Friday, November 11, 2011

On the Penn State child sex abuse case...

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.


SLG said...

Furthermore, even if you didn't directly witness child abuse, but someone who works under you in an organization reports child abuse to you, you now have an even bigger duty than they do (proportionate to your power in the organization) to report it and follow through.

I'm really disturbed by the many comment's I've seen that the graduate assistant who witnessed the alleged abuse should face criminal charges for not reporting, but Paterno should get his job back.

Yes, the graduate assistant should have keep pressing the matter and reported the police, but the higher up this went, the more the negligence was compounded.

J9 said...

This is really the heart of it for me:
"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."

SimplyStated said...

And you know how you make an even bigger statement? You shut this football program down. Right now.
If the NCAA can wipe out wins and take away championships because someone got a free car or was living in a house rent free...they can damn well hit this school's football program with the death penalty. That will reinforce that you do the right thing completely when faced with a situation of this magnitude. You don't do just enough to say "I followed the rules" and you don't report something and then walk away and figure it's now somebody's else's problem.Joe Paterno may have done the "right thing" as it's laid out in the coaches manual but in the big book of life he failed as a father, grandfather and husband. And he failed as an adult human being to come to the aid of a child in need. And there is no excuse for that. None. To the Penn State fans who just cost your school even more bad juju. Cause if I'm an employer and see on your resume you went to Penn State...I now have some real, hard and serious questions about your morals and maturity.

Bill Everday said...

thank you. excellent post.

Minarinko said...

When I was a little, I have sexually abused by somebody I don't know in the elevator and I can''t still get rid of the memory from my head. I still feel fear when I use elevator and yes it is trauma.
Thank you for sharing your idea and it was great!!

By the way, this is a new blog about social justice please check this out!!

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