Let’s jump right on in.
I’ve been out of the loop while working on the campaign to defeat “personhood” in Mississippi, but even I caught the news of the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State. Yesterday I spent the day in my couch-based area recovering…and watching news report after news report of the allegations against a Jerry Sandusky and those who either witness the abuse and/or failed to properly report the abuse to authorities and/or engaged in a cover up of the abuse.
Full disclosure - I am a fan…not of Penn State football, but of my beloved St. Louis Blues. My friends and family will tell you that I bleed blue 24/7…and I’m writing this post as someone who understands fan loyalty.
Nothing…not one thing, organization, team, or institution…NOTHING is more important than the safety of a fellow human being.
There is no sport victory that comes at the expense of that…
…and there can be no pride in rallying for a sports program, however revered it may be for its winning record, that failed to demand justice for the victims of systematic sexual abuse.
And you can be damned sure that fan loyalty doesn’t ask that we disregard a culture of enabling child sex abuse and keep on cheering.
When a child alleges sex abuse our reaction should be to encourage and support that child in whatever manner we can. Getting pissed off at the child because their sex abuse is going to get in the way of a body's college fucking football fan experience is downright macabre.
This case is still developing, but the sworn statements of many Penn State athletic program employees are disgusting, alarming, and should have people taking to the streets to protest them.
We have actually arrived at a point where people are telling their friends, family, and/or children that if they witness a child being abused they should call 911.
And, although it sickens me to think that anyone would have to be told that, the scene of students rioting in support of a coach and/or sports program rather than the children and their families...well, clearly people need to be told that if they witness a child being assaulted they should try to save the child and they should definitely contact the police.
Not the administration.
Not the diocese.
Not the boss, BFF, or fellow co-worker or student.
Fuck it if that gets your ass fired. That would be a firing worth it's weight in gold.
Lord, have mercy.
We the people need to look hard at Penn State’s reaction to this horrific case…both the disgusting display during the riot and the emerging effort by current students and alumni to return the focus to and stand in support of the children.
Sadly, the shock of many in the press is shocking in itself. We don’t have to "wonder how this abuse was able to go on for so long"…we don’t need to question what kind of culture opts to cover up abuse rather than protect victims.
Penn State football just proved that enabling abuse is not a condition exclusive to the Catholic Church…
…and that the most dangerous place for a child is in an environment that values [insert any fucking thing here] over the welfare of that child.
Please join Penn State alumni who have begun an online campaign through RAINN to raise awareness and funds to continue the fight against child sex abuse and assist survivors.