Unless you have been living under a rock the last 5 days (or are Ashton Kutcher), you have undoubtedly been following the horror that is unfolding in State College, PA. If you have indeed been living under a rock (or are Ashton Kutcher), take a moment and catch up.
There is so much, so very much, that can be said about the Penn State RAPE scandal (read on for clarification on the CAPS), but there are a handful of things that I, personally, need to say. You can agree, or you can disagree. But, in all honesty, if you disagree, I don’t think I want to know you.
–First of all, we, collectively as a people, need to stop referring to this whole mess as a “sex scandal”. There was no sex involved. What occurred here was the rape, sexual abuse, and molestation of at least 20 boys and young men. “Sex” implies consent. Something tells me that the 10 year old boy who was raped in the showers at Penn State didn’t consent to that.
–Doing “all that is legally required” of you, especially as it applies to the discovery and reporting of illegal sexual activity involving children, IS NOT ENOUGH. Imagine if we lived in a world where all anyone did was the absolute bare minimum required of them by law? What an awful place that would be.
–If you witness a child being RAPED and do not step in to stop it or immediately call the police, YOU ARE CULPABLE. If you are told about a child being raped, and do not step in to stop it or immediately call the police, YOU ARE CULPABLE. If you are told about a child being raped, and do not step in to stop it or immediately call the police, and instead do everything in your power to not only insure that the crime remains a secret, but that the rapist and everyone who was party to knowledge of the abuse is protected, YOU ARE NOT ONLY CULPABLE, BUT SHOULD ROT IN PRISON WITH THE RAPIST.
–There is NO gray area where the welfare and protection of children is concerned. It is black and white, right and wrong. The only middle ground that exists between those two sides is the one created by the heartless cowards who allowed a child rapist to continue his abuse, who are now scrambling to find their footing. It is not there, they will fall.
–It is a sad, sad day in this country, when hundreds, THOUSANDS, of our best and brightest take to the streets to protest NOT the cover up and complacency of sexual abuse by their school, but the firing of the very people who were instrumental in that cover up.
–Joe Paterno is not a victim here. Graham Spanier is not a victim. Mike McQueary is not a victim. Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are not victims. They are (in my opinion) perpetrators of the abuse, because they did nothing to stop it when they found out it was happening. Jerry Sandusky will rot in hell (preferably after being raped repeatedly in prison). He acted alone when he abused those boys, but please don’t be so naive as to believe that he did so without help from those who covered it up.
My heart goes out to the REAL victims of this horrible crime: the children who were abused and their families. Who not only had to endure unspeakable horror at the hands of a monster, but who then bore witness to that monster being shielded, who had to watch as their rights, their welfare, their safety and protection, were cast aside, over and over and over again. They’ve suffered for years, watching the very people who abused them and hid the abuse not only go on with their lives, but enjoy many successes and be showered in praise, while I’m sure they struggled to make sense of their own broken souls. Please, don’t feel sorry for Joe Paterno or Mike McQueary or any of the other spineless cowards who have finally been taken to task for what they’ve done. Feel sorry for those boys. For their mothers and fathers, for their families, for their future families, for their future children. Because believe me, long after we’ve moved and forgotten what happened, they will remember. They will bear the scars of this for years and years to come, and they will never forget.
And to the students who rioted on campus to show support for their beloved JoPa, I have this to say to you: one day, you’ll have children of your own, and hopefully when you do, you will look back on your actions that day, your chants of “We Want Joe!” and “One More Game!”, and you will feel shame. Shame for supporting a man who knew about the rape of a child, and did nothing to stop it; shame for not showing empathy or sympathy for the children whose lives were destroyed by a monster, and then destroyed again by the establishment who protected him; shame for believing, in your youthful ignorant bliss, that a football game or season or coach or team held more value and deserved your support more than a child, even ONE child, who was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of an adult. Shame on you, students of Penn State. You embarrassed us all last night, but only you will one day have to face the shame of what your actions meant.