by Robert Cohen -
Last night [9/20/01], the President of the United States
delivered, in my opinion, the
greatest speech in American history. During that speech, George Bush
said four things that were beautifully written, eloquently delivered,
and should inspire us all into doing deeds that are consistent with acts
representing a moral and ethical nation and people.
"We're in a fight for our principles, and our first
responsibility is to live by them."
"This is the world's fight. This is civilization's
fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism,
tolerance and freedom."
"These demands are not open to negotiation or
Should not these words of wisdom act to inspire us in
everything that we do?
What follows might seem trivial when compared to the
events of the past ten days, but it is not. All events are connected to
that same universal wisdom governing the actions of all men and women.
A few weeks ago, I reported that one nation on this
planet kidnaps children by raiding other nations who are unable to
defend themselves. These children are then taken to plantations where
they live in slavery.
The nation of evil is the Ivory Coast.
The plantations grow cocoa beans which are processed
We must take responsibility for continuing slavery if we
support companies like
Hershey who buy beans from Ivory Coast.
We must respectfully ask companies who abhor this
practice to publicly state
that they will no longer buy beans from any nation which relies upon
These are not sweat shops. This is not child labor. This
is not a symbolic form of slavery. This is the real thing.
If just one company comes forward to condemn the
practice in a written statement,
we can use that press release or Internet site post to pressure other
into doing the right thing.
George Bush warned the nations of the world that if they
were not part of the solution, they are part of the problem. He said:
"Every nation in every region now has a decision to
make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."
The same logic and philosophy must be applied to
companies refusing to do the right thing and end slavery.
Many hundreds of people reading my letters have called
or written to WHITE WAVE, the manufacturer of SILK chocolate milk,
asking them to do the right thing.
Their continued refusal to do so is puzzling.
Today, SILK is acting like the nation that President
Bush refers to as being either with us, or against us.
Tomorrow SILK can become heroic by joining coalition of
companies demanding that all of the world's peoples live in freedom and
Perhaps many of the people living in poor nations look
at America and despise us by identifying inconsistencies in what we say
and what we do.
We have created a market for slavery, and have the moral
and ethical responsibility
to make things right.
HEROIC WORDS DEMAND HEROIC ACTS
You can take that step by making the world a better
place by making one telephone call.
Your phone call can help change the world for the
Call SILK and ask for the tiniest favor. Ask for a
written statement. Could anything
We can change the world one step at a time. We can make
SILK: 1-800-488-9283 EXTENSION 827
Here is what I would like for SILK to write on their
website: "We condemn slavery, and will not knowingly buy chocolate from
nations using children who are in bondage."
Go on to A Small
Moment in Time
Return to 23 September 2001 Issue
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