Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stop Ignoring Evidence of Crimes Against Women and Children

Yesterday, I talked about several situations where the evidence suggested that something wasn't right, too often that evidence, the evidence of something wrong, something fishy--is ignored.   I was talking to my friend Charlie the other morning and he thinks it's because the evidence of something wrong, often very wrong is not understood and he recounts the apocryphal story of the aboriginal peoples who upon first encountering Christopher Columbus did not see the ships--because as Charlie says they had no neuro pathways for what their eyes were registering, or to put it another way, the native witnesses had no context for the ships that loomed on the horizon.  While this may have been true for the aboriginal islanders who first encountered Columbus--I think this is bullshit on a lot of levels.  We don't see the evidence in front of us because we are lazy--and, evidence of wrong doing means we have a duty to do something that takes us out of our comfort zone.

Once again a town learns that the trusted teacher, volunteer police officer, beloved soccer coach,  is a serial rapist see,  The Las Vegas Sun reports that the suburban town of Boulder City Nevada is dealing with revelation that many, many of its children were molested, raped, and filmed in explicit sex acts with Charles "Rick" Rogers.  Rogers who was arrested last April may have been actively molesting boys for 15 years.  Some victims found on explicit films seized by police at the time of Roger's arrest were as young as 10 years of age.

Hundreds of victims?  Undoubtedly.

How does this happen?  Why?

Why?  Goddamnit, why?

I don't mean, Rick Rogers, he is one more pedophile that fell off the pervert tree--how is it that the parents, the aunts and uncles, the teachers, the doctors, the adults in this town ignored what had to have been overwhelming evidence of these crimes being committed against their children?  I want to know where the screw is loose.

I saw it with the priests, but with the priests you could say well, these parishioners were all in Father's thrall.   Or Father was inadvertent, or misunderstood, or the poor man.  And it was so much easier to cover up for Father, move him around when people began talking.

But this guy!  A single man, with a passion for being with young boys!  The physical evidence was in your children's clothing.  What aren't you getting, Boulder City?

Elsewhere there is a great deal of agony and outpouring of anger in Cleveland, Ohio right now with the discovery of the serial killing of, at last count, 11 women.    These women were lured from the streets, raped and strangled and left to rot, the stench filling the streets--no response from the adults, the building inspectors, the police.  See:

Are we not neighbors, are we not brothers and sisters?  Don't we owe something to one another, to our students, our families, to our children.  Are we all so selfish that we can't spare a moment to ask ourselves are my children safe?  Are my children in a safe place?

We need to stop ignoring the evidence of crimes against women and our children.  We need to get out of our comfort zone on so many levels--that abandoned house two doors down, why aren't we recognizing that it presents an obligation to be vigilant that it not be used for criminal activity.  Gee, what would it take to cut its grass, to pick up the circulars, the trash, to report the comings and goings of non-residents? There are so many little things that we can do in the compass of twenty-four hours to make a difference not only in our individual world, but in the larger community without doing a whole lot.


  1. This sort of thing has always amazed me, too. Years ago on the old Michael Moore show, TV Nation (whatever one thinks of Moore, this was a funny show), he had a creepy-looking guy move into a suburban house. Then he had this guy get a backhoe, in the middle of the night, and start burying giant drums--the kind they use for oil--in the front yard. The guy painted his garage red, and I think he might have crossed out his address numbers and substituted "666." He did all kinds of suspicious/freaky stuff, and no one thought much about it. Afterwards they interviewed the neighbors, and they said, yeah, he was weird, but it wasn't their business. These are the same people who, these days, are probably glued to reality TV. As a teacher I can tell you that many people have definitely become even more solipsistic in recent years. Their world begins and ends at the end of their noses. Unless it involves celebrities.
    One must, sometimes, fight against cynicism and misanthropy in the face of this kind of evidence.

  2. I believe in personal liberty and tolerance for a wide variety of "lifestyles," but why don't we recognize a duty to our children? To protect our children from predators. A collective responsibility for our children; the ones who hopefully will grow up and provide us with social services, comprise our government, and supply us with care. Your point about predators, a la the Michael Moore anecdote tells you all you need to know about the Cleveland Serial Strangler.