As I boarded my flight from Pakistan back to Ferguson, my head was full of information, my soul singed with the eyes of dim hope in the old men and the longing in the eyes of the old women enslaved in the brick yards.
My iCloud storage, on the iPhone, of videos and photos of the suffering human beings in the brickyards of Pakistan was filled up. I met a man, Rizwan, while waiting for a connecting flight out of Abu Dhabi. He was a Pakistan as well as an American citizen. Although he and his family have spent their lives passing by the brickyard towers, they, as most Pakistanis, were unaware of what the brick kiln towers, surrounding their city of Lahore, held in debt bondage, inside their brick walled compounds. He thought that they were a legitimate way of making a living. And for many Pakistanis, it is. They get to come to a brick yard to work, and return home with a few bucks. But for many more, it’s a lifetime of bonded labor. A more accurate, non-polished, non-politically correct, brick rough word, is slavery.
Rizwan owned a ‘Subway’ business, sold it, and now works for American Airlines. He told me that when he returns to Pakistan, he personally is going to begin to do something about what I told him exists in his country. He bought me a cup of coffee, and I hope we can remain in contact. The last thing he told me, was that some in the government of Pakistan are wanting to do away with the present method of making bricks, because of the pollution. I let this register; That the brick kilns could one day close. NOT because of the heart break, the body ache, hunger, suffering from hot and cold elements, sickness, disease, rape and death, and the cruel human user masters, but because of the pollution that the brick kiln furnace towers emit. Is this not the present politically correct band wagon/rickshaw to ride? To save the environment from people? How about rather, saving these families from the environment that has been using them up? But HEY! if not having to smell the stench of the sin of a nation is what it takes, oh God, let it be. A transition like this, producing bricks without the furnaces and the towers would take years. The emaciated families I saw, don’t have years. They ‘PAID’ their debt toward freedom a long long time ago. They’ve sucked in the smoke and stench of this system long enough.