“An Oregon resident unknowingly bought more than just Halloween graveyard decorations at her local Kmart.”
Begins a post on the Smithsonian blog.
Folded into eighth[s] and stuffed between the Styrofoam tombstones, she found a letter, written mostly in English, which said that the decorations had come from the Masanjia Labor Camp in Shenyang, China . . . .
The letter’s author described 15 hour work days, no days off and pay of around $1.61 per day. The writer said that people in the labor camp—many of them persecuted members of a banned spiritual group—often receive a sentencing of 1 to 3 years of forced labor without trial.
The note at issue was packed in a “Totally Ghoul” seventeen piece graveyard kit. Apparently, the note fell out of the package upon opening. Like lots of Americans, I have purchased the same kind of decorations for my home. So, my first reaction was one of concern over my actions and the conditions in China. Then, I remembered that I don’t believe anything I read on the internet. Along these same lines, I have a lot of questions about the note and why this story is important now.
Perhaps the real moral of the story is that DIY decorations are always better.
Tiny tophat tip — Amy W.