Willful Blindness

Throughout the world, in every nation, there are subcultures where the sexual exploitation of children is an everyday occurrence, where the use of children by adults for their sexual gratification is considered acceptable and has become routine. This is true not only for economically backward third world countries, this is true even here in the United States. Most of us just don’t see it.
It’s not that we’re blind or that we are indifferent. Rather, I think it’s due to our inability to see things we don’t think are possible. The famous “Invisible Gorilla” experiment demonstrates this phenomenon.

Our inability to see or fully appreciate the depravity of some of the subcultures we encounter might help to explain how recently convicted human trafficker, Malik McKee, grew from an innocent infant into a monster who enslaved, used, abused and exploited others.

McKee’s mother was a prostitute who raised Malik in a whorehouse and drug emporium run by the Four Corner Hustlers, a black West Side Chicago street gang, where Malik was drugged and sexually abused throughout his youth, beginning at age six. He was taught to exploit through his own experience of exploitation.

Malik recently pled guilty to the sex trafficking of minors in federal court and received an 8 ½ year sentence. He could have received much more. He should have. While I feel compassion toward him for the abuse he suffered, as we all should, he long ago moved from victim to rabid predator. His character is now beyond repair.

The only hope Malik ever had was lost more than 20 years ago when the state failed to remove him from his mother’s “care.” McKee’s lawyer blamed McKee’s mother for how Malik turned out. No doubt she bears most of the responsibility for twisting the character of her son. Today, though, McKee is an adult who made his own choices.

The lawyer said “because McKee never went to school, his problems weren’t picked up on by teachers or doctors — adding that DCFS involvement in McKee’s life was conspicuously missing.” The implication is that the mother kept Malik hidden away from the sight of any government workers, or health professionals or teachers. This is ludicrous, and perhaps the most outrageous mischaracterization in this case.

Malik’s mother, Charlene, is virtually certain to have scammed the welfare system, a practice that is common among all gang members and the gang affiliated. They seek out every opportunity to profit from the welfare system—Medicaid, food stamps, WIC program, aid for dependent children, and a hundred other programs most of us have never heard about. Government workers, health care specialists, contract government services agencies, all have continuing contact with people like Charlene and Malik. Any one of dozens of government workers or government contractors had contact with Charlene and Malik over the years. Every one of them is a mandated reporter and every one of them knows the depravity of the gang subculture intimately. They know what’s possible. They didn’t take action because they could not see it, they simply turned a blind eye to it.

This kind of willful blindness has to stop. Now.

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