Eugene Cho

“all i need” by radiohead

Check out this music video for “All I Need” by Radiohead.  Haunting and compelling as it highlights exploitation and trafficking.  And before some of you freak out, I am not insituating that the global economy is about slavery.  Of course not.  But, it’s possible to make a case for a level of exploitation.   Exploitation and enablement/empowerment looks different, no?.

“All I Need”, quite possibly the sexiest song Radiohead has ever written, just became a hell of a lot less sexy…and a lot more important. For the video for the In Rainbows standout, Radiohead has partnered with MTV’s EXIT (end exploitation and trafficking) campaign to create a clip that raises awareness of issues of forced labor and abuse around the world. [read article]

And if you think human slavery and trafficking is an afterthought, you’re dead wrong.  This is one of the informative articles about the grave situation of human trafficking and slavery [LA Times].

Many people are surprised to learn that there are still slaves. Many imagined that slavery died along with the 360,000 Union soldiers whose blood fertilized the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment. Many thought that slavery was brought to an end around the world when most countries outlawed it in the 19th century.

But, in fact, there are more slaves today than at any point in history. Although a precise census is impossible, as most masters keep their slaves hidden, baseline estimates from United Nations and other international researchers range from 12 million to 27 million slaves worldwide. The U.S. State Department estimates that from 600,000 to 800,000 people — primarily women and children — are trafficked across national borders each year, and that doesn’t count the millions of slaves who are held in bondage within their own countries. [read full article]

And these folks are all doing substantive work in the area [h/t charles lee]:

  • Free the Slaves (Free the Slaves liberates slaves around the world, helps them rebuild their lives and researches real world solutions to eradicate slavery forever.)
  • International Justice Mission (Legal Advocates for Justice Around the World)
  • JustOne (Foundation for Relief & Development on Issues of Poverty, Orphans, and Human Trafficking)
  • Stop the Traffik (Abolitionists Coalition of Over 900 Organizations)
  • Not For Sale – Campaign to End Slavery
  • Love 146 – Love146 works toward the abolition of child sex trafficking and exploitation through aftercare, prevention and advocacy.

Filed under: entertainment, , , ,

17 Responses

  1. Deborah says:

    I love Radiohead! This is an incredible video. Can’t stop watching it actually.

  2. dreamxchaser says:

    radio head is awesome. but the fact that there is still salves…thats just disturbing.

  3. Kim says:

    I’m just in tears right now.

  4. Eugene,

    You’ve been tagged.

    Grace and Peace.

  5. Kacie says:

    I clicked on the link nonchalantly, ready to watch an intentionally heart tugging video. It hit home when the woman was speaking Indo-Malay that I can understand. Just that much closer to home for me.

  6. Jeff Lam says:

    i’m very conflicted over the issue of sweatshop labor because — let’s face it — the vast majority of everything i own is linked to the exploitation exposed in that video. i can’t get dressed in the morning or but a pair of decent tennis shoes without contributing to the problem.

    but then… there’s jeffrey sachs (the end of poverty) and nicholas kristoff (uber liberal at the ny times) telling me that sweatshops are the key to jumpstarting economic growth in poor countries. so does that mean i should, or shouldn’t buy nikes?

  7. […] and Human Trafficking 14 05 2008 I just read a great blog entry by Eugene Cho about Radiohead’s new video (”All I Need”), in collaboration with MTV’s […]

  8. charlestlee says:

    thanks eugene for writing this entry!

    orgs like us ( really appreciate people like you who take time to communicate the reality of such social injustices.

    thanks friend.

  9. katie says:

    i was listening to this cd on the way into work today…
    i’m always happy when folks use their celebrity for good/change…in a strange way, it gives me hope.

    slavery is very much still alive in all parts of the world. even the US. 12,000 people a year trafficked into the states. scary. enraging.

    i just went to a conference on the global slave trade in April at Multnomah Bible College (through New Wine, New Wineskins), which opened my eyes further to the atrocities going on in the world today and the best ways to help.

    Check out:
    Shared Hope International (
    The Daywalka Foundation (
    Transitions Cambodia, Inc (

  10. Melanie says:


    I think I’ll stick it on my blog. Thanks for sharing.

  11. o1hc says:

    this is a powerful video. i’ve never been much a radiohead fan, merely because i just never found myself that much interested in their music. this video has definitely made me a fan.

    on topic: it’s heartfelt to see those who advocate for social justice, especially those who are in the spotlight like famous celebs or artist, they give many of us a voice in a world that seems like no one is listening.


  12. aaron says:

    Thanks for posting this!

    This video sure makes me think. It is so hard to know what products to buy… what is good for our brothers and sisters across the globe and what is good for our environment.

    Along similar lines I recommend the Flobots… sort of an interesting mix of hip hop/ rock/ violin. Anyways, they have a couple of songs about injustice… “Rise” and “Stand Up” are good songs. The intro to their most recent CD is good too, titled “There’s A War Going On For Your Mind.” I could not find an official music video of either on YouTube.

  13. spinachflame says:

    You’ve got to love Radiohead. I really like the tracking shot in one of the first sequences where you’ve got the people who awake to a living prison in one shot and there’s a depiction of a cartoon character in a cartoon jail cell in the affluent person’s house. Totally awesome juxtaposition! Says volumes about the level of awareness in the affluent community about those folks who their wealth crushes.

    New cartoons here:

  14. […] campaign.  The cost of what we consume goes a little deeper than amount of money we pay.  Visit Eugene Cho’s blog for more information and for ways you can […]

  15. chad says:

    wow, what a strange mix of emotions – from looking at the programming schedule for MTV last night to watching this video backed by a branch of MTV, how confusing. i feel first like just hanging my head in shame (after reading the article article) that we can’t seem to get anything right here in our country and nothing seems to make any coherent sense and yet, in the same breath we have two media powerhouses producing this heart-wrenching window into the brutal truth of our consumer supply-chain. i want to cry, i want to go fix it. and then i realize i have no idea where to even start.

  16. david k says:

    thanks for posting this – the videos really powerful, but the links to the LA Times article and the various organisations are particularly good.


  17. […] just read a great blog entry by Eugene Cho about Radiohead’s new video (”All I Need”), in collaboration with MTV’s […]

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Whoa. Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Also reminded that while buildings are nice and have their place, the building isn't the church Let's fully welcome refugees. Remember, refugees aren't terrorists...they're the ones fleeing away from violence, war, and terrorism. 
Afraid? Me too. It's ok to acknowledge we're afraid since it confirms we're all...just...human. We're all afraid on some level especially when our culture seems to run on the currency of fear but as we live out our faith in Christ and more deeply embody compassion and love, fear begins to dissipate. It's also incredibly critical to know that agencies are implementing some of the most rigorous and thorough vetting ever. 
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Around May 2000, Minhee and I found out we were expecting a 2nd child. Then, we got another surprise. We felt a calling and stirring to plant a church. We told God, "This is horrible timing!" We left a thriving ministry that we started in the Seattle surburbs and felt compelled to move into the city to plant a new multiethnic church called Quest. To be honest, we were so scared. Minhee was pregnant. Our insurance was about to run out. But we ventured forth. Once I resigned from this church, I had plans, goals, strategies...and none of them materialized. Only bills and payments. I quickly found out that a Masters of Divinity degree - as cool as it may sound - is actually useless in society. No one wanted to hire me. I was unemployed for months. We were eventually on food stamps and DSHS insurance.

In December 2000, we welcomed our 2nd child to the world. When "T" was born, we cried more than the baby. Couple days later, I finally landed a job as the janitor at a Barnes & Noble store. It wasn't quite what I was envisioning but God really worked through this "valley season." And we finally felt peace about starting Quest. Seven people gathered in our living room and several months later on October 2001, Quest Church was officially launched. 
It has not been easy. We've been hurt and worse, we learned we hurt people. More accurately, I hurt people. We've heard our share of criticisms and sometimes, even worse. I've been called my share of names. Too many to list. I've been too liberal, too conservative, too edgy, too rigid, too blunt, too passive. We spent many nights crying out to the Lord...for direction, for peace, for answers. We usually never got the answers we were wanting...but we always felt His presence - even during our valleys. To be honest, we still have many restless nights. In fact, I think we have had more restless nights these past two years than we did in the first two years. 
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