Blinding America From the Truth: The Horrendous Reality Behind the Slave Trade in Libya

Makayla Riley, Writer

Recent footage by CNN shows Africans being sold in a small rural town of Libya. In the video, it shows the auctioneer yelling out prices up to $500 for each person. The atmosphere was outlandish and filled with malicious intentions met among the buyers in their hopes of owning a human being. Watching from my computer tension arose inside me, shocked and frustrated to know that something so cruel, so dehumanizing, was still taking effect on this Earth.


This is heartbreaking and makes me upset to know that slavery is still happening in the 21st-century. It really explains just how much most Americans know about the world outside their own. I was completely clueless to this catastrophic event, and so were my family and friends. It is even more upsetting to not hear enough coverage of this livid situation on the news. What if this was happening months or years before and we did not even know about it? This is not freedom, this is not moral, this is not just, and it needs to stop, now.


Many reports blame Hillary Clinton under Obama’s administration for this tragedy after her plan to overthrow former Prime Minister of Libya Muammar Gaddafi. The reason for his dethrone was so that he would not use his weapons for mass destruction, but even though during Bush’s administration they had already settled this situation and were able to communicate peacefully. USA Today reporters claim this led to such consequences of Libya’s chaotic downfall with numerous homeless and without jobs, forcing many to flee to Europe for safety and opportunity.


Africa has been suffering for years under oppression and enforcement of slavery since the 18th century. Europeans had ravaged the country and the people, physically and mentally, for their own selfish needs. The slave trade is one of these situations, and it is mortifying to know that slavery is again becoming a problem right in front of the people’s eyes.


The African migrants that sacrifice their lives to find opportunity in Europe come from all over sub-Saharan Africa. These migrants will travel from their homes to Libya, where there they can go to the coast of Tripoli, and off into the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in search for a better life. But oftentimes this is not the case, and the trips they choose to take can be rather dangerous and risky.


In a story by BBC News on a former slave, Hared Ahmed, 27, they revealed that he traveled from his hometown in the the city of Agarfa, Ethiopia, and was driven by smugglers to his destination. The cars they rode in, he mentions, were cramped and frequently stopped by a group of people. It was then that they were once stopped and kidnapped, later taking Ahmed and others to a camp.


Here, they had the option to leave if they had $4,000 or forced to stay if they did not. Ahmed stated that he lied just to leave, and from there it turned out to be hell.


The people that had bought them for $4,000 expected the money to be paid back in return, or they would suffer the consequences. The physical and mental abuse continued on for several months, and fortunately with the help of his family sending money Hared was able to go to Germany where reports say he is doing better. Still, the torture that he, and many other migrants received just so they can live a better life, is unparalleled to any refugee expedition that I know of.


Every human life is valuable and should be respected as so. No one should have to go under the treatment of being physically abused or forced to drink water mixed with hot petroleum, or feel that their life is worthless. Slavery is a degrading institution to human life; it was in the early years of America, and it will always be.


Being a leader in the most difficult times allows people to look up to you as a role model and take the same footsteps. We must make this a worldwide mission to put a stop to this horrid event, and it starts with America.