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raceAhead: The Libyan Slave Trade Must End, May Admonishes Trump, The Nazi Next Door Gets Fired

November 30, 2017, 4:18 PM UTC

There is an active slave trade happening in Libya, right now. The reports and images are absolutely shocking.

Fortune’s Grace Donnelly has put together an essential explainer, which will get you up to speed. It’s a complicated story, and at a time when the news feels uniformly shocking, has not gotten the attention it deserves.

The situation is a deadly confluence of factors, complicated by Libya’s fractured government and a steady influx of migrants coming in from Nigeria. From her story:

Recently, with help from Italy, the Libyan coast guard has been capturing vessels smuggling people into Europe. It’s estimated that between 400,000 and 1 million migrants may now be trapped in Libya, where the vulnerable population is preyed upon by smugglers and other criminal elements who rob, rape, and murder them.

“We cannot even guess the scale of the abuses inflicted on migrants in all these hidden places, untouched by the rule of law,” U.N. human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Huseein said in a September statement. “The situation of migrants crossing Libya was appalling during Gaddafi’s era, but it has become diabolical since.”

While there are some celebrity voices raising funds and awareness, most remedies will necessarily involve political action, donations to aid agencies or direct lobbying. Click through for Fortune’s vetted list and suggestions.

The issue is staggering. Some 40 million people are currently enslaved worldwide. By way of benchmark, that is more than one and a half times the total number of people who are employed by Fortune 500 companies.

Speaking of which, Donnelly mentions some ways that corporations can begin to think more strategically about the way they may be inadvertently supporting the slave trade:

It’s been reported that Facebook, for instance, was reportedly used by smugglers to broadcast videos of migrants held against their will. There’s another side to that coin: People wanting to help can seek out companies that combat slave labor in the supply chain.

Is this on your organization’s radar? Be sure to let us know.

On Point

UK Prime Minister Theresa May publicly admonishes President Trump for his retweets of anti-Muslim hate group materialThe President was “wrong” to retweet propaganda from British First, May said in a rare public rebuke. “Britain First is a hateful organisation. It seeks to spread mistrust and division in our communities,” she said. Members of Parliament held nothing back, with various MPs calling Trump "racist," "fascist," and "evil." And now May is under pressure to cancel a planned state visit by the president. Trump fired back with tough talk of his own: ".@theresa_may, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!" The exchange is being described as a new low in U.S./U.K. relations.CNN

The Nazi next door got fired, crowdfunds rent money
Tony Hovater, the white nationalist profiled by The New York Times, has evidently been fired from his welding job after people who read the story called his employer and complained. I flag this for you not to gloat, but to draw your attention to a new crowdfunding site used to support white nationalist causes called GoyFundMe. It’s an anti-Semitic spin on GoFundMe, which along with other mainstream platforms, has banned similar hate groups. Click through for more about the site, which is maintained by a leader with the Traditional Worker Party. At press time, Hovater had well exceeded his modest $1,000 goal and is planning on relocating.

Russian online ads targeting Baltimore may have been a dry run for larger-scale electoral interference
It was a lot of activity for a small, politically inconsequential state. But of the 3,000 Russian-linked ads Facebook turned over to Congress this fall, more than 250 were aimed at Maryland, and specifically designed to stoke division and fear after the Baltimore riots in 2015. “Russians needed practice,” said James Andrew Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “[T]hey had to learn how to pull the levers of an American audience.”
The Baltimore Sun

The real-live Mulan has been cast
The year-long search for the perfect human performer to play Mulan in the live-action version of the Disney adaptation is over. The company has selected Chinese actor Liu Yifei, who also goes by Crystal Liu. Liu is known as "Fairy Sister" in China, lauded for her pure image, winsome good looks and general affability. While I don’t know what she’s known as in Queens, N.Y., where she spent much of her childhood, her English fluency has earned her roles in American films before. Click though for all her bona fides. Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country, and The Zookeeper’s Wife) is set to direct.
Hollywood Reporter

The Woke Leader

A 30-year-old suicide is ruled a hate crime in Australia
Let the healing begin. Thirty years ago, American Scott Johnson’s body was found at the bottom of a cliff in Sydney, Australia, and ruled a suicide. Yesterday, the case was re-ruled a hate crime, based on new evidence that gangs had been targeting and attacking gay men in that location — very literally driving them off cliffs during the 1980s and 1990s. Johnson is just one of many: In 2013, the New South Wales Police opened an investigation into 88 suspicious deaths between 1976 and 2000, seeking to determine whether hate crimes had been committed. No arrests have been made in Johnson’s case, but the investigations come at a historic time, as Australian voters recently voted decisively to support same-sex marriage.
New York Times

The racist reason there are so few midwives in the U.S.
In the U.K. and parts of Europe, midwives are responsible for up to three-quarters of deliveries, and have consistently better outcomes than doctor-led deliveries, which account for some 90% of births in the U.S. Why don’t Americans call the midwife more often? A century-long concerted campaign to medicalize birth was driven, in part, by money. Doctors and hospitals saw birthing services as a reliable source of revenue. But Quartz’s Annalisa Merelli throws in an interesting twist: Race. The medical field’s “expansion into childbirth was especially effective, partly because the midwives who were, until then, running childbirth were overwhelmingly African American and Native American,” easy targets for derision during Jim Crow times.

A new digital archive of Japanese prints is a treasure trove of history and art
Feel free to while away some hours perusing this extraordinary digital archive of 223,128 Japanese “ukiyo-e” woodblock prints dating back to the early 1700s. The ukiyo-e tradition is famous for the depiction of enticing courtesans, kabuki actors, and dramatic scenes and landscapes. The prints became known in the late seventeenth century as “Edo pictures,” as tourists flocked to Edo in Japan to collect them. New printing technology in 1765 brought about the “golden age of printmaking,” and the images are resplendent. Enjoy. Nerd note: Even if you’re not interested in the history, the search function is fun to play with – you can search by image to find similar themes across multiple collections.  
Open Culture


The realistic story around a Negro insurance official, dentist, general practitioner, undertaker and the like would be the most revealing. Thinly disguised fiction around the well known Negro names is not the answer either. The “exceptional” as well as the Ol’ Man Rivers has been exploited out of context already. Everybody is already resigned to the “exceptional” Negro, and willing to be entertained by the “quaint.” To grasp the penetration of Western Civilization in a minority, it is necessary to know how the average behaves and lives. Books that deal with people like in Sinclair Lewis’ "Main Street" is the necessary métier. For various reasons, the average, struggling, nonmorbid Negro is the best kept secret in America. His revelation to the public is the thing needed to do away with that feeling of difference that inspires fear, and which ever expresses itself as dislike.
Zora Neale Hurston