I am surprised no one has written yet about the Penn State situation, but this HAS to be the most heated and heartbreaking topic right now in our country. In case you live in a cave, Penn State’s old defensive coach (Jerry Sandusky) has been accused of numerous acts of sexual conduct with young boys. Although this alone is disgusting and absurd, the riots that occurred are because the long time, 409 winning games coach, Joe Paterno, failed to report the issue back in 2002. A grad student back had walked in on a horrific (understatement) sexual action going on between Sandusky and a 10 year-old-boy. The grad student reported the incident to Joe Pa the next day. At that point, Joe Pa did go to the AD (Athletic Department), although he did NOT go to the police. The AD failed to report the issue as well; therefore it was swept under the rug at that time.
Yes, you may be thinking, “Well, if he didn’t see it himself, how would he ever prove it to the police?”. Well gosh darnit, could you live with yourself knowing this conduct with Sandusky could even be the slightest bit true? In my personal view, although I am prepared to receive posts firing back, he hands-down should have gone to the police. And what do you know? These sexual conducts continued, despite the fact that the Penn State Athletic Dept knew about the issue. There is almost 20 reports of sexual conduct now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more came out… his charity was for at-risk youths. To wrap it up, Joe Pa did what he was required to do, but not what he was morally required to do.
I promise there is a point to me spilling my thoughts out on the situation at hand. Emerson’s theory of self-reliance would tear our society apart if we were to follow the life he believed we all should have. Ralph Waldo Emerson believes that we need to look to the individual rather than a conventional society. He says people need to “go into his closet and shut the door” and block out society. Emerson thinks this will force a person to look into their soul, “find God” and do what is morally correct. But in this case with Penn State, numerous people did not follow society’s laws and ended up acting immoral. First, there is the obvious character, Jerry Sandusky, who performed the heinous crimes. Then, there is Joe Paterno, who may have reported it to the AD, but did not call the police. And let’s not forget about the AD themselves; they did not get the police involved as well. Since there are laws in place, this incident is not going unpunished as can be seen from the firing of Joe Pa. But, if we lived in Emerson’s world and someone did not act morally correct, would they be punished?
We talked about the dangers in class today, but we did not cover what are the consequences if someone makes the wrong decision. I believe everybody was in the wrong in this situation and cannot see how Emerson’s world would ever work because there will always be crazy people. We need the good men and women of the society to keep others in check. As has been said, “Evil prevails when good men do nothing”.