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?

    http://www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/20000924mag-sweatshops.html

  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 (www.just4one.org) 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 (http://www.sharedhope.org/)
    The Daywalka Foundation (http://www.daywalka.org/)
    Transitions Cambodia, Inc (http://www.transitionscambodia.org/)

  10. Melanie says:

    Wow.

    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.

    thanks

  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: http://spinachflame.wordpress.com/

  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.

    cheers,
    d

  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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One Day’s Wages

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As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory) May our hearts break for injustice and exploitation - whether abroad or in our own backyard. Spending a few days for @onedayswages in Thailand. Along with one of our board members, I'm traveling with a group of 10 others to learn, listen and visit a few NGOs including one of our partners, @thefreedomstory. Couple days ago, we spent an evening walking through Soi Cowboy. On a given night, about 10,000 people are in the ring of prostitution in Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong. Much of this is driven by the consumer demand. Approximately 70% of male tourists go to Thailand for the sex industry.

Human trafficking is complex. Anyone that says otherwise is lying or selling you something. 
To reduce it to simple terms, or simple problems, or simple solutions…cause harmful consequences. While we can all agree that it is sinful, egregious, evil, and wrong…there are many nuances and complexities. It would serve all of us to grow deep in the awareness not just of the larger issue but the nuances and complexities.

When people speak of human trafficking, they tend to be ‘attracted’ to the issue of sexual exploitation. Dare I say it, human trafficking has become trendy as a justice issue.

Clearly, it’s evil and egregious. But to reduce the entire issue of human trafficking into one form is not helpful. Because the mission is to fight the entire injustice of slavery. And if that’s the commitment, we have to not only combat sexual exploitation but engage in issues of poverty, forced labor, commercial exploitation in tourism, land rights and power abuses, organized crime networks, cultural and economic realities, etc.

Oh, it's so complex but we have to be engaged whether in Thailand or in our own backyards. May our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God... More thoughts to come.

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