Trading

by fortytwo6x7

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Summoning all his willpower

he stood proud and erect

impervious to the midday sun

 

He had not been beaten in three weeks

or fed in three days

while he knew these facts

benefited his owner

Ibrahim also understood

they benefited him

 

Being brought to market

undamaged

and bereft of body fat

would accentuate his muscle mass

and therefore increase his value

 

Fighting delirium

Ibrahim looked each bidder in the eye

dreaming of his village in Sudan

knowing returning was impossible

and hoping

that paying a high price

would convince his owner, to take good care

of their property

 

He searched for compassion

in the eyes of the bidders

realising anyone

that could buy a person

the way they bought horse

could not understand compassion

 

In his peripheral mind

Ibrahim realised he had been sold

for two hundred and thirty dollars

the highest price that day

perhaps

the gods had been good to him

perhaps

his new owner had compassion

 

The only certainty in Ibrahim’s life

was that tomorrow would be hard

so when his body felt the heat

of the metal flatbed truck

he allowed it to collapse

and rest

 

Somewhere

in the recesses of his mind

Ibrahim saw television screens

he saw

the rightful indignation

of people screaming

about Africans ,being sold into slavery

in a bygone age

as he drifted into unconsciousness

he wondered

why those voices

ignore the slaves of today

 

Author Notes

In 2018 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa heading to Europe face many dangers as they embark on their journey to the west. However the most ominous, and long lasting of those, is becoming entwined in Libya’s blossoming slave trade.

The same mainstream media and pressure groups that demands white people make recompense, for slaves they never owned, are ignoring the slaves of today, because their owners are beyond criticism. This shows us their concern is not about the horrific practice of slavery, but in casting a blanket of shame on white western people and removing their voice from the debate. In effect they are utilising the suffering of people from the past in a most callus and denigrating way.  Anyone thinks this is progress, they need to re-evaluate their thought process.

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