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Susan Stamper Brown: Camps, clinics and selective ignorance

Posted: April 1, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2013 2:00 a.m.

In a cold and snowy day in January a few years ago, I took a guided tour through the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany.

Afterward, I met some friends for a burger at an oddly placed 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 cafe 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. 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 hewn babies’ feet and other parts dispersed in plastic bags, juice cartons and containers.

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.

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.

Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist and motivational speaker.


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