Skip to comments.Students Share Penn State Shame
Posted on 11/22/2011 5:00:35 AM PST by Kaslin
The initial shock of the child abuse scandal at Penn State was disturbing enough, but what came later may have been even more so.
That Joe Paterno, other coaches and members of the administration failed in a straightforward, utterly uncomplicated moral task -- to protect defenseless children from rape -- is almost mind numbing. No weighing of competing interests or complex variables was required. On one hand, you had children being abused and, on the other, the reputation of a hugely profitable football program. They chose the football program!
In a condign coda, they've done far more damage to the program's reputation by choosing the immoral path than they would have by doing the right thing. If the alleged predator, Jerry Sandusky, had been arrested for child abuse in 2002 (or at any point in the previous decade as reports filtered up of his criminal conduct), it would have been a one-day story. Instead, the beloved Joe Paterno has been fired. The president of the university is out, and Penn State stands revealed (and reviled) as a corrupt institution.
When people violate our standards of decency, our desire for justice demands a certain social sanction. A crime or sin is a tear in the social fabric, and our collective disapproval and censure is the way we begin to repair it. When that process breaks down, it makes us feel insecure and makes the transgression all the more threatening.
So it was almost as dismaying to see the response of a mob of Penn State students reacting to the ouster of Paterno, as it was to hear about the child abuse itself. When word of the firings first reached campus, thousands of students surged from their dorms and rampaged down the streets of State College, Pa., blowing air horns and other noisemakers in the middle of the night.
They chanted Paterno's name, threw rocks and fireworks at police, knocked down two light poles, and overturned and crushed a local TV news truck. According to The New York Times, the mob also tore down street signs, smashed car windows, and tipped over trashcans and newspaper vending boxes. Call it Occupy State College. The only missing piece was public defecation.
What they intended to convey by this mayhem is less clear. A freshman told the Times that students blamed the media for Paterno's fall. Ah, so that's it. Well, then, the only obvious answer is to smash car windows and destroy a news truck.
A handful of the braying barbarians was arrested. But the rest returned to their dorms -- presumably to finish their homework for courses in "racial categories" and "postmodern lesbianism." They probably won't reflect on the irony of a university -- the kind of place where a stray word can get you cashiered for sexual harassment -- being responsible for the grossest criminal negligence regarding children.
The students were angry and upset, and they've been taught to believe that their feelings, whatever they are, deserve to be expressed. Well, they don't -- at least not in that way. As even the tolerant New York Times noted in its coverage, "Some students noted the irony of their coming out to oppose what they saw as a disgraceful end to Mr. Paterno's distinguished career and then adding to the ignobility of the episode by starting an unruly protest."
Here's a suggestion: What the students ought to have felt -- and perhaps did feel, though they hardly have names for this antique sensation anymore -- was shame. Though personally innocent, until the riot, they should have felt ashamed to be associated with an institution that allegedly enabled a serial child rapist to prey upon victims.
Their proper mood ought to have been one of sadness and a desire to make restitution. Anger, too, should have played a part. Not anger at the board of trustees for firing responsible officials, rather anger at the university's administration for permitting a profound outrage. That's the way a community with basic moral understanding behaves.
A couple of days after the riot, a larger crowd of students did hold a candlelight vigil for the victims, which was encouraging. The mood at the vigil was described as "solemn" with subdued applause for several speakers. But the students seemed unable to sustain a serious mien for very long, and, by the end, the vigil was transformed into a rally with the crowd bellowing, "We are Penn State!"
One student participant said of Paterno's firing that "having that taken away from us made us feel lost." No, they were lost long before that.
It’s a real problem today that students, and far too many alumni, and others, have their self esteem tied to how many games and championships their chosen team wins.
I understand the mindset, because I once shared it. I’d be depressed if a season, or an athletic event did not turn out as I had hoped. I’ve been cured for a number of years.
Having an athletic department that enabled the anal rape of little boys will do that to you.
It would be best to allow the investigation to come to that conclusion based on evidence before promoting it as truth. Many assumptions are being made about who knew what and when.
You know, I’ve grown tired of big-time college football programs. The irrationality that people exhibit at the mere mention of rival college teams is getting annoying. My wife is from Alabama and those people are just psycho, There should be a fence placed around that state and the inhabitants all sterilized no more can be made.
There needs to be a serious realignment of priorities at some of these “institutions of higher learning”. Placing a game above a human life or someone’s livelihood is not rational behavior. Maybe they should take the money out of it?
We have people on FR who have defended the indefensible, blaming the media and yelling ‘WE ARE PENN STATE’.
There are no assumptons being made about anything, Paterno was told of the incident on the shower and didn’t take any action except pass it up to the AD and then forgot about it.
One cannot prevent people from commenting just because the jury is still out. The homosexual rape of little boys is an abomination worthy of instant execution—if the defense has evidence that the acts did not happen they need to to provide it now.
I read yesterday that the boy (now 17) who made the complaint about Sandusky’s more recent behavior, which was the thing that kicked off the investigation into the earlier charges, just had to leave his high school because of the abuse, much of it involving sexual name calling related to the acts to which he was submitted, insults and threats he was getting from the other students because he had “snitched” and this had gotten “JoePa” removed. Unbelievable.
What was even worse was the interview with the administrator or principal of the school, who said “we - uh - failed - uh - uh - to - uh prepare - uh -uh - uh - to facilitate - uh - the boy’s - uh presence - uh uh uh - in the - uh - school...” She never said that the behavior of the other students was wrong and disgusting, that anybody participating in these attacks should be off any team they might have been on because they clearly did not understand right and wrong, and that they were doing exactly what the victim feared they would do, attack him for daring to reveal the abusive acts of a powerful person in their society.
When you normalize homosexual perversion then how are you going to condemn homosexuals doing what they naturally do?
In order to protest against the child molestation you HAVE to admit that it’s a homosexual problem and the mindless idiots have been taught that the homosexuals are just like us.
This sets up a cognitive dissonance for most of them. Safer to protest for the football program than to risk offending the perverts
I agree with you, but it sure is not limited to students or college sports.
“I agree with you, but it sure is not limited to students or college sports.”
Absolutely. It’s why billionaire team owners can blackmail politicians into providing taxpayer money to build stadiums.
“The United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of importance.”
Robert A. Heinlein
Yo, Maryland Man—Did you read the GHrand Jury Report. We already know the essential facts.
Also your assumption that we can trust the investigators is resoundingly wrong—as indicated by the total abandonment of their responsibilities by the entire authority structure of Penn State (including the Board of Trustees), local, county and state police and state government.
And let’s not forget the students who rioted in support of a pedophile enabler (Paterno), the idiot demrat voters in PA who elect Marxist demrats to office and citizens who bullied one victim out of school because he had the timirity to tell the truth about what Sandusky did to him.
The moral rot in Pennsylvania runs wide and deep. Other than the victims, another tragedy is that I doubt PA is alone in its immoral abyss. I suspect all blue states (run by Marxist demrats) are in the same boat. Their only allegiance is to amoral Marxism. Meaning good is anything that promotes Marxism and bad is anything that obstructs Marxism. That’s it.
Yes, I have read the GJ Report.
You do not know all the essential facts. McQeary has already ‘adjusted’ his story. Others have some forward. Others have adjusted their stories.
The students were upset (and most did not riot, it was a few hooligans in the crowd) because of the reporting being done by the media that was full of half-truths and assumptions. They felt the Paterno was being targeted and others had as great or greater role in allowing this to happen, yet, only Paterno (and Spanier) were fired. You see the media was primarily targeted. The students were tired of microphones being stuck in their faces all week asking them what they thought of events and only seeing those that talked the university down being shown.
There is pride at PSU, many good things going on and they feel much of their hard work is being descredited by the actions of one man. They are frustrated.
The response the next nights (candlelight vigils, prayer services, money being raised to support victims, blue-out at the game to raise awareness) reflect the true nature of the student body yet all people focus on are the few that did damage on the Wednesday night.
[ What the students ought to have felt — and perhaps did feel, though they hardly have names for this antique sensation anymore — was shame. Though personally innocent, until the riot, they should have felt ashamed to be associated with an institution that allegedly enabled a serial child rapist to prey upon victims. ]
Same goes for the PSU fans who were out in hoardes to cheer for their team that following Sat. A team that should have never taken the field.
That is so sad. I hope he sues the school.
I’m a very ashamed ‘65 PSU alum. The pedophila issue is a sympton of a far greater problem at Penn State and most universities in the country. It is called Marxism. A miasmic cancer that is embraced vigorously and wholeheartedly by demrat political and education leadership.
Like many universities, PSU made the hard turn to the left in the ‘60s and early ‘70s. The anti-VietNam radicals fueled that movement with much encouragement from academia.
What happened at PSU is a complete lack of morality. Everyone’s, and I mean everyone’s, first instinct was to protect Penn State and its precious football program. If you’re not enraged by McCreary’s not coming to the boy’s aid immediately you’re part of the problem.
I agree that all the components of the entire sordid affair are not known. That said, what will subsequently come out will be far worse than what we know. I fully expect whispers that Sandusky was pimping the kids out to big donors will be true. I fully expect that exPSU Pres. Spanier will be implicated as a participant—in the coverup and the abuse. There is some evidence he may have been involved in a similar situation when he was at Nebraska U.
This will come out when Sandusky realizes he’s no longer protected. When that happens, he will turn to revenge mode for not being picked to be PSU head football coach. He’ll sing like a bird in an effort to mitigate punishment.
You are like a person waiting on the tracks at a train station. You have a train schedule and know the train is due, but you just can’t make yourself get out of the way. Heck, you probably really believe the media are not Marxist propaganda organs.
I’d like to know what good things are happening at Penn State. Even its sciences have been politicized. Tenured PSU profs were caught cooking their global warming “science” a couple of years ago. No sanction.
A prof. at PSU felt comfortable enough to write an email suggesting vets be marginalized. Why? They had the guts to dispute Marxist propaganda being broadcast in their classes. Unfortunately for PSU the memo made its way into the public domain. No sanction to the professor. You can Google it.
With Penn State approval a woman’s group on campus launched two intiatives to empower women. One was “The Tent of Consent” For two minutes, behind a screen, students could grope each other. The other one was something called a “Cuntfest”. All this, by the way, under Spanier. You can Google it.
In 1973 or ‘74 I returned to Penn State for a homecoming game. I stopped by the Journalism School—having majored in journalism. A fellow approached and asked, in a British accent, what I had done since graduating. I told him I served in the US Army for 4 1/2 years. He said “fuck you” and walked away. Turns the puke was the Dean. Can’t remember his name anymore.
I have given nothing to the school since that time.
The rot is wide and deep throughout the American education system. It’s not just Penn State.
JoePa:"We're always gonna be Penn State..." What he didn't finish, although may have thought, "... with just a little twist, that's all, you know, with the twisted sister Sandusky fiasco. Shit happens." :>(
When Penn State fires Michael Mann, I may consider not throwing PSU resumes in the trash can....