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Reply #21: One of the salient points of the article [View All]

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thucythucy Donating Member (182 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. One of the salient points of the article
Edited on Wed Nov-16-11 09:52 AM by thucythucy
which you refuse to read is that it's way too early for people to have any sort of "cathartic" experience around what happened at Penn State, unless you're one of the survivors who was himself abused. That any attempts at this point to make people -- other than the survivors themselves -- more comfortable with what has happened are way too early, and are, if nothing else, in terrifically poor taste.

Has it ever occurred to you that a little discomfort in such a context might be good for the soul? And that whatever you and others might be feeling after your "emotional" week, it amounts to a fart in a hurricane compared to what those children --many of them now presumably adults and following this story, minute by minute--are probably feeling after their "emotional week?" And that, rather than help make the case that everyone at Penn State shouldn't be tarred by this scandal (a rather obvious proposition, if you ask me), that your posts about how horrible this crisis has been for you and your alma mater convey the opposite message--that is, that you are indeed self-absorbed and filled with self-pity, and concerned more with how this affects you, the Dance Marathon, and Penn State fundraising than you are about the survivors? But then, you've already said you "don't give a fuck" about how anyone else views what is happening. Which is precisely the sort of attitude that has some people, from the outside, looking at the Penn State community at large and saying: WTF?

And I wonder-did anyone at Penn State--has anyone at Penn State--reached out to any of the survivors to ask what THEY might need by way of "catharsis?" Or are we witnessing a repeat of the original disregard for the survivors and their families? I honestly don't know. I would hope such an effort has and is being made, and perhaps you can steer me to a story about some such. The candlelight vigil struck me as just the right note. A public prayer at a football game, not so much.

"All I want to see is justice done to the perpetrator and his enablers, an investigation into why the cover-up happened, and a change in the culture of omerata in the sports hierarchy and administration."

Spot on.

And so I have a suggestion for you, something I've been repeating to people I encounter who have a direct relationship to the school. And that is, rather than focussing your energy defending the school to outsiders (for whose opinion you "don't give a fuck" about anyway), you might think about how you personally can be engaged in making all the things you want to see happen actually happen. You have an opportunity here, as someone so invested in the college, to do some things to benefit survivors, past and future, and the community as a whole. For one thing, if this were MY community, I sure as hell wouldn't leave it up to "the authorities" to get it right on their own. I'd do what I could by way of organizing and reaching out to be certain the investigation and the administration response doesn't subside (as these often do) into filling a need for "closure" once the media spotlight has moved on. I'd also be concerned about the students who rioted last week in reaction to the news that their exalted hero had been fired. Who are these kids anyway? What were they thinking? What are they thinking now? Is anyone trying to reach out to them, perhaps educate them as to why their actions were so bizarrely inappropriate, and be educated by them as to how a community might end up fostering such a violent knee-jerk reaction in the context of such a terrible story? I'm quite serious about this. You have an opportunity to educate others, and be educated yourself. And for all I know, you've already started such an effort. In any case, my first step would be to contact the local rape crisis center, to ask if there are any such efforts underway, and if not, how you might go about organizing something yourself. You are obviously emotionally invested in this community, and want to see it restored to something approaching a genuine, caring, nurturing environment. Just from the look of your posts, Penn State has got to mean something to you beyond football games and dance marathons and such.

In my heart of hearts I feel awkward begrudging you your "catharsis"--but this can't be where it ends for you and for everyone else at that stadium. And if all that we -- those of us inside and those of us outside the Penn State community -- take away from this horror is that a few bad apples have to be punished, then I don't see how we won't be reading the same awful headlines ten, twenty, thirty years from now. You obviously feel the same way. And so I'm quite sincere in what I'm saying, trying to be as measured and reasoned in my response to you as I can. I'm hoping you'll indulge me with the same effort, if not here (I don't expect anyone to devote themselves to answering me post for post) then in your thoughts.

In any case, best wishes to you and yours.

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