It’s not personal

Students riot Nov. 9, 2011 in State College, PA. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

I think that must be what the rioting Penn State students and anyone else making excuses would say to the victims of child rapist Jerry Sandusky, if they felt the need to say anything to them at all. Sorry you were raped, but our team is winning national championships and that makes us feel good and we don’t want any interruptions. It’s not personal.

The whole sick, sad mess is both repellent and fascinating, but the part that I can’t stop turning over in my mind is this. How does a person walk in on a rape in progress, a rape of a ten year old child, and not, without even thinking about it, intervene to rescue that child? Short of physical intervention, they would at least instinctively yell “hey, stop that!” Wouldn’t they? What is broken inside this guy, and what happened to him that broke it? I can’t understand that absence of reaction. I. Just. Can’t.

All of those – Joe Paterno, the university athletic director, Assistant Coach McQueary – who knew that Sandusky was an active sexual predator, and facilitated his continued access to child victims with their silence, are guilty of a more calculated crime. The calculation was the safety and dignity of those children in exchange for status, position and money. You understand: This team has brought $52.3 million to the school. It’s business, it’s not personal.

Those children, as it turns out, are not the children of those with status, position and money. They are children who Sandusky “picked out” for himself from his mentoring program for “underprivileged boys from ‘dysfunctional’ families.” They were disposable. As one of the callers to Pacifica’s community comment this morning said, such things don’t matter “if it’s not happening to someone who looks like you.” Sorry about the indifference, boys. It’s not personal.

I can’t help but see the similarity to this pattern in those who don’t understand why we don’t just accept that making excuses for the activities of Eugene Delgaudio is not personal. There are over 90 comments on this post, most of them pertaining to the demand that we accept endorsement of a man who runs a hate group as a reasonable choice that is not personal. Actually, it is. And the irony is that during the entire time Rick Santorum-endorsed “family values” guy Mr. Sandusky was actually raping children, Mr. Delgaudio has been telling members of his mailing list that we – LGBT members of the community – are raping children. It ought to be evident now from the rage and death threats being directed at Sandusky – and even those who protected him – that those are fighting words. That is a claim that encourages hatred and violence.

But I’m sure it’s not personal.

14 thoughts on “It’s not personal

  1. Epluribusunum Post author

    Of course it does. And it looked to that assistant coach like Mr. Sandusky was giving that boy some ambiguous sort of mentoring, I’m sure. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

  2. Elder Berry

    Ah, David, it still pains, doesn’t it, even though we acknowledge that there is evil in the world and that there is a portion of humanity that will not call evil by its name.

    And there is yet another portion that will make fun of you or diminish you when YOU call it by its name.

    Stevens, wrong response, bro.

  3. Liz Miller

    Oh, but ignoring Eugene’s antics is differentbecause he isn’t personally raising a fist to hit or kill people. Oh my goodness, if we ever saw him really hurting someone, we’d put a stop to it! Wouldn’t we, Honey?

  4. Pariahdog

    I found this comment by Joe Budzinski on Steven’s Blog to be particularly enlightening:

    David, your mode of argument is so dishonest that I am going to take being called “immoral” by you as a badge of honor, and whenever you employ the term “hatred” against someone, I am going to start with the assumption that that person has hit a nerve of truth.

    We have to call it what it is.

    EVIL

    Of course, David rarely if ever used the term “hatred”. If we were to remove Budzinski’s revisionism, the paragraph would read:

    David, your mode of argument is so dishonest that I am going to take being called “immoral” by you as a badge of honor, and whenever you expose a lie perpetuated by somebody I support, I am going to start with the assumption that that person is telling the truth.

  5. Elder Berry

    Ignore Eugene’s antics? Not me. I never ignore anyone’s antics. Ask David.

    Do you ignore Eugene’s antics?

  6. Elder Berry

    Wouldn’t be the first time. Missed that completely. Ignore is not the same as fail to react to, that’s where I was coming from.

  7. Epluribusunum Post author

    ..I am going to take being called “immoral” by you as a badge of honor..

    Given recent events, I’m sure Joe didn’t really mean that.

    I do use the term hatred when I think it’s appropriate, and I think it’s appropriate to describe what people are expected to feel toward someone when they are told that that person is sexually abusing children. So I use it to describe what Eugene is encouraging people to feel toward me and others when he tells them that’s what LGBT people do.

  8. KathlennVS

    Mr. Delgaudio is a disgrace to Loudoun County. I frankly can’t believe anyone could vote for him if they understood that his day job is hate monger.

  9. Epluribusunum Post author

    I think that most people share your disbelief. It seems that most people who do vote for him are unaware of the extent of his activities, or are unable to believe that the goofy guy they have had contact with could be the same person who disseminates such hatred. There are a few, no doubt, who vote for him because they share his hatred. Then there are a very few who have appointed themselves spokespersons for everyone else – and they are the analog to those who knowingly facilitated Sandusky’s career of abuse. They understand perfectly well what Mr. Delgaudio is, but they feel entitled to sacrifice the safety and dignity of the people who are targeted by his hate group. For whatever reason, they do see us as disposable, but don’t want to have to publicly take responsibility for that belief – and they deeply resent having their behavior described as immoral. They are the “anyone” in your comment, and if you clicked through to that other post, you have seen who they are.

  10. Larry Roeder

    Good point Kathleen and Epluribus. I was also stunned by the Zombie image, which Mike jumped on, which went international, covered in London and Holland for example. What you might not be aware of if that Anjan was called a n…r to his face here in Loudoun. There will also be bigots, like the anti-Musim crowd. My hope is that we can as a community do more to not only highlight such hatred but effectively rally against it through education and loud discourse. People like Delgaudio can’t have a free ride for four years. We need to show our disgust publically and often.

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