Jeremiah Short, Feature Columnist
Jerry Sandusky committed a vile and heinous crime. The now deceased Paterno, who’s the All-time winningest college football coach once again, was complicit in at least a portion of them. But that’s what they were…crimes…not an act which gave Penn State a competitive advantage.
It darn sure should not have cost “State College” four-years of postseason play (later reduced to two-years), 60-million dollars, reduced scholarships(later restored, as well) , and it darn sure should have not cost Paterno 111 victories (1998-2011).
But it did.
“Joe Pa” deserved to have his reputation tarnished. He was wrong. He allowed a predator to prey on helpless children. Stripping him of his victories was “grandstanding”, though. Point. Blank. Period.
I was elated when I heard that Paterno’s wins were being restored. Not a “409 Billboard” elated(Really Penn State). But I was elated that a wrong was righted.
What the heck you talking about? Joe Paterno let that man rape those children. He deserved everything that happened to him.
America, I’m glad you interjected. I have a few questions for you.
First Question: How many times have you overlooked the homeless person asking for a dollar to get something to eat?
Second Question: How many of you have overlooked the classmate bullying the gay or transgender classmate?
Third Question: How many of you have overlooked the shooting of an unarmed black teen?
Fourth Question: How many of you have overlooked the friend who is beating on their spouse or significant other?
Final Question: How many of you have overlooked child molestation in your own family?
I thought you’d be a bit flustered. Let me explain why those transgressions are just as bad as what Paterno did.
Homelessness is a growing epidemic. It’s estimated that there are 100 million people without a roof over their head in the world. There are up to 2.5 million in the United States, one of the richest countries in the world, alone. America spends money on luxuries they don’t need. Electronics. Jewelry. Cars.
But they won’t give a homeless person a sandwich or a dollar.
The suicide rate for Gay and Transgender youth is much higher than that of normal youth. That rate is 2.5 times higher in youths who’ve been bullied. If that’s extrapolated, how many lives have been cost because someone didn’t step in to stop the bullying?
The cases of unarmed black teens getting gunned down are well-documented. Oscar Grant. Trayvon Martin. Mike Brown.
In seemingly every one of those cases, the teen was demonized and made out to be a criminal while the perpetrators were seen as justified in their actions, although the circumstances have been suspicious. America’s lack of empathy toward those individuals emboldens the next cop or neighborhood watchmen to use deadly force in an altercation. Why not? You’ll be made out to be a hero and get donations.
Domestic violence is a growing epidemic. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. One in three female homicide victims will be at the hands of a significant other or former significant other. The domino effect is even greater. Women who are trying to escape abusers end up homeless in some cases. Girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to it. Boys who witness domestic violence are more prone to become abusers themselves.
Those stats are outright scary, right. But when we hear our friend talk about how he had to put his wife or girl in line, what’s our normal response? Oh, that’s wild. Not a chill out with that mess or you need some help…just a that’s wild. I’m honest enough to say I’ve done it in the past.
How many deaths have we been complicit in?
Joe Paterno was complicit in the molestation of several children. But we all have been complicit. Who doesn’t have the creepy uncle or weird family friend?
Child molestation devastates families and leaves everlasting scars. Most times, it’s covered up because the family doesn’t want the embarrassment or scandal. They don’t want their neighbors to gossip. They aren’t protecting an institution as huge as Penn State. They’re protecting themselves from a few phone calls or wandering eyes. That’s all.
How many of those victims–male and female–become promiscuous, turn to drugs or commit suicide? All because their family decided they didn’t want to sully their good name.
America, you have to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-5: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but you do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Joe Paterno was wrong. But America is hypocritical for judging him, too.
Catch me on the “SportsKrib” on Wednesday’s 8-9 Central and Thursday’s 8-10 Central. Follow me on social media @DaRealJShort or check out my facebook page JShortJournalist or my Google Plus page J.Short- Journalist.