This is a difficult column to write. I was reminded by a Twitter exchange that there are people out there who can talk about the current chaos at Penn State objectively. You are not reading the words of one of those people.
As a human being, prior to being a mother, I could not have been objective. As the mother of a 10 year old boy (well within the age range of the Sandusky victims) I can not be objective. As the mother of a 10 year old boy who has Autism and is non verbal anything close to objectivity is not within my grasp.
I can recall being at the Greek Picnic one year (a gathering in Philadelphia for historically Black Fraternities and Sororities), and watching a woman, obviously intoxicated being taken to a SUV by a group of men. Some of those men I knew, some I did not. What I knew, what I saw that the crowd got bigger the closer to the SUV the girl got. I stepped in for that girl that day. I had back up, my friend Dawn stood with me, but I would have done the same had I been alone.
I was out one afternoon shopping with two friends. We’d stopped at a pizza shop on South St, and my child was with me. A woman and a man were arguing and I stepped in to prevent things from escalating.
There are some who would call my actions risky and foolish. My response to that is that it is who I am. My hero complex has diminished some with old age, but I can not, nor will I watch someone in the process of being physically harmed.
On the street where I live, a young boy used to be my neighbor. On a summer afternoon as my family and I sat outside a group of 6 boys came to jump my neighbor. I grabbed the mouthpiece by the back of the neck and told him there would be no fighting here…today…and there was not.
I will not watch someone in the process of being physically harmed and do nothing.
I would also not watch a 10 year old boy being sodomized by an adult and walk away.
That happened though at Penn State.
At least twice according to the report of the grand jury.
One coward was a janitor that walked in on Sandusky performing fellatio on a child and walked away. He told his fellow cleaning staff but he did not step in and stop the violation of the child. According to the grand jury report he was shaking and distraught. There is talk that those who heard his tale thought that he was about to have a heart attack. Yet, the molestation of the child was not interrupted by him. He walked away.
The other coward was at that time a 28 year old assistant coach who walked in on Sandusky anally penetrating a boy who’s age he estimated was about 10. He left the scene, went to an office to call his father, and his father advised him to leave the building and return home at once. That is what he did.
The name of the janitor is James Calhoun. The name of the assistant coach is Mike McQueary.
These two adult men witnessed the sexual violation of minor children and walked away.
Their crime is worse than the act of the pedophile.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. – Irish Orator Edmond Burke.
|Two Good Men??????????????|
There is obviously a void of good in state college Pennsylvania.
A different Twitter exchange attempts to justify the actions of the men who walked away, or at least McQueary’s:
MANFROMTWITTER: Even as it PAINS me to say this…McQueary went to his dad because he didnt know what the fuck to do. He went to the TOP of the food chain. 4:18pm, Nov 10 from HootSuite
Yes boys and girls that is an actual exchange that I had, on Twitter, with his name changed to protect the guilty.
I went back to his timeline to see what I missed and his logic seems to be in State College PA, there is no god there is only Penn State and Penn State football.
He is not wrong in his assessment of State College PA, prior his his unceremonious dismissal in the middle of the night like HE was the pedophile, jesus would ask Joe Paterno’s permission to walk through the town square.
Still…..two men witnessed the violation of a child and walked away.
There is no circumstance that my brain can create that would make me accept that you can walk in and witness the violation of child and not physically intervene. I’m not built that way. I would normally refuse to believe that others are but here is proof that there are at least two on this planet of seven billion.
I got into a series of exchanges last night as the news of the Paterno firing hit Twitter. The celebration at the scapegoating of a senile old man sickened me.
My anger at the blame game being placed at the feet of St. Joseph has been interpreted as an opinion that his behavior was acceptable.
I think no such thing. I am incensed that Paterno was okay with passing the buck up the chain of command and never looking back. That is not what a ‘good’ person does. In this clusterfuck of immorality and child abuse Paterno’s actions were the ones with the least sin.
He heard a story second hand and reported it. The accused was not his subordinate at the time and the assumption is that the bosses would handle it.
Fucking wrong assumption, but the blood on Paterno’s hands does not involve watching a 10 year old get raped in a shower and walking away.
There is no shortage of despicable behavior in this situation.
It took at least 13 years for this predator to finally be arrested, and there is still his trial to come which could expose more shame and horror.
Penn State took its cues from the Vatican when it comes to how you treat a sex scandal, short of pay offs….at least that we know about so far.
Sandusky took the most vulnerable of us and used that vulnerability to satisfy his sexual desires. Penn State unwilling to jeopardize the cash flow from the alumni kept sweeping accusations under the rug. Perhaps their logic was that it was not their players not their responsibility.
Our children are the responsibility of us all though, all the time. It is why if you walk in on a child being raped you stop the attack.
How there is ever a question of what you do in that situation is beyond my ability to rationalize. For that I am thankful.
Mike McQueary’s father is quoted:
On Tuesday, McQueary’s father John told USA TODAY about his son:
“He’s a good kid and a tough kid. He did what he was supposed to do, and all of this has been very hard on him. Everything from this and about this (case) has been difficult for him, but he’s a strong person and will be OK.” (USA Today Online O’Toole, Thomas 2011)
No he did not do what he was supposed to do. He was supposed to pull the adult out of the child’s ass and take the child to get medical treatment. If you have any doubts about that my request is that you remove yourself from my space. Again, I am not nor will I claim objectivity.
While the blame is abundant for everyone to get a piece, and the victims obviously outnumber 8 the biggest crime, bigger even than the actual act was the inaction of Mike McQueary and James Calhoun.