The news has been filled with posts about Penn State’s response to the firing of Joe Paterno. Group mentality took over and made the protesting students latch fiercely to their insider’s point of view that Joe Pa must have been a saint and couldn’t have done any wrong. How could he have? They trusted him. He was their guy. So were the college administration. THEY weren’t the ones who were raping the boys, so how could they be held accountable for not stopping it? Sandusky did a lot of good, and they’d have a scandal if it ever got out, so maybe they ought to make sure it doesn’t. But it always comes out….even if it’s 50 years later, it comes out.
It wasn’t just a Joe Pa problem that was surfacing here. It’s the entire mentality that wants to think that a little shower sex between an adult and an adolescent is not REALLY that big of a deal. I mean, come on. It happens all the time. No harm no foul, right? It gave them some championship football in the end. That’s what matters, right?
Good God. That’s sad but true in many people’s minds. And those who protect the vermin that prey on these children end up being vilified just as though they did the act themselves. But lest you think it’s not that big a deal, sexual abuse over time causes physical changes in a child’s brain. It changes their brain. Because these CRIMES are so damaging, it’s the only stance we as a society can take to ensure the safety of our children and even then, we are failing miserably at it. The situation at Penn State was so ridiculous that SNL had a skit where SATAN was outraged by their behavior. Yes, Satan.
I can’t help but to feel as strongly for “my” particular insider’s point of view as the Penn State folks do. I happen to be on the other side of the equation though. I am a person who endured sexual abuse by an authority figure for much of my early life and I had no where to turn to for help. There was NOBODY who was willing and available to help me just like those kids felt there was nobody to help them.
How do you take a legend down?
It is difficult enough for an adult to deal with someone with that kind of power. A child has no chance of winning, not without help.
Now, those fine folks at Penn State weren’t thinking the same way I do when they were turning over the news vans. They were thinking of football. Being a solid fan of the SEC I can understand why they’d go there (before they happened to wake up and question themselves about what the HELL it was they were doing…) I fully believe that there were none among them who felt like it was acceptable to allow someone to rape children. But they fell into the group mentality and they forgot how powerless children are and how it is our duty to provide protection.
So, we have outrage at the thought that these leaders allowed someone to violate children for the sake of football. What’s acceptable punishment for that? I think it should be prison time…easy time perhaps, but still prison time. Good grief, they sent Martha Stewart to prison for selling stock when she shouldn’t have. She didn’t cover up a predator who was preying on our children! Let’s get some perspective!! I fully believe that we need to set a precedent that speaks loudly enough so that people across the land will know that it is NOT acceptable to protect someone who is hurting our children in this manner. THAT is the “group mentality” we need to nurture.