Will We Punish Those Who Are Committing Crimes Against Children?

Starting in the 1970’s, a photographer by the name of David Hamilton became both well known and respected for his photographs featuring pubescent—but clearly underage—girls in varying states of undress but typically in the nude.  Mr. Hamilton was later accused of raping at least four of his models, and he committed suicide in 2016 as the walls were closing in, but for several decades he was able to pursue a lucrative career as a celebrated professional photographer whose work was published in mainstream photography and fashion magazines, exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, and was collected in books that sold millions of copies.

Even today if you claim to be an artist or are rich and powerful enough (and have powerful friends)—here’s looking at you Jeffrey Epstein—your obviously inappropriate interest in young flesh is forgiven, and you can get away with being a truly terrible person who is causing irreparable damage to children.  The world of art and entertainment has improved only marginally since the heyday of David Hamilton, which the most egregiously exploitative contemporary examples, such as the short-lived Netflix series Cuties in 2020, readily prove, and we can also be certain that somewhere a Jeffrey Epstein wannabe is busily hunting for his next young and vulnerable victim.

However, what is truly shocking about the nation we live in today are the official and despicable efforts of credentialed educators and medical professionals to convince confused and unhappy children and adolescents that the solution to all of their emotional problems is to embrace some form of alternative sexuality, and they should also consider it perfectly normal that adults in positions of authority and trust are helping them to do this without their parents’ knowledge or consent.  Apparently all you now need to justify stocking a “transition closet” in your classroom, interrogating children about their barely formed sexual thoughts, or pumping them full of powerful hormonal drugs—perhaps as a prelude to irreversible genital surgery—without the fear of imminent arrest is a Teacher License or Medical degree.

At some point in the future, and this time might be coming very soon, the lawsuits will begin cascading down on individuals and institutions, the government and private funding will be belatedly withdrawn, and the utterly useless apologies will follow.  Official amnesia and circuitous justifications will be the preferred methods of excusing what are clearly outrageous and unforgivable violations of both professional ethics and personal morality by educators and medical practitioners, but this will come too late to either help or heal the young, trusting lives being destroyed by creeps, cretins, and cuckoos now seeking private validation, lucrative grants, professional advancement, and sickening profits with nary a care or concern.

A few sacrificial lambs will, of course, eventually need to be disgraced and prosecuted in order to placate the angry and disgusted public, but most of the offenders and their unrepentant enablers will slink off into obscurity and never be held accountable for the wrongs they have done and the lives they have ruined.  It will, in fact, be very much in the interests of professional and credentialing organizations to say and do nothing regarding accountability for the damage done, and in this endeavor they will find willing servants in the legal profession and government agencies, both of which have been deeply implicated in—and compromised by—their involvement in this horror.

Could this really happen?  Could the perpetrators of today’s child abuse be left free to live their lives without of the stench of their crimes?  My own answer is, unfortunately, a resounding yes for three reasons: Tenure and civil service protections will shield those responsible from either meaningful sanction or dismissal, the media that might bring attention to the guilty has itself often been guilty of celebrating the perverse sexualization of children so would prefer silence regarding these matters, and a full accounting of the lawsuits and charges resulting from the crimes perpetrated against children might destroy the financial viability and reputations of schools, universities, and hospitals that have many powerful friends in government and our court systems.

The closest parallel I can think of that might apply here would be the five or so years that followed the Nuremberg Tribunals that attempted to hold Nazis and the Nazi regime accountable for their crimes against humanity.  Although the top leaders were executed or imprisoned, most of the rest were able to escape with minimal or no consequences—and were, in fact, often rapturously welcomed back into the corridors of power and influence.

The most egregious example of this phenomenon was the case of the war criminal Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, who was the scion of a famed German industrial conglomerate that used slave labor to build Nazi weaponry.  Although he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and was to forfeit ownership of all of his businesses, just a a few years later Herr Krupp was out of prison, the wealthiest person in all of Europe, and a respected leader throughout the business world.  His reputation has sunk as his friends and protectors have not been around to shield him during the half century since his death, but his life after his heinous crimes was one of unimaginable luxury and ease.  To the end of his life, governments bowed before him and his victims had almost no compensation for the crimes he had committed against them, which included putting them on trains to Nazi extermination camps to be gassed and cremated when their slave labor was no longer needed.  Hopefully, Herr Krupp finally faced accountability in the afterlife, but this is grim comfort for anyone who foolishly expects our world to always be fair to the victims and tough on the criminals.

Humanity is happy to forget injustice when it is convenient or profitable to do so—at least in the short term—and this has been the case throughout our collective history.  America will likely be no different in this regard because it will be too wrenching (and too embarrassing) for the rich and powerful to reveal the full extent of their complicity in the destruction of our children in service to a flawed and evil ideology.  Just as Americans were happy to forget for centuries that the White House was built by our own slaves, it is human nature to avert our eyes when our stupidity, cupidity, and culpability becomes too painfully obvious.

However, our human shortcomings should not excuse our tolerance for what is today clearly another historical instance of state-sanctioned abuse, in this case one directed at defenseless children who will be living with the consequences until the day they die.  Have we changed enough in the years since the end of World War Two that we will now be quicker to prosecute those who proselytize in favor of abusing the most vulnerable?  I would like to think so, but the record of our modern civilization says otherwise.  

The Nazis were entranced with the idea of changing immutable physical characteristics such as eye color in pursuit of their own twisted ideology, so perhaps we should not be shocked at the official tolerance for—and celebration of—individuals and institutions who claim that encouraging adolescents to reconfigure  their genitalia will create a happier and better world for all. Today’s Woke warriors are not much better than the proponents of the fake science of Eugenics in the 1920’s and 1930’s, who advocated for sterilizing “undesirables” to prevent them from reproducing—and thereby laid the intellectual groundwork for the Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and Buchenwald German extermination camps of World War Two.

We, as a species, are very, very slow learners, and we make the same stupid mistakes regarding our own wondrous brilliance and the infallibility of our schemes for perfecting our world—again and again and again.  It would be nice to presume that we have finally learned the lessons that our semi-civilized history has tried to teach us, but it is most likely that we will—yet again—choose to forget the victims, exonerate the perpetrators, and ignore the pain that has been inflicted by zealots and zanies in service of a comforting and foolish collective amnesia that will set us up for our next failure.

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