Cinderella Released there on the scene to meet and get first hand knowledge on the Dr. and the Free the Slaves Organization!
Kevin Bales is the kind of freedom fighter every country needs. He and the members of Free the Slaves work around the clock and the globe to set the captives free!
Dr. Bales and the Free the Slaves group is caring and concerned about the 27 million people who are in slavery in the world today. Members, of the 4th largest emancipation effort in history, risk their lives every day to free others from this global atrocity!
If you didn’t know you were on Seminole Community College’s campus you might have thought you were on the set at FOX News or CNN. On Friday, January 16th the monthly International Book Club, led by Dr. Laura Ross, hosted the world’s leading expert on modern slavery and author of Ending Slavery, Dr. Kevin Bales. Dr. Bales was in Central Florida speaking at the University of Central Florida and agreed to attend Seminole Community College’s International Book Club which is reviewing the book.
President Dr. E. Ann McGee, Dean of Students, technicians, cameras, students, teachers and faculty waited with expectation for the freedom fighter to arrive. Dr. Bales, introduced as the number one modern day abolitionist, quickly deferred to the many who are fighting on the side of freedom and against the atrocities happening globally. “The big O: The Oprah Magazine” describes that Bale’s book, “Tempers horror with hope by outlining local and global actions to liberate as many as 27 million people worldwide from their lacerating bonds.”
Upon Dr. Bales arrival you felt a strong presence of character, passion, and humbleness blanket the room full of attendees. A man on a mission, with laptop in hand, got busy, assisting set up his own PowerPoint presentation. A sudden sense of excitement and expectancy sprung forth as everyone waited, then 5…4…3…2… Dr. Laura Ross, head of the book club, opened the meeting which was being fed live to all the SCC campuses. She began the meeting with a brief welcome and then introduced Dr. John Bersia, Special Assistant to the President for Global Perspectives from the University of Central Florida who then introduced Dr. Kevin Bales, as the “leading abolitionist in the world.” Dr. Bales, accepted modestly and referred to the many in the anti-slavery movement. With a similar demeanor to the character actor who played William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace. Dr. Kevin Bales, obviously not acting, described to the group the horrors of slavery as well as the solutions. Dr. Bales, who has taken up the charge has participated in helping free thousands upon thousands of slaves earning him the title world’s leading expert on modern day
Dr. Bales educated the group on what slavery is and what it is not. He described slavery as a human being that is being controlled by violence or threat, working without payment, and being economically exploited. A slave can’t walk away from his/her life without making the choice he would rather starve than be a slave. Slavery only exists because of human greed. He explained why the supply and demand of slaves and human trafficking had risen so dramatically over the past 50 years. He explained, “It is due to wars, conflicts, globalization, global warming, but particularly, kleptocracies.” These are governments that extends the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) at the expense of the population.
The cost of the average slave has plummeted drastically. Shocking and sobering were the statistics Bales gave on the cost of slaves in the 18th century and now. Bales described, “In 1850 an average field hand slave cost $1,250 which would represent $40,000 in today’s U.S. dollar. Today you can buy a slave with as little as a promise to educate, feed and cloth a child to an average of around $90 U.S. dollars.”
Dr. Bales went on to describe why slavery continues to exist in such mass numbers (over 27 million) is because it is economically feasible. Another factor is because of the financial shifts happening worldwide. Bales predicts, “Slavery is right on the edge of our economy and is very close to being pushed over that edge into extinction.” The crux of the matter is he needs help pushing. Slavery could be abolished worldwide for about $4.50 per American. This equates to $10.8 billion to set-free, re-educate the existing 27 million and rising slaves in the world to become income producing individuals. “It would take about twenty years,” Bales said. His plan and passion are described in his books, Ending Slavery, and Disposable People.
Most slaves are born into slavery and know nothing else. At this point, Dr. Bales began to explain one of the biggest problems associated with freeing slaves is “botched emancipation.” This happens when a slave is “just let go” to fend for themselves. This happens all the time because the cost for a slave is so low, when one is injured or sick, and if he or she doesn’t die, they are just disposable and thrown away, “like Bic pens,” Bales said. “This is why making certain that once the slave is free, they can support themselves and their family is so important.” This is what he described happened at the end of the civil war in America where ex-slaves were seen walking the roads looking for family and had no place to go. Many had to return to a life of “free-will” slavery.
At the close of the meeting Dr. Bales answered three specific questions from this particular interviewer.
First, “In regards, to your books, and who you are, what emotion was the most difficult to contain while writing this book?” Secondly, “If you could get this book into the hands and heads of three people with the purpose to effect change, who would those three people be?” And, thirdly, “What about your mother? What kind of woman is your mother, to have raised a son who will obviously impact our world in such a powerful way?”
Bales said, “Wow! You ask some really difficult questions.” After a brief pause he started in with “First, let me respond to the question about my mother.” Bales smiles and says, “I think she is surprised, my mother is surprised. She is 87, lives alone, has all her faculties about her and she is definitely surprised at what I’ve become involved in. I don’t think she expected it.” Bales face softens tenderly as he continues, “She’s also a woman of faith and she’s worked hard her entire life, very hard. She’s seen difficult times. She comes from a family who had to work the land hard and they didn’t give up.
She’s an Okee.” His countenance displayed his obvious love, warmth and compassion towards his mother. For a brief moment it appeared as if he was thinking of her, eyes glistening, he continues to speak about her life, hardships, family and it appeared as if the picture changed from his mother, to freedom, he paints a picture by saying, “If you’ve seen the picture of the Grapes of Wrath and the family traveling, the girl, in the family, that’s her.
She came from a family that had to work hard with their hands. You do the right thing regardless of the costs, even if you have to work hard, for not very much.”
Bales answered the question about three influential readers who could effect change with the response, “Bono, of course!” The audience immediately agreed. “President Clinton has been carrying my book and talking about it in interviews, and I’m hoping Hillary has read the book. I don’t know if President elect Obama has read it, but of course he would be a key person. But most likely the person will be an unknown, someone you’ve never heard of that will read the book and it will spark a flame in them to run with the movement and help carry the torch to slavery’s end.”
The third question Dr. Bales answered me, was which emotion was most difficult to contain while writing his book. He said, “Freeing the slaves in Nepal. We (the movement) changed the laws which freed twenty to forty thousand slaves, but it was a botched emancipation. Bales felt there wasn’t the support system needed equipped to handle educating, housing and feeding this many people. “It was an overwhelming release and victory, yet, he said, He felt partly responsible that it wasn’t all they had hoped for.” The emancipation didn’t contain all the elements needed to properly equip the freed slaves.
In closing, Bales autographed his book and the man himself leaves you with the fire and passion that spawns a strong sense of desire and hope that as an individual you can do something about this issue. It made this interviewer want to shout, scream and be a part in what he described as, “the fourth greatest abolitionist movement in history!”
Anyone who wants to know more about this organization and how they can jump on board the freedom train can go to http://www.freetheslaves.net.