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Libyan Slave Trade: 4 Things You Need To Know

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Background I’m sure by now we’ve all heard the news and saw the horrifying images of the Libyan Slave Trade? That’s right; even though it’s 2017 (almost 2018) there is still slavery. From sex trafficking of both adults and children to selling African refugees and migrants just outside of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, underground slave trading networks are prevalent in this world. But how did this happen? What series of events led to this? A horrible outcome usually stems from one bad mistake. But what was that mistake and who is to blame? More importantly, what can we do to stop this malicious display of power? Here is a list of things you need to know about the Libyan Slave Trade.

1. CNNi

In early November, CNNi published an article exposing the slave trade in Libya. CNNi journalists obtained footage of African men being auctioned off for as little as $400.00. Reminiscent of American slavery, the African refugees were referred to as “Big strong boys” who were built for farm work; we are still treated as property and mere commodities by those who can benefit off of Black labor.

2.  Trump’s Response

Not too long after CNN published the news about the slave trade, Trump chimed in claiming that certain news outlets — namely CNN — publish fake news. CNN does have a reputation for reporting portions of information that then lead to the reveal of bigger stories. However, just after the journalists obtained the footage of the slave auctioned, they witnessed an auction taking place just outside of Tripoli. We can’t believe everything we see and hear but until there’s evidence disproving the slave trade, we must believe it.

3.Obama On Lybian Slave Trade

Former President Barack Obama has taken partial blame for the slave trade stating that after the U.S. intervened and overthrew Gaddafi, the opportunity for this slave trade arose. Obama does not apologize for overthrowing Gaddafi but he does apologize for the U.S. government’s lack of preparedness for what followed. Gaddafi may have been overthrown during the Obama administration, but he did not enslave the African refugees. In fact, based on pictorial evidence, it appears to be Libyan soldiers enforcing the trades.

4. Clinton’s Response

Although former President Obama is not to blame, the fact that he apologized is immensely commendable. We should never expect an apology from Trump because he is who he is, but what about former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton? As someone who supported the U.S.’s intervention in Libya, people awaited a cognate response from her. When asked about the slave trade in Libya, however, Clinton merely skirts around the issue with statements like, “We came, we saw, he died.” Seems a little indifferent.

Moving Forward

Now that you know what’s going on in Libya, what can you do? The best thing that I think any of us can do is, keep the conversation surrounding this topic ongoing. We need to put pressure on government officials so that they will pay attention to these modern-day slave trade networks. Don’t sit idly by. Do Something, Say Something, Share Something!
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