MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Brickbat: Slave Labor

ServantDenismart / Dreamstime.comAshim Mitra, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has resigned following complaints from graduate students from India that he used them as personal servants. The students claim he threatened to have their visas revoked if they didn't mow his lawn, care for his dog, and serve as staff at his social events. In a lawsuit, the students say the university was aware of this but did not take action because Mitra was so successful in bringing in research money.

Photo Credit: Denismart / Dreamstime.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Adans smith||

    You know who else liked slave labor?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    African slave traders

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    The Hutts?

  • Mickey Rat||

    The Osman Turks?

  • Rat on a train||

    Apple?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    iSlave?
    iNdentured servant?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Pharaohs?

  • vek||

    Pretty much every society in human history?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    German Protestants?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Jewish Plantation Owners?

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Plato?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sex Traffickers?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Star had reported that according to allegations in pending litigation, the university not only knew about Mitra's behavior but administrators overlooked complaints for years because Mitra was among the most successful faculty members in corralling millions in research dollars for the school.

    Administration officials never wondered why, at all the professor's parties they no doubt attended, there were students serving them cocktails.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    A sign of the rape culture on campus?

  • SQRLSY One||

    I had an ethnic-Asian-Indian boss once, did similar things to me... And at least 1 of my co-workers... It goes with the culture. Very much hung up on status. Their women are like their dogs or cows, and ditto all other beings lower on their totem poles...

    I was working on a Saturday, over-time at work. He calls me up and "asks" me to drive him to a caterer to help him bring a bunch of food to his house, for a big party he was throwing for his Indian buddies. And no, I wan't invited to the party.

    My significant other and I decided that if it ever happened again, I would say that I needed to pick some-one up at the airport, at such a time!

  • vek||

    Not surprising. A large percentage of the Indian immigrants we have in the USA are from the upper castes, and over there that really means something. I've known a few Indians who just casually mentioned things off hand that made me just go "Well you sure are some hot shit aren't ya?" in my head. The level of arrogance for upper caste people over there makes snobby, entitled American upper class people seem like nothin'.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Oh, that explains why my friend currently in a Newark shelter doesn't know about relationship boundaries.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Is Reason for or against using immigrants as slaves?

  • Trigger Warning||

    The correct answer, as always, is orphans.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    We're upset because he got fired. Duh.

  • vek||

    Depends on if there was a valid contract signed, DUH.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yes.

  • Jimothy||

    The university should market this as a perk when recruiting professors.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Bring in a lot of Indian immigrants and you get a nation that looks and acts more like India. Unsurprising.

  • vek||

    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MAGIC DIRT???????????

  • perlchpr||

    In a lawsuit, the students say the university was aware of this but did not take action because Mitra was so successful in bringing in research money.

    Hey! Thgat's the exact same reason the university I was working for wouldn't discipline the horrible monster I was working for. (She's a big part of why there is an HPV vaccine. She's pretty smart, I'll give her that, but she's a horrible person.) She brings in lots and lots of NIH grants.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No NIH grants getting issued right now. Hahaha

    The government shutdown has closed that spigot temporarily.

  • vek||

    Yeah, lots of smart people are assholes. It happens. I try to be as nice as possible sometimes, but I do find myself getting snippy sometimes with people who repeatedly show a complete and utter lack of common sense.

    The thing of it is, sometimes assholes personality quirks are worth putting up with for results. A few people where you worked putting up with an asshole to get something that may help millions of people? Kinda worth it. But sucks for you!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    On the other extreme, there are people who think that only a complete asshole will wear a green scarf with a black shirt but are willing to put up with such outrageous behavior in exchange for generosity from the "anti-social" person. This TED talk explains that homosexuals evolved to be altruistic. The case of the professor treating his graduate student like a slave is beyond the pale, and the professor should be fired. However, some social norms are rather arbitrary, and some people will go Galt rather than pay social taxes to the norms.

  • vek||

    Yup, there is some evidence for the gays are there to support the tribe theory. There's also a fair amount of potential evidence that the number of gay people increases the more crowded/overpopulated a group is. They've found evidence in wild animal populations, and it may explain a possible increase in the number of gay people as society became more urban. ALTHOUGH it could also just be that they've been able to be more open recently too. It's hard to know.

    Interestingly, the number of gay people has been GOING DOWN over the last few decades according to surveys. The theory is that since gays have been able to come out and live their life as they want to that they're breeding less, versus having sham marriages that often produced children. Hence not passing on their homosexual genes. If this theory is correct, then gays could become virtually extinct over a few generations. Their breeding rates are vastly lower than straight people, and vastly lower than the number of kids gay people had as recently as the 1970s.

    Gay genes are floating around in most peoples family tree anyway, so they won't die out overnight, but IIRC there's already been something like a 25% drop for gay men over the last couple decades. Future people might not have to worry about tranny bathroom issues, except as exhibits in museums! LOL

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I saw something about that too.

    Interesting.

  • vek||

    Yup. It's kinda crazy. I actually told a gay guy I know that, and he was kind of shocked, but then kind of accepted that it might be true. It makes sense logically. I think it's pretty solid that being gay is some biological thing, which means it is driven by genes. People directly expressing those genes obviously would have the greatest chance of passing them on. Therefore it makes sense that those genes would decline quickly if those people breed at something like 1/4 the rate (IIRC) that they did just a few decades ago.

    We basically reached peak gay in the 90s I think, and it's been dropping ever since. Which makes sense since gays started being able to be pretty open in SF/NYC etc in the 70s, and those lost kids would have been coming of age in the 90s...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think some sexual tendencies are genetic and some are choice. Otherwise, people being bi-sexual would be 100% choice or some additional genetic mutation.

    Some gayness would seem to be genetic since I have seen some under kids under 5 years old express some seriously effeminate behavior and their parents are not gay. I just dont see how kids who are not in school yet would pick up on that behavior with nobody around to imitate.

    I dont think any real scientist wants to tackle the phenomena since the narrative is set and further scientific evidence either way would muddy the narrative.

    On a side note, if gayness is a genetic mutation like Down Syndrome it would not matter much if gay people did or did not pass it on. We still have Down Syndrome kids even with the ability to test for that genetic mutation.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Thanks y'all that was interesting!

    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....opulation/

    The End of Gays: Gay Marriage and the Decline of the Homosexual Population

    Stuff can be counter-intuitive at first, but make more sense after some data and thought...

  • vek||

    Yup. It's a weird thing. I read another article before that went through some numbers that have been collected in large scale surveys. They showed the number of self professed homosexuals going down fast. More fast for males than females IIRC. The number of bisexual people went up for both sexes IIRC, but only slightly for men, and more for women. But it was still a pretty clear trend. Once you throw in the obvious mechanism for the decline, it makes perfect sense.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    More and more young women are doing buttsex, so maybe that is enough for bi-sexual men.

    Maybe the grass is greener on the other team has been played out.

    I have suspected for a long time that women have an easier time having sex with men and women than men do having sex with other men. Society also gives chick lesbo action a pass whereas men sucking a dick makes you 100% gay.

  • vek||

    LOL Yeah, I think the fact that men not being turned off by chick on chick action is part of it. Women have ALWAYS had more self admitted bisexuals in surveys, even going back decades before it was acceptable.

    I actually read a thing once about how female bisexuality may be a mutation that is actually selected for actively, perhaps because of polygamous societies in the world. Even if not actively selected for, it is certainly less selected against than male homosexuality.

    Who knows. The side line above about it being a Down Syndrome type mutation could be possible, and I don't think I've heard that discussed. But it doesn't seem likely given some of the research that has happened. Time will probably tell!

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    Indians enslaving Indians? What is this, India?

  • darkflame||

    So this isn't new, looks like the story broke back in November according to a quick google search. And apparently this was going on for at least 24 years? Jesus

  • Rob Misek||

    How many "intern" slaves does Reason have?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online