As I sit waiting for the press conference by the Board of Trustees, I open with a line from the beginning of Boondock Saints: "We must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil we must all fear most, and that is the indifference of good men."
Let's be honest. This is an atrocity. Sexual abuse in childhood makes a child more vulnerable to nearly every single psychological disorder in adulthood. There is no excuse for the action, or lack of action, by the Penn State staff, including Joe Paterno. How could a respected member of one of them most squeaky clean universities establish a program for young boys primarily to satisfy is insidious urges? Well, there is an evolutionary explanation for pedophilia, but that's not needed here. We all had the same twist in our stomach when we read the 23 page report. We all felt a little more helpless when we heard the words of one of of the victim's mother. We were all equally enraged when a confident Jerry Sandusky redirected questions to his attorney.
But this hasn't been about Jerry Sandusky has it? Sure, it's in part because JoePa has become synonymous with Penn State football and nobody really knew who Sandusky was anymore off of campus. The plight of Sandusky, the culprit in the matter, has been overshadowed by uncertainty over the role and future of Joe Paterno. How could a man of such incredible integrity possibly let this go unreported, even if he was informed the a proper investigation had been undertaken by his "superiors." For those that are angry that Paterno hasn't issued a true statement yet, this is first a legal proceeding and any statement that could potentially implicate his colleagues, the university, or even himself, will not be allowed. The issue of Paterno's legacy being entirely obliterated relies on two things:
1. What McQueary really relayed to Paterno. And without reveling too much in the cowardice of McQueary, what adult man walks in on a child being raped, does nothing, then calls his father? I cannot comprehend the miniscule stature of McQueary's genitalia, but the events following this 2002 incident could have all been avoided if ONE person would have done the right thing. This chain could have been broken that easily.
2. If Paterno, fully aware of the gross nature of the events merely reported the incident to the next in command was satisfied with the investigation, or lack thereof.
However, what none of the facts will suffice in explaining to me is that Paterno, aware that SOMETHING happened, whether rape, molestation, or playing swords, continued to have good faith in Jerry Sandusky without a strained relationship. Speaking subjectively, if any of my friends or colleagues was implicated in a child sex abuse case, I could not, with good conscience, allow them to continue to act in an institution that served as a model of integrity. Moreso, I could never allow that person to continue to work SPECIFICALLY with more young boys.
The legacy is tainted. We'll hear it again and again: "Paterno acted correct legally, but failed to live up to the moral standard attribtued to him." I agree. I think that anyone who is a true model of honor and principle should be held to a higher moral standard than what they are merely legally binded by. From the little we've heard from Paterno, we know he, "wished he would have done more." Paterno dropped the ball either way, that's what we're sure of.
The Board just made the decision, he's gone. I feel that they made the right decision, and if JoePa truly cares about the reputation and future of this university, no matter what role he truly played, he needs to be the scapegoat. We've seen that Jerry Sandusky isn't going to be it, certainly McQueary isn't going to be it. There is no separation between Joe Paterno and Penn State football, so if Penn State football takes a hit, he has to know Joe Paterno takes the same blow. The university cleaned house so they could move forward. Despite the rioting of the student body, it is imperative so that the players, students, and good, innocent people of this university can start to rebuild a tarnished identity. Joe Paterno would have been that last ruin, residual of a nefarious past. As long as he was on the sidelines, there would be no moving on.
I am in NO way condoning, nor justifying any of the actions of those involved in this cover-up, and don't hold the illusion that this wasn't at some level just that. But before you get self-righteous, before you crucify Joe Paterno, please don't fail to think objectively. Don't underestimate the power of groupthink. Joe Paterno's life was Penn State. If you truly can't fathom how such a "great" man could fail to report such an atrocity, you fail to imagine the power and investment Joe Paterno had in the university. You truly have no idea what you would have done in his position. Almost ANY program would internalize this, control the damage, try to pay off the victims, and if possible, move away from it without media attention. That is the disgusting reality of the way these corporations (and tha'ts what they are) operate. The most inexcusable part (if you can allocate that to any one) is that they continued to allow Jerry Sandusky to be involved with the program and have access to children. To stand in confusion of how this event happened is to stand in oblivion of the nature of humanity in our current evolutionary state.
But please... if you don't take anything I say into consideration, don't continue to be a hypocrite. Stop blaming the players and program for the gross negligence of a few men. Stop saying you feel sick to your stomach that his happened to a child. Why?
Do you feel sick to your stomach when you eat a buffet knowing 15 million children die each year of food shortage? Do you get indigestion from the canned food sitting in your pantry, or from the 29,000 Somalian children under age 5 that died of famine in a 90 day period recently?
You can't possibly watch a Penn State football game without throwing up? Between 1950 and 2002 nearly 11,000 instances of sexual abuse by nearly 5,000 priests were brought to attention, many of the priests being merely moved to another parish after the assault had been validated. Do you throw up every time you take Communion?
Solon, one of the Athenian fathers of democracy, mandated the protection of the rite of pederasty. Do you want to throw up every time you vote?
In America, 1 in 4 children live in poverty, but you want their parents to be drug-tested before they qualify for welfare because y'know they should get their parents straight, right? Or what about the fact you think that adequate funding for these children's schools and teachers isn't worth a small tax surtax on 0.2% of the richest in this country? How about that preschoolers with a step parent are 100x more likely to die by homicide? At least they don't have gay parents because it's those homosexuals that are ruining the sanctity of marriage and family, not Kim Kardashian.
How many children died in the Middle East in drone strikes? Wait, that doesn't matter because those aren't good, Christian, American children, right? They grow up and become terrorists (although 94% of terrorists aren't Muslim).
This year, Anders Breivik mercilessly gunned down 69 people, mostly cihldren, to restore "European Christendom." Are you beside yourself with anger? Did you riot in the streets about political extremism and bipartisan detachment?
You can be disgusted by what went on at Penn State, but don't pretend you don't directly and indirectly support children getting the shaft (literally and figuratively). Hey, maybe they'd have things a little bit easier if they all just stayed fetuses.