A Message from AASG President, Charles Jacobs

charlesjacobsDear friends,

You know us-American Anti-Slavery Group -as the small, feisty set of abolitionists who broke the stunning story that modern day human bondage thrives around the globe.. You know us as the people who helped free slaves in Sudan and America. You know as those who helped former slaves educate tens of thousands about slavery. And you know us as the folks who successfully helped press the US government to stop the genocide and slave raids in South Sudan.

You’ve not heard from us for awhile. We’ve been writing, thinking and planning. This message marks the re-launching of AASG -- with an enhanced and transformed mission.

What we learned about the fight to emancipate modern day slaves:

After two decades with some rather stunning successes, we took time to step back to evaluate our experience fighting to abolish slavery. Here’s what we learned: A major flaw in the human rights community needs to be addressed.

The history of the modern day abolitionist effort is a history of small, dedicated passionate groups of people, fighting slavers and slaving nations – while the large, well funded human rights organizations sat on the sidelines, or in the case of Sudan, actually hindered our work.

I spent more than a decade unraveling why this was the case: how could the very people who led the fight against apartheid in South Africa turn their heads away from the plight of black slaves in North Africa who suffered much worse oppression?

The short answer is what I have called, the human rights complex.” Briefly:  Western rights groups consist mainly of decent white people who are motivated to fight evil committed by people who are like themselves. The vast majority of slave-owners are non-white. If human rights organizations are embarrassed to point out, much less fight hard against awful behavior by non-whites, they cannot be counted upon to be an important force in a movement to abolish slaves around the world.

Any effort to free the some 27 million people who are today in bondage, without addressing this human rights flaw, is destined to remain relatively small, no matter how heroic.

Alternatively, helping human rights community to overcome this narcissistic viewpoint will exponentially add to the forces of emancipation.

For this reason, in addition to fighting slavery, AASG will work on building a human rights community, one which treats the suffering of all humans equally, and not one that uses “human rights” to clear consciences.

Here in brief is our agenda:

  1. I am publishing a book on AASG, which includes an analysis of the failure of the establishment human rights organizations to come to the aid of the world’s slaves. This should stoke a much-needed conversation.
  2. Continue, as before, to free slaves when we can. We are as always working with Christian Solidarity International (CSI), contributing to and participating in their program of redeeming slaves in Sudan.
  3. Continue to update our members and the public on the general plight of slaves around the world. (We’ve published widely, for example in the Encyclopedia Britannica, on this topic in the past, and will continue to do so.)
  4. Build a Sudan Slavery Archive, to create a historical record – a virtual museum – of the many victims of slavery in Sudan.
  5. Build a new human rights community guided by one standard for human rights, thought publication, debate and linking to other groups whose mission focuses on helping those oppressed by non-Westerners.

We will continue to have our speakers bureau and our newsletters and we will continue to take on – frontally, as before – slavers, their apologists and their Western enablers.

And as before, we count on you, our supporters, to sustain our work. As you know, your contributions are tax-deductible.

In Freedom,

Charles Jacobs

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