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Arnold Ahlert / October 21, 2019

Calling America Racist While Ignoring Chinese Slavery

LeBron James and other “useful idiots” could use a lesson on the ChiComs.

“In the NFL, they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality. And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the f—k I tell y'all to do. Or we get rid of y'all.’” —LeBron James, December 2018

Like so many American leftists, LeBron James is quite comfortable with the idea that America is an inherently racist country that must forever atone for its legacy of slavery. Most of the Democrat presidential candidates take it one step further and support reparations for slavery, as in the idea that those who never participated in the practice should compensate those who never experienced it.

Yet if there is any lasting legacy of racism going forward, the lion’s share of it is owned by the Democrat Party. That history includes ties to Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as 20 Democrat platforms that either supported segregation outright or were silent on the subject from 1868 through 1948. It also includes opposition to the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, banning slavery, guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves, and granting black Americans the right to vote, respectively. All of this is historically undeniable.

Even more undeniable? The reality that slavery was abolished 154 years ago.

In America. What about China? According to the Global Slavery Index, as many as 3.8 million people there live in slave-like conditions. Moreover, the website adds, forced-labor conditions “have been documented in electronics factories supplying major brands such as Apple, Acer, HP, and Sony, among many others.”

What other companies use slave or forced labor? A $3 trillion apparel and footwear industry that employs an estimated 60 million to 75 million people who are paid very little — or nothing at all. A 2018 report produced by the nonprofit KnowTheChain offers details: “Workers have been found to be at risk of forced labor in the picking of cotton, harvesting of rubber, on cattle ranches used for the production of leather, in the farming of silk cocoons, the spinning of yarn, and in the manufacturing of apparel and footwear.”

Until it ostensibly cleaned up its act in 1998, Nike reportedly used sweatshops and child labor to make its footwear. Unfortunately, an August 2017 article published by the Quartz website stated that “Nike’s sweatshop problem is threatening a comeback,” including claims that “workers at a Nike contract factory in Hansae, Vietnam, suffered wage theft and verbal abuse, and labored for hours in temperatures well over the legal limit of 90 degrees, to the point that they would collapse at their sewing machines.”

In 2016, LeBron James’s business partner, Maverick Carter, implied that James’s 2015 deal with Nike was in excess of $1 billion — easily surpassing the 10-year, $300 million deal fellow NBA player Kevin Durant signed with Nike in 2014. Ironically, James began wearing Nike sneakers with the word “equality” stitched on the heel during 2017-2018 NBA season as a protest — against the policies of American President Donald Trump.

Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis wasn’t buying it. “LeBron James is selling a tennis shoe with equality written on the back of it, which is made by slave labor overseas,” he noted. “The irony of this decision is mind-blowing.”

Not really. Leftists’ one-sided obsession with reparations and slavery is much like their one-sided obsession with global warming: focus their rage at an America leading the world in greenhouse-gas reductions, while giving China, a.k.a. the world’s largest polluter, a pass.

Despite such overt hypocrisy, reality intrudes. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection accuses Hetian Taida Apparel Co. in China’s Xinjiang province of using forced or prison labor, and last month the agency banned U.S. imports of the company’s garments,” Wall Street Journal columnists Jianli Yang and Lianchao Han report. “It’s a first step, but the U.S. should go much further. China, the world’s largest cotton producer, has built the world’s largest prison system to provide the labor needed to sustain cotton production.”

Jainli and Liancho also reveal that China has “the most expansive and intrusive surveillance system in the world in Xinjiang, making the province essentially an open-air prison.” And when the communist government fully employs the Social Credit Rating system it will forcibly impose on its people beginning next year?

Last May, Trump administration Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver accused Beijing of putting more than a million minority Muslims in “concentration camps” the Chinese describe as vocational education training centers. Sayragul Sauytbay, a teacher who escaped from China and was granted asylum in Sweden, offers a firsthand account of those “education centers.” “Twenty prisoners live in one small room,” she reveals. “They are handcuffed, their heads shaved, every move is monitored by ceiling cameras. A bucket in the corner of the room is their toilet. The daily routine begins at 6 A.M. They are learning Chinese, memorizing propaganda songs and confessing to invented sins. They range in age from teenagers to elderly. Their meals are meager: cloudy soup and a slice of bread.”

Nonetheless, when LeBron was venting his anger at NFL “slave owners,” he offered nothing but praise for NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “He doesn’t mind us having … a real feeling and to be able to express that.”

When it really counted, Silver himself was not so expressive. “It is inevitable that people around the world — including from America and China — will have different viewpoints over different issues,” Silver cravenly stated in response China’s reaction to Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s support for Hong Kong protesters. “It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.”

Yet some adjudication is “more equal” than others: the same NBA moved its All-Star game out of North Carolina in response to what the league described as North Carolina’s H2 “anti-LGBT” bill because it required schools and public facilities containing single-gender bathrooms to only allow people of the corresponding birth-certificate sex to use them. In a statement, the league bemoaned the “climate created by HB2.”

The “climate” created by a communist government that relegates millions to a life of slave labor? Full speed ahead.

The Tariff Act of 1930, a.k.a. the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, barred the importation of all good produced by “convict labor or forced labor.” In 2016, a Republican-controlled Congress ostensibly closed a loophole in that bill that allowed companies to import goods derived from slavery if domestic production couldn’t meet demand for those goods.

Yet somehow, America still managed to reach a record-setting $419 billion trade deficit in 2018 with the world’s leading slave state.

“The last thing the NBA, Disney, Apple, Nike and the rest of the ‘megas’ want is competition,” explains columnist Daniel Greenfield. “What they want is a walled garden tended by a kindly Zen-Communist tyrant who will give them a virgin territory in exchange for a huge slice of the pie to be shared with local political partners.”

And useful idiots in America, who never miss a chance to denigrate their own nation, will be with them — every sneaker-clad step of the way.

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