"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."I keep waiting for the furor over Penn State to die down. Alums and other stakeholders have been going on national television to whine about how their school's legacy has been destroyed. Fans of Joe Paterno have agonized over his firing. Fans have been going to football games amid fears of pre- and post-game violence. Or they've been boycotting them. Whatever.
Newsflash, people: I realize there's an entire case yet to play out in court, but the allegations, if proven, involve perpetrators and their victims. If found guilty, the perpetrators deserve to be punished. The victims deserve all the support their communities, friends and families can provide. This is pretty much all that matters here. Everything else is merely a circus-like distraction.
If you got your degree from Penn State, or if you tailgated in the school's blue-colored uniforms before a game, I'm quite sorry to inform you that you really shouldn't be ripping your own clothes and claiming victimhood. Your degree isn't devalued by the alleged acts of a sexual predator you probably never even met. Your favorite team isn't sullied by the fact that those in positions of responsibility may have turned the other way and not done all they could to stop the abuse. Oops, alleged abuse.
Yes, the institution has some 'splaining to do insofar as whether it did enough to protect its students and stakeholders. It also needs to change itself to ensure this never recurs. But, again, and I direct this at the Penn State grads from 1972 claiming this has destroyed their lives, this has nothing to do with you. Please get on with your lives and leave the airwaves to an expected wave of Regis-wannabes and clones of The View. Or is it The Talk?
So, the lesson here is simple: Fight acts of darkness like these with everything you've got. Be there for the victims and do everything you can to build a better world where kids aren't victimized by those in positions of power, and those in positions of power don't protect the abusers. Do something to fix whatever you see that's broken - tikkun olam, remember? - but please stop saying any of this has anything to do with you. It doesn't. Get over it.
Your turn: Thoughts?
Disclosure: I attended two Montreal-based schools, Dawson College and Concordia University, that were the scenes of deadly shootings. Both were perpetrated by freaks who were clearly off the scale of normal behavior. Neither incident made me any less proud to have been associated with these institutions.