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Sulu Naga International Headquarters Come Visit us for LUNCH! In addition to our organic coffee, pizzas, empanadas, pastries and pies, we now prepare made to order sandwiches, salads, and even black bean gazpacho. 3601 S. Congress off E. Alpine Penn Field under the water tower check our site for monthly calendar “sweatshop-like conditions,” without the right to organize, without access to basic rights, protections, or benefits. If celebrities like Jordan and Mizrahi can stand in front of a camera and claim reasonable unaccountability, why shouldn’t a corporate mouthpiece like Blum do the same? This is the world John Bowe stumbled into in 2001. Bowe, a regular contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and National Public Radio’s “This American Life”, was in North Carolina working on a book called Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs when he heard about a community group in South Florida that had uncovered a slavery ring in local orange groves. Fascinated, Bowe headed to the small town of Lake Placid, where rumors were spreading of a labor contractor in the orange-picking business named Ramiro Ramos. Nicknamed “El Diablo,” Ramos had worked for some of the biggest names in the food-service industry, including Pepsico Inc.’s Tropicana, CocaCola Co.’s Minute Maid, McDonald’s Corp., Wendy’s International Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He had become notorious for illegally hiring migrant workers from Mexico and using manipulation, financial coercion, deportation threats, and even violence \(up to and force of essentially unpaid and terrified slave labor that had little or no recourse to the American legal system. Shocked to learn that slavery still existed in the United States nearly 140 years after the ratification of the 13th Amendment, Bowe found himself staring at an enormous catalog of unanswered questions: How could this be happening in America? How common is it? How can people not know about it? Most sobering of all, “What did it mean that I was drinking someone else’s misery for breakfast?” Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy is Bowe’s answers. The book focuses on fruit pickers in South Florida; Indian welders in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Asian garment workers and sex slaves in the tiny U.S. commonwealth of Saipan in the Pacific Ocean. Employing a tone that’s both journalistic and crusadingheavy on facts and firsthand accounts but clear in its sense of moral indignationBowe aims to make explicit the connection between the rise of the global marketwith its promises of cheap goods, high employment, and peaceand the growing number of people throughout the world living in poverty, doomed to spend their lives providing goods and services for people born into wealthier circumstances. “I want to make it absolutely clear,” he writes, “that everything in this book is a simple and patent metaphor for the dark potential of [globalization].” More than a demonstration of slavery’s existence in the United Sates, Nobodies is an indictment of the new global economy and of by it while conveniently forgetting those who don’t. The new slavery, Bowe discovered, is not quite like the old slaveryin some ways it’s more sinister, more subtle, and harder to define. If, like Bowe, you wonder how slavery could persist in a country that prides itself on freedom, human dignity, and worker rights, the answer lies in the definition of the word itself. In Lake Placid, for example, workers Bowe met weren’t chained to one anoth DECEMBER 14, 2007 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27