This is my open letter to those who are following, upset by, enraged with, etc. the Penn State situation. More importantly it’s to my friends who are irate with this subject. I think maybe this is the best way for me to explain my thoughts. So read if you like, if you don’t I get it.
So I made the mistake of trying to state my opinion on a social media site regarding the heinous acts at Penn State after having some folks I know spew how angry they were with Joe Paterno. For the record, just so no one gets confused I am against the following;
- Putting Money Above The Well Being Of Other Human Beings
- Idiots Rioting.
I’m against these things. Just so we are completely clear. I’m also against some other things;
- Speaking In Hyperbole
- Ill Defined Or Directed Outrage
The reason I want to point this out is to let people know I’m NOT defending Penn State or Joe Paterno. I just feel that Paterno is getting the brunt of the ‘rage’ people have that should be directed at the actual alleged molester, but let’s face it he did it, Jerry Sandusky.
As someone who not only IS a Mandated Reporter, but TEACHES other’s about Mandated Reporting I’m shocked and saddened that Joe Paterno did what, unfortunately, a LOT of Mandated Reporters do, they don’t follow-up to the extent the law allows them. When you suspect maltreatment you are to follow up with either your Internal Reporting process, which he did, and report to your supervisor, OR report to an External source, in the state of Minnesota it’s the Common Entry Point, each county has one. Under the law you can, and I ALWAYS instruct people to, report to BOTH. That way you take the potential ‘conflict of interest’ that can occur within in organizations out of it by alerting Law Enforcement or Social Services first. Joe Paterno did NOT do this, he did the minimum requirement, and for that he has lost his job, tarnished his reputation, his school’s reputation, and will most likely live the rest of his days with the realization his lack of follow-up most likely contributed to Sandusky’s opportunity to molest more kids. I feel that’s fair, it’s warranted, earned, and while it’s unfortunate it’s the facts.
What I don’t agree with or find confusing is how this man is now the main villain in a cover-up that was perpetrated by others. I don’t understand how a lot of folks are concentrating their hate and bile on Joe Paterno and not Sandusky. You know the guy who did the raping. Why is no one besides rabid and insane Joe Paterno supporters all over Mike McQueary the grad assistant now WR coach who actually witnessed the abuse and didn’t stop it? Hell that guy until about three hours ago was going to coach against Nebraska? Where is the outrage naming him? How about Paterno's bosses who DID cover it up? Why are they not being burned in effigy? What about the folks at Sandusky’s ‘charity’ where he basically scouted his next victims? Why aren’t they upset with the High School that allowed him to have contact with kids as football ‘consultant’ even after there were suspicions? Why aren’t any of those teachers, janitors, or coaches, all of which who are technically Mandated Reporters, the object of your anger?
Let’s face it there was a culture in Happy Valley that allowed for and even seemed to encourage this horrific behavior. From listening to one of the reporters that helped break this story wide open about six months ago, oh that’s right for those jumping onto the ‘Rage Train’ late this story actually started more than just last week, this is just the tip of the proverbial ‘Ice berg’. There are hideous rumors about what Sandusky was using his 2nd Mile Foundation for. This will get worse before it gets better, and unfortunately all of Happy Valley has some culpability in it, not just the public face Joe Paterno.
I know I’m not going to change most folk’s minds on this, and I don’t want to because you are all entitled to your opinions and your outrage. What I hope to do is have you at least examine who should be getting all that well deserved venom and vitriol before spewing it out. Because I hate to be the guy to tell you this, but this shit happens in varying degrees all the time. It’s just that more often than not it’s not a major college university under the nose of the coach with the most wins in the history of the game. Most of the time it happens under the nose of parents, teachers, social workers, care givers, etc.
The thing is at least you are outraged! I’m not trying to tell you to not be disgusted or angered or feeling or thinking what your feeling &/or thinking. I just wish this outrage appeared more often when these things happen on the local level and aren’t attached to a famous person, aren’t covered up, aren’t knee deep in institutional corruption, aren’t cloaked in a culture of blind celebrity worship, etc. It’s just something to ponder.
Normally I’d try and lighten things up with some type of ‘Random Crap’ or a list of people I’d like to hit in the nuts, or some other type of nonsense. Rather than do that I think I’m just going to let this one be.
Thanks for reading.