January 30, 2003 - Boulder Weekly: A colleague tells me it’s unwise to publicly criticize Brazil Peace Corps Physician Warren Hern in Boulder

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Brazil: Peace Corps Brazil: The Peace Corps in Brazil: January 30, 2003 - Boulder Weekly: A colleague tells me it’s unwise to publicly criticize Brazil Peace Corps Physician Warren Hern in Boulder

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-188-54.balt.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 5:23 pm: Edit Post

A colleague tells me it’s unwise to publicly criticize Brazil Peace Corps Physician Warren Hern in Boulder

A colleague tells me it’s unwise to publicly criticize Brazil Peace Corps Physician Warren Hern in Boulder

A perfect race

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by Wayne Laugesen (letters@boulderweekly.com)

A colleague tells me it’s unwise to publicly criticize Dr. Warren Hern, founder and director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic, because he’s a "respected pillar of the community." She tells me this would blemish my career–because it’s too counter-cultural for Boulder to tolerate.

She’s right: Hern is adored here, viewed as the wise physician who defends the reproductive rights of women. Hern likes living and working in Boulder, explaining to me in 1997 that Boulder is beyond question "the most pro-choice community in the United States."

Hern’s an icon because Boulder is ill. Say what you will about abortion rights, but don’t include Hern in the standard debate. Hern takes "reproductive rights" to an extreme. He specializes in late-term abortions. He advertises to parents who have been told their babies might be born with Down syndrome–a condition that causes slight to severe physical and mental disabilities. Hern defends and facilitates the killing of an unborn child, even in the last few months of a pregnancy, if that baby might be less than perfect.

The fact that Hern’s a "pillar of the community" has everything to do with the fact that Boulder collectively devalues the types of humans who die in his clinic. Boulder values people who are educated and wealthy and in nearly perfect physical condition. Abortion kills people who haven’t earned nor inherited a dime, and a disproportionate number who are black. Hern, with his Down syndrome niche, specializes in eliminating those humans who aren’t viewed as the perfect mental and physical specimens, lacking good looks and the mental capacity needed to master physics.

If one man in town has the power to give us a perfect race, it’s Warren Hern.

In a community that holds Hern in high esteem, therefore, nobody should be surprised that the death of Tamara Rose was of little concern. Rose, as readers of this column’s last installment know, died in a horrific vehicle/pedestrian accident Nov. 21 on Broadway. Rose was struck after two police officers needlessly interrogated her and some of her friends, leading her to wander onto the road in a huff. The victim’s husband, several friends and two cops watched as the 33-year-old was smashed by a pickup and then run over by another. It was the kind of tragedy that typically would play out in the Boulder media for months: two big trucks in a pedestrian-friendly town destroy one small woman while police, friends and the woman’s husband watch in horror.

Less sensational vehicle/pedestrian collisions have been big news in recent years. As reported here last week, the death of drunken sorority pedestrian Jaime Frantz resulted in 16 headlines in the Boulder Daily Camera, 6,964 words, and discussion among members of the Boulder City Council about pedestrian safety on Broadway. Similarly, the media and the community paid months-long homage to Jeong Uk Noh–a rich University of Colorado graduate student who was killed in January 2000 by an SUV driver who accidentally ran over him in the parking lot of a McDonald’s. His death led to 10 Camera headlines in 2000–stuff like "Too awful to understand," and "Family overwhelmed with grief"–and 6,964 words. His death even made the Camera readership’s Top 10 Stories for 2000 list.

Just like the accidents above, one could logically expect community outcry about the death of Tamara Rose. She was snuffed out in her prime, not by one big truck but by two! Police, arguably, played a role in the tragedy. Her husband watched it. There was nothing to tame traffic in an area with high pedestrian activity. Lots of questions.

So what was different? Why did the death of Tamara Rose elicit no response from our civic leaders, and why was her name never printed in the Boulder Daily Camera–the city’s legal newspaper of public record? Why was the only mention of her accident a 271-word brief, buried deep inside the paper?

Answer: She was homeless and poor.

In Boulder, rodents get more respect than meek humans do. On the same day that this column told of Rose’s ignored tragedy, the Camera ran a 500-word story on the front page about the deaths of two pigeons downtown.

When Rose was struck by two trucks–one of which must have been following the other too closely–police surmised on the spot that there was no crime, no foul, nothing much to investigate. By contrast the front page story of two dead pigeons probes for answers, telling us how the city might hire one of two high-end forensics labs in the United States that have the ability to determine whether the birds were victims of foul play. "Boulder and the (Humane) Society may have to start using those labs and develop investigative techniques to track down illegal bird exterminators," the story explains.

The deaths of two filthy, non-native, disease carrying rodents trigger a front-page headline and post-mortem lab tests; the death of a young homeless woman–a human being with a mind and people who loved her–gets barely a mention, nary a real investigation, no obituary. Yes, Boulder, that’s sick.

Boulder values only some human life–the lives of the most comfortable humans on earth. We value the lives of people who enjoy so much abundance that they have the luxury to admire and defend pigeons, blissfully ignorant that in less fortunate places people eat these birds in order to survive.

Is it any wonder that a place like this would embrace a man like Warren Hern–someone who gets rich by terminating powerless, imperfect human life? It’s no mystery at all.

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Story Source: Boulder Weekly

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Brazil; Abortion Rights; Family Planning



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