural areas in contrast, the large majority of Nepalese looms are situated in urban compounds, where weaving “halls” are surrounded by family living quarters. The Nepalese weaving compounds today are fashioned after the original all-inclusive refugee camps, offering food, shelter, health maintenance, child care and schools.
The Nepalese carpet industry has expanded dramatically in recent years, with annual exports valued at approximately $175 million. The carpet industry is the country’s leading source of foreign exchange, accounting for 64 per cent of total export earnings. Almost all Nepalese carpet exports go to the European market U.S. imports currently stand at only about $4 million per year, according to the Carpet and Wool Development Board (CWDB), a parastatal organization.
Regulation of child labor
The Nepalese Constitution of 1990 established a minimum age of 16 for employment in industry and 14 in agriculture. It also stipulated that children shall not be employed in factories, mines, or similar hazardous work. In addition, a law specifically designed to protect the rights of children was passed by the Parliament in May 1992. Article 20 of the Constitution bans forced labor in any form.
As might be expected given the Indian and Pakistani cases, there is a wide range of estimates on the number of workers in the Nepalese carpet industry and the number of children employed in the sector. The CWDB places total direct employment in the carpet weaving sector at 100,000, including children it estimates that an additional 100,000 adults, but no children, work indirectly in carpet production — carding, spinning, dying, washing, etc. The Nepalese Government says that only about nine per cent, or 9,000, of the 100,000 direct laborers in the carpet industry are children. In comparison, Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) puts total employment in the carpet industry at 300,000, with children making up roughly half of this number.
Recognizing that it is part of Nepal’s “socio-economic reality,” CWIN’s is not now appealing to remove all children from the carpet industry. Rather, it asks for “social justice,” including equal pay for equal work, limitation of working hours, payment of minimum wages, no night work, and the basic right to education and health care. Most Nepalese carpet exporters agree with CWIN’s emphasis.
As in India, there is also a movement in Nepal for establishing a mechanism for certifying carpets produced without child labor. Participants from the Carpet Association, CWIN, the Nepal Children’s Organization, the ILO, UNICEF, the CWDB, and the Nepalese Government are expected to meet in early 1994 to discuss a certification process. Under the current plan, a non-profit company would be formed consisting of exporters, importers, an NGO, and a UN agency such as the ILO or UNICEF. If an exporter agreed to certification — which would be done on a voluntary basis — a service charge for certification would be levied on both the exporter and importer.
V. ORIA Comments and Suggestions on the Harkin/Brown Bill
The Harkin/Brown bill is not directed at either specific countries or specific industries. Rather, the certification requirement envisaged in the legislation would apply only to those countries, and industries within those countries, identified in the Department of Labor study to be completed by July 15, 1994. The Department of Labor study will rely heavily on reports from U.S. embassies and consulates, which have already supplied information (contained in the Department of State’s annual report to Congress on human rights) on the use of child labor — both legal and illegal — in Indian, Pakistani, and Nepalese carpet production. With this history, it is almost certain that the Department of Labor submission will cite the carpet industries in India, Pakistan, and Nepal as employing child labor. If the certification sections of the Harkin/Brown bill become law, U.S. importers of carpets made in these countries would be required to certify, under the threat of civil and criminal penalties, that they have taken “reasonable steps” to ensure that their imports were not produced with child labor.
Against this background, ORIA offers the following comments and suggestions on the Harkin/Brown draft legislation. ORIA hopes that its members have the opportunity to expand on these points during congressional hearings anticipated in 1994.
Point 1: ORIA applauds Senator Harkin, Representative Brown, and co-sponsors of their legislation for raising the profile — in South Asia, in the United States, and elsewhere of the global problem related to illegal child labor.
In spite of huge discrepancies in estimates of the number of children employed, in contravention of national laws, in the production of Indian, Pakistani, and Nepalese carpets, there is no doubt that the use of illegal child labor persists in these sectors and should be eradicated. ORIA agrees that the promotion of human rights should be a fundamental principle guiding American trade and diplomatic relations it further agrees that the Governments of South Asia for a variety of reasons, have not sufficiently addressed the use of illegal child labor in their societies and that greater efforts must be made in this regard.
Point 2: Because of the wide range of estimates of the number of children working illegally in the production of carpets, the United States should provide technical assistance and funding for the Governments of India, Pakistan, and Nepal to conduct national loom censuses and loom registration.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s publication, International Child Labor Problems (1993), describes succinctly the statistical problem in discussing child labor: “Although there is consensus that the problem of child labor is serious, widespread, and growing, there is also a paucity of detailed information about this problem.
The best source is the worker rights section of the Department of State’s Human Rights Report followed by the ILO’s Child Labor Report. But both reports are based on partial data, and even that is not consistent over time.”
As the range of child labor estimates contained in this paper indicates, there is no basic agreement on the scope of the problem. Child Labor is a highly emotional issue, and the frequent subject of hyperbole and misinformation. In ORIA’s view, all of the current statistics concerning child labor in South Asian carpet production must be regarded as suspect. On the other hand, if illegal child labor is to be addressed in an effective manner, the problem has to be defined in a rational, methodologically neutral manner. There has been no loom census in India for decades, and none ever in either Pakistan or Nepal. Loom registration has never occurred in any of the three countries. These steps are prerequisites for tackling illegal child labor in carpet producing areas such as the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where looms are spread over a 100,000 square mile radius.
It is ORIA’s firm view that the Department of Labor study currently underway, however well-intentioned, is unlikely because of budgetary and time constraints to define South Asia’s child labor problem with the needed precision. A better approach would be to enlist the services of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, which has worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development in a variety of countries with censuses and registration projects similar to those envisaged by ORIA. Alternatively, the United States should seek the help and resources of the World Bank and/or the Asian Development Bank to conduct national loom censuses and registration.
Point 3: In order to play a constructive role in the eradication of illegal child labor, the United States must identify and fund “positive alternatives” to the employment of children in carpet production and other industries.
As noted in various industry, NGO, and ILO documents, it is wholly unrealistic to expect that child labor can be eradicated by fiat and without alternatives in place. Any plan to end child labor in the production of carpets begs the question of what happens to the children if they are removed from the looms.
As others have suggested, these children are likely otherwise to drift back into work — either the same work, or if that is prevented, into some other kind of work that is possibly more dangerous — unless alternatives are presented. Tens of thousands of South Asian children are employed in the match and fireworks industries, stone quarries, brick kilns, mines, glass and lock industries. As the Harkin/Brown bill is currently written, it is possible that children now working on carpet looms may be forced to migrate into these organized, mostly urban industries, which are demonstrably more dangerous — but not covered by the Harkin/Brown bill since their production is not exported.
ORIA suggests that the single most important “positive alternative” to the use of illegal child labor is compulsory and universal education. While access to education is a “given” in the United States, it remains only a concept in many parts of South Asia. Contrary to the statement contained in the Harkin/Brown bill that “the employment of children…commonly deprives the children of the opportunity for basic education,” there is demonstrably no educational alternative for many children now working on looms in South Asia. In this regard, India and Pakistan, in addition to seven other highly populated developing countries, pledged in December 1993 at an international education summit in New Delhi to provide their children with universal education “‘by the year 2000 or at the earliest possible moment.” UNESCO and Unicef statistics released at the summit point out that net enrollment for primary schooling currently stands at only 29 per cent in Pakistan and 66 per cent in India similarly, only 59 per cent of these Pakistani children, and 61 per cent of these Indian children, reach the fourth year of schooling.
In this context, the Harkin/Brown bill should be amended, or separate legislation offered, to advance universal, compulsory education in countries where illegal child labor persists. As the ILO has noted, “education is the single most important means of drawing children away from the labor market.” In addition, because of the crucial financial role child workers play in many families, their parents must be offered economic opportunities to compensate for the loss of income that would result from their children’s school attendance.
Point 4: The U.S. Government, either directly or through a multilateral agency, should provide funding for stepped-up enforcement of national child labor laws already on the books. For their part, the Governments of India, Pakistan, and Nepal must make a commitment to better enforcement and toughen penalties for violations of child labor laws.
The ILO’s 1992 report on child labor provides an example of what can be achieved with strong legislation, a well-staffed inspectorate, and rigorous enforcement of child labor laws. The fine for illegal employment of children in Hong Kong is roughly $1300 regular inspections (250,000 alone in 1986) are carried out by 244 inspectors of the Women and Young Persons Division of the Hong Kong Labour Department. By contrast, the huge Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where 80 per cent of India’s carpets are produced, reportedly only employs 100 inspectors. As violators of India’s child labor laws are rarely prosecuted, the minimal amount of their potential fines — with the capacity in itself to act as a powerful deterrent — is irrelevant.
The Harkin/Brown bill must recognize the fact that India, Pakistan, and Nepal are among the world’s poorest countries. Each, however, is engaged in sweeping economic reform programs that promise faster national development and progress. Enforcement of social laws, however theoretically important, often remains under- or unfunded in all developing countries, including those of South Asia. Before the United States enacts de facto trade sanctions against already economically disadvantaged countries, it has the responsibility first to assist them to conform to a standard that has heretofore never been achieved.
Point 5: The United States should ratify the ILO Minimum Age Convention (No. 138) before enacting any child labor legislation — such as the Harkin/Brown bill — with extraterritorial effect.
In order to set an example for other countries, the U.S. Senate should immediately ratify this ILO convention. Ratifying the convention would send a strong signal to other countries such as India, Pakistan, and Nepal to do likewise for the United States not to ratify this important convention would appear hypocritical.
Point 6: To demonstrate its concern and to increase the likelihood that other countries will address the problem, the Harkin/Brown bill should require the U.S. Secretary of State to make a biennial “determination” as to whether individual countries are making progress in eradicating illegal child labor in sectors to be identified by the Department of Labor study. If progress is not made, imports of specified products from specified countries should be banned.
ORIA members unanimously believe that importer certification, as outlined in the Harkin/Brown bill, is unworkable and places an excessive, improper burden on U.S. industry.
Under the framework proposed by the Harkin/Brown bill, American carpet importers would likely be forced to certify, under the threat of civil and criminal penalties, that they had taken undefined and unspecified “reasonable steps” to ensure their carpet imports were not made with illegal child labor. Given the fact that most carpet looms are scattered over hundreds of thousands of miles in rural South Asia, enforcement of child labor laws is at best a herculean task for national authorities in India, Pakistan, and Nepal no matter what “reasonable steps” U.S. importers half way around the world might take, it would be imprudent, if not impossible, for them to “certify” that their South Asian suppliers did not employ child labor — and, since the U.S. carpet importers would be subject to prosecution, it would be legally and commercially risky as well. Similarly, given the different standards in South Asia concerning intellectual property generally and trademarks specifically, U.S. importers would have great difficulty in determining whether a “Rugmark” label was validly affixed to a South Asian carpet.
A realistic, viable alternative is a U.S. Executive Branch “determination” process similar to that contained in the Jackson- Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974. Under ORIA’s proposed framework, the Secretary of State — in consultation with the Secretary of Labor — would issue a finding every two years as to whether individual countries were making progress in addressing illegal child labor in industries identified by the Department of Labor study to be completed in July. The first “determination” would be made by the Secretary of State two years after the Department of Labor study is released, giving ample time for affected countries to take meaningful steps to combat their child labor problems. The prospect of a U.S. import ban of their products, as identified by the Department of Labor study, should provide a strong incentive for South Asian governments to accelerate their efforts to stamp out illegal child labor.
Point 7: The age limitation in the Harkin/Brown bill should be amended to reflect the ILO standard.
The Harkin/Brown bill aims to halt the employment of children under the age of 15. The Indian, Pakistani, and Nepalese laws prohibit the employment of children, at least in carpet manufacturing, under the ages of 14, 15, and 16, respectively. A uniform standard is essential for all countries.
In this regard, the ILO Minimum Age Convention (No. 138) of 1973 should be applied. The Convention fixes the minimum age for employment at not less than 15 years, but permits developing countries such as those of South Asia — “where there is an insufficiently developed economy and educational facilities” — to set a minimum age of 14. The age 14 standard would also accord with proposed amendments to U.S. child labor laws, which would ban employment — now legal — of migrant or seasonal workers under the age of 14.
Point 8: Similarly, the Harkin/Brown bill should be amended to differentiate more clearly between legal and illegal child labor and to permit children to work in family enterprises, including on looms, provided, where available, they also attend school.
As the Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers & Export Association has noted, “While family unit labour is unavoidable, hired child labour is deplorable, bonded child labour is both disgusting and inhuman, and efforts should be made to stamp it out.” As drafted, the Harkin/Brown bill makes no distinction between the three types of child labor. The primary target of the bill, and other effort to address the problem of child labor, should necessarily be bonded child labor the second most important target should be hired child labor.
By lumping family child labor into the same category, the Harkin/Brown bill ignores the economic necessity for and, in many cases, the desirability of, children working alongside their families further, this lack of distinction diminishes the possibility that the problem of bonded child labor will be attacked in a meaningful and effective way.