Friday, November 11, 2011

Trust the Right-Wing Lie Machine to roar into gear over the Penn State sex scandal, ignoring the fact that the alleged perp is One of Their Own


"There are good people and institutions at the university and in State College who still need our support and involvement. Don’t walk away. Give your time, money and talents to those who are making a positive difference." (Kevin Naff, to "disillusioned and angry" Penn State alumni)

" 'Many child molesters don’t really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes,' according to experts at University of California-Davis.

"And Sandusky was married with two grown children, an inconvenient fact that further undermines [right-wing blogloon Peter] LaBarbera’s labels. Surveying the faces of the Penn State scandal -- Sandusky, Paterno, Spanier, coach Mike McQueary, athletic director Tim Curley, vice president Gary Schultz -- all are straight men. This scandal isn’t about gay men; it’s about greed and a culture that prized money over doing the right thing."

-- Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff, in
"A gay alumnus reflects on Penn State tragedy"

by Ken

It's safe to say that both eons-long Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier know they didn't do enough with the reports they received of the incident of sexual predation of a 10-year-old boy by then-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Judging from reports of on-campus revolt in the making over the firing of Paterno, who would have been coaching his last home game tomorrow, the university doesn't seem to be doing a bang-up job of educating.

It's a horrific story, this trail of boys now known to have been assaulted by Sandusky. But trust the lying scumbags of the Doody-Brained Right to make it worse, seizing on it as an occasion to launch a spree of gay-bashing. Off the shelf comes their old shrill song about gays and lesbians being unfit parents. Put the whole gaggle of these shrilling scumbags together and among them you couldn't find a single functioning brain cell, or a shred of honesty. But of course since the Right has been allowed to function not just with total disgregard of facts but in open-war defiance of them, they feel free, as usual, to ignore every shred of fact. Among which the one that keeps pounding at me is this one:

Jerry Sandusky is one of them -- yet another member of the species of Card-Carrying Right-Wing Married-with-Children White Males, apparently belonging to two heavily represented subspecies, the Closet Cases and Sexual Predators. If not for his, er, indiscretions [note: everyone gets that I'm being sarcastic, right?], he would have remained a poster boy for those old-time Crap Christian Family Values.

I'd like to call attention to an outstanding piece on the subject by Kevin Naff, the editor of the much-respected LGBT-oriented newspaper the Washington Blade, "A gay alumnus reflects on Penn State tragedy." Kevin writes with special anguish as a Penn State alum -- and a gay one, who has witnessed remarkable changes in the campus culture since his student days.
I’m a Penn State alumnus and have served on the board of the campus LGBTA Student Resource Center for several years. The Center is an important and even life-saving resource for students there. Many Penn Staters come from rural parts of the state where acceptance and understanding can be tough to find. Some are disowned by parents after coming out. The Center is there to help and support them, offering a safe space on campus to meet and socialize, educational programming and scholarships and other resources. Only about 7 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities operate such LGBT centers on campus and I’m proud that Penn State has emerged as a national leader in this area.

I’ve watched the incredible changes on campus since my graduation in 1992 with a sense of excitement, optimism and relief. There’s so much good in Happy Valley — from the pioneering work of those at the LGBTA Center, to the student athletes whose graduation rates rank No. 1 among the NCAA’s top 25 teams. Paterno wasn’t a stereotypical college football meathead. He emphasized education; the school’s library bears his name. In four years there, I met him just once. On the morning of my graduation, I stepped outside my apartment at 6 a.m. for a cup of coffee. And there, standing on the street corner alone, was JoePa. The street was deserted at that early hour and I introduced myself. He asked about my graduation, what I’d studied and my future plans. He was a grandfather figure to everyone on campus.

All of which makes these latest developments even more "unimaginable" to him, and even though he has no doubt that "Paterno, Spanier and the rest got what they deserved," the many questions that remain make him suspect "that we don't have the full story yet."

"The scandal," Kevin suggests, "raises deeper questions about our society." He notes the widespread "indignation" at the presumed failure to intervene of then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, said to have witnessed the Penn State shower-molestation incident (he's now a Penn State assistant coach, and is as Kevin notes conspicuously not fired, at least so far), leaves Kevin wondering about commentators who "insist they would have intervened." He recalls the recent case of a toddler in China "struck by two vans on a busy street" and then ignored by 18 pedestrians and cyclists before a passerby attempted to help. And he recalls a lecture he attended at Penn State.
My political science professor was talking about nationalism and the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. It was a frigid February morning and just before class started, she walked to the back of the room and opened a window. As she spoke, the classroom grew colder and colder and students began donning coats and hats. As the professor talked about the circumstances under which societies turn to nationalism and xenophobia, student after student expressed their doubt and indignation — "That could never happen in the United States." Finally, when the cold became too much even for the professor, she said, "How can you be sure you would stand up to the government and its weapons and tanks, when none of you even had the nerve to ask me to close the window?"
This prompts all kinds of questions from Kevin, including:
Were senior officials afraid to call police because they wanted to protect the lucrative revenue stream provided by the football team? Were custodial staff who reportedly witnessed Sandusky’s crimes deterred from reporting him out of fear for their jobs?

In the end, Kevin points, out, "an entire network of adults failed [that 10-year-old boy]."

And he concludes with three exhortations:
To the students at Penn State: The eyes of the nation are upon you this weekend, so demonstrate the grace and compassion and leadership that was so lacking in your coaches and administrators. The anti-gay protesters headed your way are clowns who picket the funerals of fallen soldiers and AIDS patients. Ignore them and cheer on your team to victory.

To Penn State alumni who are disillusioned and angry: There are good people and institutions at the university and in State College who still need our support and involvement. Don’t walk away. Give your time, money and talents to those who are making a positive difference.

And to everyone else shaking your heads on the sidelines: Let this sad spectacle remind us of the need to be better people, to look out for one another and, especially, the most vulnerable among us.

Labels: , ,


At 6:18 PM, Blogger q said...

It is not a sex scandal. This is not about Brittney Spears flashing her vag to the paparazzi. Please, this is a child rape case, not a sex scandal.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous robert dagg murphy said...

This has nothing to do with sex. This is a case of outright violence. An older adult violating a young person. It fits right in with the culture of violence prevalent in our society and world. What is football but one thug trying to hurt another? There are passes and runs mixed in but the bottom line is violence. Like the people at NASCAR are there to see people crash and maybe get burned to death. Oh what a shame, Kyle Petty just got his neck broken. Anything for a little excitement and entertainment. The quarter back just got a concussion, just part of the game. Another blown out knee,let him limp to the hall of fame. What better glory than the hall of fame?

Unless we begin to see the truth of things we are going no where. To see life with a clear vision and recognize what is really going on is the first step to our growth as humans. It is time to tell the truth and nothing but the truth immediately if not sooner.


Post a Comment

<< Home