Hi Ho Hi Ho Diamond mines are not fun.

Posted: June 2, 2012 in For your information, for your reflection

We are opening a new series on this blog called Far From The Truth…We go about telling the truth. In this series we will explore in our way how certain subjects are presented to the people in americkka and the real deal truth about the subject. We came upon this series when we could not get the song Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to work we go, from the Disney cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As our old memory banks starting acting in that direction we remember how wonderful the cartoon made diamond mining look, and how those little dwarf men were all going to get rich quick by shovel and pick. How many young folks wanted to go down into the mines and get rich quick we will never know but we are sure that every mother in americkkka put an end to that silly notion. Sweet little subburp Johnny way down in the mines. Not any kid of mine will be found down in the mines. So let’s start this collage with the 7 dwarfs way down in the mine, picking at the walls for diamonds, singing songs and having a great time. Diamond mining never looked like it was so much fun.

Here’s the real deal

Image result for blood diamond mine

What price for these diamonds?

Some diamonds have helped fund devastating civil wars in Africa, destroying the lives of millions. Conflict diamonds are those sold in order to fund armed conflict and civil war. Profits from the trade in conflict diamonds, worth billions of dollars, were used by warlords and rebels to buy arms during the devastating wars in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sierra Leone. Wars that have cost an estimated 3.7 million lives.

Last year alone, Americans spent over 12 billion dollars in diamonds for every special occasion. .How many diamonds of those 12 billion dollars was are actually legal diamonds that have not been smuggled across the borders of Sierra Leone to Liberia and then resold to billion dollar corporations?

The Diamond Industry is an infamous venue of exploitation towards youth workers. Mines in South Africa and India are notorious locations of various sweatshops that produce exquisite diamonds that were made by the hands of child slaves.

Diamonds are symbols of love, dedication and wealth. To young couples, a diamond ring is the perfect gift to the woman you love. The bigger the diamond, the more a man loves his woman. These gems do not come cheap though. A one eighth cut; round diamond solitaire promise ring in 10K gold alone costs two hundred and twenty-nine dollars. However, an extravagant gift such as this ring does come at a higher price; the price of blood and health. Child slaves have suffered to make a diamond which is overpriced and funded for wars. The question is, “is it worth buying a small gem that slaves worked arduously for”?

Diamond mines are first and foremost a dangerous work site. These mines are nothing more than open pits of heavy minerals, oil, machinery exhaust, and any other rubbish seeps into.

Although diamonds are exquisite gems, the people who mine the diamonds are exposed to numerous health risks and hazards. It is reported that diamond miners are exposed to malaria, dysentery and sexual diseases. In addition to those diseases, child laborers in diamond mines suffer from eye strain, headaches, mal nutrition, and respiratory problems. Child slaves are also subjected to working in poor conditions. Overcrowding, abuse, long work hours and cheap pay are but only a few problems these slaves face each day. Child slaves are paid for how many diamonds they can polish or cut per day. The ordinary amount of money a worker will get for polishing the uppermost section of a diamond is two rupees, which is below eight cents [US Currency]. For workers that make smaller diamonds, they might be paid fifteen to twenty dollars [US Currency] per week. As for the homes of the child slaves in Surat, it is either their workplace or a small hovel.

For every hand in marriage, another hand is taken away

The DeBeers Group is notorious for the marketing of diamonds and for their cruel work conditions. This corporation was founded in 1880 but it was not until the 20th century did they become famous. The Oppenheimers, who were the shareholders, took control of DeBeer’s financial direction and slowly guided it into what this corporation is today. Before the end of the 19th century came, a large diamond rush started in South Africa. In order to take advantage of this startling claim, DeBeers needed a large work force to mine the diamonds. Calling upon thousands of migrant workers, DeBeers had their labor force. Production was successful; however, in paranoia of theft, the workers were confined.

DeBeers marketed diamonds as the perfect engagement gift, “Diamonds are forever” and encouraged people to buy them. By advertising their diamond as the quintessential gift of love, numerous men felt they were obligated to spend as much as three thousand dollars for their spouse. Unknowingly to consumers, these diamonds were far overpriced. This marketing adage eliminated any competition towards selling used diamonds. By holding a monopoly over the sales of diamonds, DeBeers was king. Behind their catchy advertisements, there was a darker truth of their corporation. Their workers whom of which are mostly black Africans ranging from teens to adulthood had to live on the mining premises where their wage was exchanged for accommodations. The workers had poor conditions and pay. Youth workers were abused and easily exploited.

Back in the day, slaves and the diamond trade.

With mine officials nearby, Brazilian slaves wash the gravel from riverbeds to concentrate the denser minerals in which diamonds are found. Dependency on slave labor was an unfortunate part of early diamond mining in Brazil. “Diamond washing in Brazil.” Published in 1884.

Still going on here today.

Image result for slaves and the diamond trade

Diamonds are forever it is often said, but lives are not. For over 2,500 years diamonds have been a precious gemstone used for jewelry. In Sierra Leone, there are countless adolescents slaving in the diamond mines. According to an article in the New York Times, “The children, as young as 8, are forced to work without pay and some are forced to work as prostitutes. They are often poorly fed, abused and made to work long hours.” Most of these children that are being forced to work have been separated from their families somehow, some of them even living on the streets. The people in charge of putting the children to work do not consider this type of forced labor to be a form of slavery, but instead tell the laborers that they are lucky to have a job.  See: Diamonds are not forever.

Some mines

Image result for diavik diamond mine

Diavik Diamond Mine is located in Canada’s charmingly named North Slave Region – hopefully no reflection on the way the 700 workers here are treated.

Manufactured Landscapes  (check this out)

History of Diamond Mines in South Africa.

Who got the big one?

The Imperial State Crown of Great Britain, a towering mass of giant diamonds, huge sapphires, dark velvet, and ermine.  This crazy headdress is worn by Great Britain’s monarchs at the end of their coronation ceremonies (when they thoroughly and completely crowned and could not be more regal if they tried to be).  The Imperial State Crown is also worn annually at the State Opening of Parliament, one of the ridiculous Ghormenghastian rituals which the figurehead monarch of Great Britain is expected to take part in.  It was worn as the actual coronation crown by Queen Victoria and a stripped down version was used for the same purpose by Edward VII (who had the crown remade because it was so heavy it hurt his neck).

The Imperial Crown of State also contains pearls worn as earrings by Elizabeth I, these are suspended from the arches of the crown. Within the wide jewel encrusted band that forms the base of the Crown of State is mounted an enormous diamond, named the Second Star of Africa. This was cut from the famous Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever mined, it was given to Edward VII, who had it set in the crown. This priceless crown contains in all 2,783 diamonds, 17 sapphires , 277 pearls, 11, emeralds and 5 rubies.

Image result for argyle pink diamond mine

 

What have Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez and other celebrity in common ? . They own some diamonds from the Argyle-Mine in Australia. Pink diamonds from the Argyle-Mine fetch around 10 times the price like a “ordinary” white diamond of similar quality and size. The diamond right above costs as much as a nice fully equiped Rolls Royce.

The Argyle-Mine in Australia is operated by  Rio Tinto Diamonds. This diamonds of a very rare and beautiful red color are almost only to be found in der Argyle-Mine.

It looks like somewhere around 2018 the mine will dry up, that means this kind of diamonds have a bright future in terms of prices.

Each year, a small collection of the best pink diamonds are offered in an exclusive sale known as the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender. For every 1,000,000 carats (200 kg) of rough pink diamonds produced by the mine, only 1 carat (0.20 g) polished will be offered for sale at the tender. The invitation-only tender event is a highlight of the coloured diamond industry’s calendar. Access to the collector’s edition catalogue and website access in itself is highly sought after.

In March 2009, Argyle announced their first ever tender of rare blue diamonds. The “Once in a Blue Moon” collection was sourced over several years, and comprised a range of precious blue and violet diamonds, which weighed in total 287 carats (57 g). 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyle_diamond_mine

My Diamond is bigger than yours

“You know,” said Furbird “I have always shook my head when young women carry on, oohing and awing over the next girls diamond. Something I will never understand. The bigger the better is what they all think, “Gee you got a good one there.Did you see her diamond.” Well for all those gals we have included this section about the worlds 10 biggest diamonds. Diamonds to us simply mean a lot of work, more times than not low wages and some places in the world slave labor. Now that isn’t my cup of tea, nor Furbirds, nor Goosey Bells, nor anyone who hangs with us. At the site below before one carries on about how beautiful, check out the dates that these diamonds were found, think of what was going on in the countries the diamonds were found in, and wonder with us about the people who worked finding the diamonds. More than likely not a very pretty sight.

The Top 10 Biggest Diamonds

We want to end this little project with a short blurb about Walt Disney. Guess what?? He wasn’t a very nice man.

Walt Disney ( hi ho hi ho he wasn’t much fun even if his cartoons made us laugh)

In 1933, the German American Bund was founded by Fritz Kuhn. Kuhn was evidently quite a character–he had met Hitler in the early thirties and reportedly was profoundly loathed by the Nazi leader. An association of German immigrants to America, the Bund had a definite pro-Nazi slant. Disney animator Art Babbitt claimed his boss had a strong interest in, if not outright sympathy for, the Bund:

“In the immediate years before we entered the War there was a small, but fiercely loyal, I suppose legal, following of the Nazi party . . . There were open meetings, anybody could attend and I wanted to see what was going on myself. On more than one occasion I observed Walt Disney and [Disney’s lawyer] Gunther Lessing there, along with a lot of prominent Nazi-afflicted Hollywood personalities. Disney was going to meetings all the time.”

Disney did have heartfelt opinions about a few things–he was virulently anti-communist and he was suspicious of unions, much like other studio heads of his day. In 1941, a strike was called against the Disney studios by animators and other artists dissatisfied that they got no onscreen credit for their work and were paid less than animators at other studios. Walt felt his company was more of a family and that the camaraderie compensated for substandard wages. He considered the strike a result of the “growing Communist conspiracy” in the United States. The dispute ended bitterly and hardened Disney’s conservative and anti-communist attitudes.

Eventually he was called before the House Unamerican Activities Committee as a friendly witness, naming names of suspected communists in Hollywood. (The complete transcript of his testimony can be read at www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/06/documents/huac/disney.html.) There is some inconclusive evidence that he might have been an FBI informant. However, this allegation comes from Marc Eliot’s book Walt Disney: America’s Dark Prince, which, while largely factual, does have parts that could use a good debunking. So take this with a large dose of salt.

From the straight dope (1)

“I have given twelve Mickey-Mouse-movies as a present for the Führer at Christmas! He is being pleased about it. He is absolute happy about this treasure.” (Joseph Geobbels Journals, 1937)

“In view of the detailed records kept by Hitler’s Sekretariat, it is unlikely that [Walt and Roy Disney] met with Der Führer in an undocumented meeting. However, after leaving Munich the Disney brothers did drive on to Rome where they were greeted as cultural heroes by Il Duce, Benito Mussolini.” (http://www.dialoginternational.com/dialog_international/2008/03/unfortunately-i­.html)

Alex Cox writes, “If you’re a fascist in Hollywood, you work with great regularity. If you’re not, you don’t so I don’t.. There is no place in Hollywood for certain directors. It has to do with the big corporations owning the studios and being tied to the military-industrial complex.” (Halliwells Filmgoers Companion)

Disney was a founding member of the anti-communist group Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.  In 1947, during the Second Red Scare,[87] Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), where he branded Herbert Sorrell, David Hilberman and William Pomerance, former animators and labor union organizers, Communist agitators. All three men denied the allegations and Sorrell went on to testify before the HUAC in 1946 when insufficient evidence was found to link him to the Communist Party. (2)

Disney also accused the Screen Cartoonists Guild of being a Communist front, and charged that the 1941 strike was part of an organized Communist effort to gain influence in Hollywood. (3)

Dis­ney was one of the pri­mary fig­ures in the Hol­ly­wood black­list­ing era and had a long pro­fes­sional asso­ci­a­tion with fas­cist, anti-Semitic and orga­nized crime elements.

So next time you see a Disney Cartoon, think of this Uncle Walt. An enemy of our people for certain.

This posting continues our work in appropriated collage. This work is built from many sources.

(1) The Straight Dope

(2) a b “Testimony of Walter E. Disney before HUAC”. CNN. 1947-10-24. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080514003423/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/06/documents/huac/disney.html. Retrieved 2008-05-21.

(3)Cohen, Karl F., Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators in America, 1997

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