Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Time

I have to admit I didn't really feel the ending of the 1996 Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson courtroom drama hit, A Time to Kill. Probably because it was aimed at a an audience that put blacks just marginally above farm animals (or maybe not, as I don't think white farmers take too kindly to their animals being abused and slaughtered just for lack of something to do on a Sunday afternoon).

Or maybe we were supposed to somehow be able to see through the eyes of bigots. I'm referring to the final line of Matthiew's closing statement, where he asks the audience, their eyes closed, to imagine the victim was a young black girl instead of a young white girl.

I remember thinking - THAT'S your big ending??? Are you kidding me???

It's hard to imagine that for some people, in some places, they need to actually be instructed to treat certain classes of human beings as, well... human beings.

It was that scene in A Time to Kill that popped up in my mind when I happened upon this article today.

To summarize, we've now officially started using the "surplus" brown people of the developing world as human guinea pigs in the interest of "free trade" and globalization.

Before you slap a Communist sticker on my forehead, I believe in free trade as much as the next internationally-distributed author out there (I've lived and worked all over the place, I hold a Canadian citizenship, my readership is mainly American...) but I also hold dear the belief that free trade actually needs to be free, and not in the if-poor-people-don't-care-if-their-kids-get-killed-then-who-am-I-to-stop-them sense. We, as the holders of money (ie: power) in this transaction dictate the term of the trade.

And this is how we've chosen to conduct business. By saving little bunny rabbits from experimentation, but not little brown babies.

Let's dust off Matthew's line, shall we?

Imagine a bunch of little babies, crammed together in an orphanage. Imagine unspeakable, sci-fi like experiments done on them. Imagine these teeny tiny one-year-olds are being given adult doses of an experimental blood pressure medication. Imagine some die as a result, probably horrifically, but they're babies so they can't tell us anything, and free trade agreements only guarantee the free flow of money, not information, so we'll never know the reasons or circumstances of their deaths.

Now imagine these babies were American.

1 comment:

Marilyn Brant said...

I just read the article, Nadine. This is beyond horrifying... Thanks for bringing it to our attention.