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Old 05-17-2017, 02:04 PM   #1
A.T. Hagan
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Default My Family’s Slave

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She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...-story/524490/



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The ashes filled a black plastic box about the size of a toaster. It weighed three and a half pounds. I put it in a canvas tote bag and packed it in my suitcase this past July for the transpacific flight to Manila. From there I would travel by car to a rural village. When I arrived, I would hand over all that was left of the woman who had spent 56 years as a slave in my family’s household.

Her name was Eudocia Tomas Pulido. We called her Lola. She was 4 foot 11, with mocha-brown skin and almond eyes that I can still see looking into mine—my first memory. She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us. No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived. Her days began before everyone else woke and ended after we went to bed. She prepared three meals a day, cleaned the house, waited on my parents, and took care of my four siblings and me. My parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn’t kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been. So many nights, on my way to the bathroom, I’d spot her sleeping in a corner, slumped against a mound of laundry, her fingers clutching a garment she was in the middle of folding.

To our American neighbors, we were model immigrants, a poster family. They told us so. My father had a law degree, my mother was on her way to becoming a doctor, and my siblings and I got good grades and always said “please” and “thank you.” We never talked about Lola. Our secret went to the core of who we were and, at least for us kids, who we wanted to be.

After my mother died of leukemia, in 1999, Lola came to live with me in a small town north of Seattle. I had a family, a career, a house in the suburbs—the American dream. And then I had a slave.
The rest at The Atlantic.

It's a long read, but stick with it.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:25 PM   #2
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I read it this morning. What a horrible, horrible family. The author makes excuses but he was just as bad as his parents.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:44 PM   #3
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I don't see it that way. Not about the author at any rate.

I also don't see it as slavery per se. It's more nuanced and complicated than that.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:13 PM   #4
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Those nuances are nothing more than excuses, Alan.

It's really quite simple. Moving a young woman to another country against her wishes, keeping her here illegally, working her 18 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, without pay or benefits, physically beating and verbally abusing her, and not allowing her to go home even when her parents died, is slavery.

She had NO freedom, no comforts, they abused her when she stopped working. The children all knew Lola was being kept as a slave. They did nothing to help her because it would have caused trouble for their parents.

When the physician/mother died, did she leave an estate? Did she have an insurance policy that could have been used to provide Lola with back pay and a ticket back home?

When the mother died, 75 year old Lola moved into the son's home and was cooking, cleaning, and minding his children for $200 per week, which she sent home to what remained of her impoverished family.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:46 PM   #5
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It's abuse pure and simple.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:24 PM   #6
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Lola Pulido


Too late to imagine what her life might have been like, had not someone decided to use her poverty as the rationalization to enslave her.

But not to late for her tragic life to be remembered, for the woman name Lola to be acknowledged.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:48 PM   #7
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Anything other than a large sum of money flowing to what remains of her family in the Philippines is an unjust result. Surely the author benefited from his parents' estate. I would start with that.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:27 PM   #8
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A couple of interesting articles about Lola. They discuss how Tizon influenced the writing and content of her obituary. Not surprisingly, the woman who wrote the obit now feels angry and sick about what she was and wasn't told. The 2nd article is written by her and supplies details about the way that Tizon carefully constructed a false image of who and what Lola really was.

Her obituary was missing one painful fact: She was a family’s slave

Why the obituary for Eudocia Tomas Pulido didn’t tell the story of her life in slavery
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