Much hullabaloo has been made recently about slavery as entertainment in movies like “Django Unchained.” But lost in the discussion is slavery as history. Though sadistic and macabre, the plain truth is that slavery was an unprecedented economic juggernaut whose impact is still lived by each of us daily. Here’s my top-10 list of things everyone should know about the economic roots of slavery.
“If you want to help Haiti, let’s start by telling the truth, OK? The truth is that on April 7, 2003, President Aristide, a democratically elected president on the side of the poor, called together a Restitution Commission which determined that France owed Haiti $21 billion. And within weeks, France and the United States told Aristide it was time for him to go. Step aside, step down, resign or be killed."
On a recent visit we learned that Cuba has been raising its fruits and vegetables organically for more than 15 years, using worm and vegetable compost and integrated and natural pest management to raise crops for its people. In the process they have decentralized agricultural production, tripled farmers’ average income, built stronger communities and shown the way to living well after the end of cheap oil.