Within the horror of the seeming extent of the sexual abuse scenario at Penn State there is a breadth of absurdity.

The absurdity of “taking sides.”


There are no sides to this. Just one side.

Wrongness. Moral responsibility.  Protecting children.

And yet a large number of people are focused on “saving Joe Paterno.”  Or “should he lose his job or not.”

Frankly. I don’t give a shit.

Someone losing their job seems little solace to the boy seen in the shower with the abuser.  I am guessing because this is big time sports and a big time legend a lot of people are losing sight of the issue.

Children were sexually abused.

And adults did nothing.

How much have people lost sight of the issue?

Last night there was a rally at Penn State.

“I believe in Joe Paterno!” a girl screamed.

“I believe in Joe Paterno!” the crowd echoed.

“I believe in Joe Paterno!” she screamed again.

“I believe in Joe Paterno!”

And at the same place this rally took place a woman, with her 10 month old baby and her husband had sat simply holding a sign reminding anyone she could that evil can triumph when good men stay silent.

If that doesn’t express the absurdity of what is happening I don’t know what could.

A rally celebrating the man who had stayed as silent as anyone.

Penn State is now becoming the poster child of one shaped by silence.

I don’t think Jo Pa is a bad man.  I don’t believe he is a coward (as one columnist has suggested). I don’t really think anything about him other than he is probably a good man … who remained silent when he shouldn’t have.


This scenario isn’t about one man other than Sandusky (who is charged with 21 felony counts for allegedly abusing eight victims over a period of 15 years and a possible ninth victim came forward to police after Sandusky’s arrest).

This scenario isn’t bigger than the kids (they are the victims here just to remind everyone).

This scenario is about silence and doing nothing.

Some facts.

–          One in 4 girls will be sexually abused.

–          One in 6 boys will be sexually abused.

The numbers are stunning.

Stunningly horrible.

And silence only permits those numbers to remain as is.

The only thing I ask of those who reminded silent, those who did nothing …

“if you hadn’t, if you had spoken, if you had done something … do you think it is possible one other boy, or girl, wouldn’t have been sexually abused?

And if the answer is yes.

I guess the bigger question to them is … “don’t you think knowing that would have made it worth doing something?”

I imagine nothing compares to what a sexually abused child lives with for the rest of their lives.

Those who remained silent, who did nothing, have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

Written by Bruce