Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Valley isn't so happy...




“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.”

By Alfred A. Montapert

Nowhere is the content of this quote more evident than in the happenings at Penn State University and the sex abuse allegations by Jerry Sandusky.

I’ve been trying for a week or more to pen my thoughts on these happenings; unsuccessfully, of course. With a history of having been sexually abused my feelings range from disgust, to rage, to repulsion and more that I am unable to tag at this point in time.

I vacillate from the loathing of Sandusky to compassion for Joe Paterno. The part of me that values long term commitments, a life of dedication to youth and integrity, building strong ideals for our youth honors JoePa. But that’s where the empathy for Joe Paterno stops…

It also stops for Jim Calhoun, the custodian who witnessed Sandusky in the showers with a young boy but alerted no one. Compassion also ceases for Ronald Petrosky, another Penn State employee who observed him sodomizing a youngster; and reported this to no one. How could these individuals live with themselves for said number of years? Was it difficult for them to look into the mirror daily and know the lies they were harboring?

How about Mike McQueary, the assistant coach who still has a job even though he too was a bystander. Yes, he told those above him, but never made certain those claims were acted upon. I also find it interesting that he made mention of the incident to his father and his father didn’t direct him to call authorities?

Certainly, not all is clear at this point, with plenty of blame to go around and this is only the formation of a lengthy arduous battle. My twelve year old son is struggling to make meaning of this total state of affairs and I am thankful he can view it with a clear detachment. Our conversations have been bountiful and I find myself muttering a plethora of ‘I don’t knows’ in response to his intricate inquiries.

However, I did make one point abundantly and blatantly clear to him: Doing the right thing isn’t always the easy thing. Martin Luther spoke eloquently when he said, ‘You are not only responsible for what you say, but what you don’t say.’

…and too many people didn’t say enough!



27 comments:

From the Kitchen said...

I think you've expressed what many of us want to say. I cannot imagine how difficult any situation like this must be for you having gone through abuse yourself. I also can't imagine what it would be like to be in this situation let alone view it and do nothing--or little. I've not been there first hand--abused or knowing of it--but think I would run screaming to everyone who would listen. At least I think that' what I'd do.

Best,
Bonnie

Dawn said...

You are so right!!!!! And your quotes say it well too. We would all do good to remember this!!!

Susie Swanson said...

Couldn'y have sais it better myself.. Susie

Teresa Evangeline said...

Very good insight into this atrocity. Too many people stayed silent for far too long. Inexcusable. Thanks for saying what needed to be said.

TexWisGirl said...

a horrendous situation that was allowed to continue for far too long. so many layers of blame and responsibility. we, as humans, have much to learn...

Out on the prairie said...

I have spent multiple hours renewing all my state and federal certifications and wonder how anyone could ever be a part of this.

Old Kitty said...

I'm slowly getting to grips with this news item. My heart just goes out to the the victims/survivors and shame to all the adults who did nothing.

Take care
x

Happy Days said...

I agree with you 100%. I couldn't have said it any better. I am also sorry that you had to go through this yourself. ...debbie

Judy (kenju) said...

Since many events have taken place over the last 2 days, I doubt that we have seen the last of those happenings, nor the end of the accusations. I heard on the news tonight that Sandusky's proclivities were reported to Paterno and others at Penn quite a few times, as far back as 1999, I think. I have ceased to have any compassion for Paterno, under those circumstances. They should all be thrown in jail. It is as bad as the scandals in the Catholic Church, and the criminals are no worse than those who covered it up!

Ginny said...

It seemed like no one really cared, and people did NOT want to get involved!!! So no one did anything! So awful!!!

Sylvia K said...

I so totally agree with everything you have written! I can't even begin to understand what these people were thinking -- or was that the problem, they weren't or they didn't care, or they worried more about what might happen to them if they blew the whistle. I have rarely felt the disgust that I have felt since this broke out. I was a teacher and I have four children and had something like this happened to any of them when they were growing up I would have waged a personal war if necessary -- not only for justice for my children but to, hopefully, prevent it from happening to others. There is no excuse for this having happened in the first place and for going on as long as it did. Thank you for your post, Tracy.

blueviolet said...

Their jobs would have been saved if they'd only done the right thing.

Jeanie said...

You have done a great job of putting your thoughts into words and you wrote what many of us have had in our heads. It is such a horrible situation and so shocking to think about how it was handled by those who knew about it.

Jules said...

And I agree with Whoopi, "Stop the moments of silence," silence is what got us in this mess.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Munir said...

I stopped by to say thank you so much for the book and it is signed as well. What a treat. I shall cherish it as long as Iive.

Once again you have written better than any one could about Penn State. Your quotes also say a lot. I hope that we do not hear any more of such happenings. I wonder if this world is going to ever improve. Then I think of people like you and some other blogger friends and some of my neighbours then I feel that there is hope:)

Arkansas Patti said...

Well said. The more we poke into this mess, the more snakes appear. This horror just grows each day. Truly a sad time.

missing moments said...

Nice post ... takes courage to do the right thing ... I like that King quote.

Heather said...

I agree with you...it's a lot for young ones to handle and discuss...as an adult, i have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that this is happening...ugg!
thanks for your visit, today...i am glad and thankful for you! and you are right, we all need reminders to see the glass half full! hugs!

Lin said...

I struggle on the small levels--speaking up about a bad coach or a teacher who says or does something that just isn't right, but I can't imagine ignoring this. It's hard to speak up, but as adults that is what we are supposed to do--no matter how uncomfortable that may be. Imagine walking away from that child in the shower--may god help you for ignoring that. Unbelievable. I can't believe he didn't grab that kid and get him the hell out of there.

Daisy said...

This whole situation is so sad and so awful. I can't believe it happened so long ago and is just now coming out.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great post, Tracy. I agree with what you say...There are so many emotions when it comes to what happened... You are right: Nobody stood up for those poor children at the time. Nobody did enough.
Hugs,
Betsy

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I was definitely in a funk last week about this.

Mamma has spoken said...

Having a football crazy household, we have had numerous conversations about the same thing. Even if the policy of your institution is to tell someone higher than you, you still follow through with it as in making sure it is reported to the police.
Sicken what was done in the name of college football >:o/

Linda Myers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Myers said...

I spoke up once. My house got broken into after that, and I slept with a knife for a few days. But I did speak up, and at least one child was a little safer.

Dianne said...

I feel very much the same although I think my anger is foremost at the moment and I have no understanding for any of the adults involved, especially Paterno. His leadership could have done so much to help these children and to prevent abuse in the future.

Hugs to you

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Very well said.

I heard this morning that McQuary is saying that he did go to police. I think we will find that "happy valley" had an enormous coverup all in the name of the football program. I love the quote from MLK. Perfect and I wish more people today had integrity. Why have we lost it?