13th amendment degraded in NAU’s backyard
By Slater Katz
A lanky yet brilliant 6- foot, 4-inch political genius, distinguishably topped with a black hat, abolished slavery in 1865. Little did Abraham Lincoln know, his sweat and tears shed to pass the 13th Amendment would be conquered by the resurrection of slavery in the “civilized” 21st century.
In Flagstaff, residents Huong Thi “Kelly” McReynolds, 58, James Hartful McReynolds, 60, and Joseph Minh McReynolds, 36, are objects of a case alleging the family of exploiting illegal Vietnamese immigrants at their boutique and lingerie store: I do! I do! Wedding Boutique and Sweet Nothings Lingerie Store. Crimes of slave labor, transporting illegal immigrants and instituting illegitimate marriages were allegedly committed between Sept. 2001 and Sept. 2008.
According to The Arizona Daily Sun, “The indictment lists seven victims as being brought to the United States and forced to work in the wedding boutique seven days a week and as much as 11 hours a day.”
In November 2012, prosecutors of the case extended the strength of the allegations: The grand jury added “three counts of forced labor and 12 counts of promotional money laundering.”
It is flabbergasting that this atrocity is happening in the backyard of Northern Arizona University (NAU), and the most appalling part is the leeway awarded to the criminals.
In July 2011, Kelly McReynolds, the main culprit in this investigation, spent one night in jail. The sole reason for her premature release was federal agents impulsively raided her business. Upon her unjustified release, the only punishments imposed were the confiscation of her passport and confining her to state grounds. However, attending a Las Vegas New Year’s Eve party seemed a legitimate exception to this ruling by the judge, according to release conditions.
In addition, the sanity of this woman is obviously questionable: she denies every allegation and is advertising, “One day after all this is done, you’re gonna see me on a talk show so I can tell the truth.”
Comparing her situation to communist Russia, she actually believes the victims have manipulated the government to sympathize for their innocence and preached they are “motivated by greed and jealousy.”
She sees her situation being comparable to the unreasonable persecution, and is “referring to the crucifixion of Christ and the enlightenment of the Buddha” to justify attacks against her. What kind of ignorant, obtuse excuse of a judge sees this lunatic as liable to escape anywhere, more so Las Vegas.
Confining immigrants to the circumference of Flagstaff and physically assaulting an employee after a desperate attempt to escape to Vietnam, stripped of any identification, is atrocious. The contracted negotiation for their employment included an American education and a promise of freedom. False promises were the only words escaping the McReynolds’ mouths, banning employees from learning English, adding housework to their job description, censoring the immigrants communication to the population and banning them from keeping in touch with family overseas.
Ms. McReynolds feels her daily commitment to her businesses is being ignored and the “whole town is against her,” crying, “All I did my whole life was try to help my family.”
Only the immoral devils of the world, the judge of the case apparently included, see it is apparent she deserves pity — as opposed to an employee who “told investigators that she was paid one dollar for every five shoes she polished and a dollar for every three shirts she cleaned.”
The extreme amount of self-pity Ms. McReynolds feels for herself is nauseating and her cajoling with the judge is a heartbreak for the victims.