A mentally handicapped black man was recently rescued from slave labor in a South Carolina restaurant where he was repeatedly beaten, abused, and made to fear for his life during the more than two decades he worked for the business.

The man, Christopher Smith, was forced to work 14 hour days and was never given breaks or a day off. His wages for his hard work? Less than $3,000 per year. He was also forced to live in an unlivable apartment supplied by the owners which was infested with cockroaches. Other employees reported being able to repeatedly hear Smith begging for forgiveness as he was dragged into the walk-in cooler to be beaten. Smith said he never made attempts to leave because he feared for his life.

J&J owner Ernest J. Edwards and manager Bobby Paul Edwards, the men who inflicted torture upon Smith, say they did it because he is black.

This terrible crime happened in America. Committed by an American, against an American. We don’t need droves of Syrian refugees to blame for terrible behavior because we have more than our fair share of hateful, bigoted people who commit unforgivable crimes.

The next time you or someone you know begins to cite terrorism as an excuse to deny refugees a safe place to lay their head, remember this story and the countless other instances of American hatred and pain. Remember Christopher and the life he has endured in the hands of American citizens.

Syria is not the problem; our hatred and divisiveness is.

Read more at Raw Story “Mentally handicapped black worker rescued after 4 years of torture and enslavement by SC restaurant owners.”

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com