Thoughts on the short story by Tenea D. Johnson
In this short story, the sons and daughters of senators are kidnapped and held captive on a large boat. They are meant to endure suffering that was comparable to those experienced by slaves on their voyages to the New World after being kidnapped from their homes. This then would lead them to act as unwilling leaders in the fight for reparations for the families whose ancestors suffered so long ago.
The story is based on our world sometime within the next decade making it feel like it could be a real scenario that could happen. The only piece of futuristic technology ever mentioned is a translation device worn by the kidnappers so they can talk with each other without the captives understanding them, making their ordeal all the more confusing and disorienting. This device sits on the persons chin almost like a bandaid. To me the story seems to have too much of an optimistic outlook on how terroristic political groups would work. The group is shown to torture their prisoners, but they also want to take care of them and only make them suffer enough to get their points across to the government. It’s hard to ever visualize a group that would go so far as to kidnap people, but also be reserved enough to simple torture them a little bit simple to get a message across.
This story has similarities to the first Black Mirror episode where the daughter of a high political official is kidnapped in order to gain political influence (although the goals of the person in the series and the people in this story are completely different). This type of scenario is touched on often in movies and TV series, but always seems unrealistic.