On a cold and snowy day in January a few years ago, I took a guided tour through the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. Charcoal colored skies paired with a ground blanketed in freshly fallen snow offered a monochromatic glimpse of what life must have been like every day for the tortured residents of that hellish camp. By tour's end, I decided that even if I had visited on a sunny day in June, it still would have felt like January in my soul.
Afterward, I met some friends for a burger at an oddly place beer-serving McDonald's Cafe restaurant just across the road from Dachau. I ordered but couldn't eat much. It felt wrong, sacrilegious even. Looking around the cafÌ© that day, at all the people scarfing down their food seemingly unaware Dachau was across the road brought to mind the story my tour guide told about those who lived nearby who went about their daily lives, later claiming they were unaware of the atrocities taking place, despite the sounds, sights, and putrid odors just a stone's throw away.
This blonde journalist included, all humans have a propensity for that kind of selective ignorance, which shelters us from pain or personal responsibility. How easy it is to be convinced that a homeless person or wandering dog doesn't need our assistance, someone else will help. Or, maybe something sinister is happening next door, but we don't want to get involved, like what investigators found to have happened at the Women's Medical Society abortion clinic in West Philadelphia.
Only God knows why it took so long for the abortion clinic's owner, Kermit Gosnell, to be charged with murder. Besides the Third World conditions at this clinic likened to a serial killer house of horror, FBI investigators discovered a vast collection of hewed babies' feet and other parts dispersed in plastic bags, juice cartons and containers.
By the time I finished reading the more than 260-page grand jury investigation, I was overcome by nausea, much like I felt at Dachau. If you are up for it, you can read it online at: http://www.phila.gov/DistrictAttorney/PDFs/GrandJuryWomensMedical.pdf. Prepare to be sickened.
The report states, "This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy and then murdered these babies by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out his business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths."
One former employee's account claims the doctor joked about the large size of one of the children he allegedly snipped to death.
So why'd he do it? Doctor Gosnell, an African American, claims it was his way of giving back to his community. Seems it was more about money, allegedly pocketing millions of dollars, primarily from poor minority girls and women. Nonetheless, and really to no surprise, his attorney is playing the race card, accusing officials of "an elitist, racist prosecution."
There were many opportunities to expose this death factory but, sadly, no one did. The chilling grand jury investigation stated, "Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it...."
Why? While no one can speak for those involved, one thing is for sure. The "nothing to see here" mentality is as dangerous today as it was during the Holocaust. We have a culture full of conscience-seared Americans who devalue human life to the point the whimpers of slaughtered children on abortion tables in Philadelphia are muffled out by the selfish cries of those demanding "convenience" and "choice," and ignored by others so self-absorbed, they believe their selective ignorance exempts them from responsibility.
Susan Brown's weekly column is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Email Susan at email@example.com.