Fight the Real Enemy
A Window into the Bureaucratic Mind
You’re about to see one of the most revealing short documents you will ever see. It’ll take you ten seconds to read it. But first some background, for comparison and context.
For years, children have died of abuse and neglect in Los Angeles County while being watched and supposedly protected by caseworkers from the county’s Department of Children and Family Services:
According to ESCARS, the Electronic Suspected Child Abuse Reporting System, there were 11 child fatalities in 2018 as a result of abuse or neglect by a parent or caregiver with prior DCFS history.
In 2019, ESCARS reports that the number nearly doubled to 20.
In a few of the most infamous cases – Gabriel Fernandez, Anthony Avalos, Noah Cuatro — children were tortured to death over a period of years, while officials did little to nothing in response to a long string of urgent reports from people who noticed the abuse.
The county has gone through waves of controversy, peaking and falling as high-profile deaths become public, produce demands for reform, and fade into the past. Back in 2010, someone inside DCFS — tired of watching children die — leaked documents to local reporters on fatalities of children under department supervision.
Outraged, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to open an immediate and aggressive investigation — into the identity of the whistleblower, so they could put a stop to the leaks and prevent the public from learning about the deaths:
The inquiry into The Times’ sources comes amid tightening secrecy surrounding information about children who die of abuse or neglect after coming to the attention of the county’s Department of Children and Family Services.
Department Director Trish Ploehn has grown reluctant to share documentation about the deaths even with the Board of Supervisors, preferring to brief them orally or not at all.
Additionally, a senior deputy county counsel declared the topic of child fatalities off-limits at a meeting earlier this month of the county’s Commission for Children and Families when commissioners asked for basic statistics regarding the deaths. County Counsel Andrea Ordin said later that her deputy erred in squelching the discussion and promised that the data would be released, but the department had yet to do so.
In the ongoing political fight between parents and school officials in Loudon County, Virginia, police infamously tackled and arrested a parent who tried to speak at a school board meeting about sexual assaults on campus. That father – used by the National School Boards Association as an example of a domestic terrorist in their indescribably shameful letter to President Joe Biden – turned out have been trying to speak about the rape of his own daughter in a school bathroom.
This week, the Daily Wire has published a May 28 email message from Superintendent Scott Ziegler to the Loudon County Board of Education. Read their report here, but first take a moment to just read the message, sent the day of an on-campus sexual assault of a child:
There’s no mystery about Ziegler’s focus: a child was supposedly raped in one of our schools, but anyway, her father yelled at us and it was profane and disruptive and threatening and counselors are rushing to help people who saw the father yelling.
The rape of a child is inconvenient; a parent raising his voice at school officials is devastating and horrible.
Zygmunt Bauman: “Once effectively dehumanized, and hence cancelled as potential subjects of moral demands, human objects of bureaucratic task-performance are viewed with ethical indifference, which soon turns into disapprobation and censure when their resistance, or lack of cooperation, slows down the smooth flow of bureaucratic routine.”
Lack of cooperation with people like this is a duty. They despise it, and we have no choice.