Self-Righteous Hypocrisy and Misplaced Anger

Let me put my biases up front: I’m a Big 10 girl…Michigan fan…went to graduate school in Indiana (so I know and am friends with lots of IU and Purdue people)…and have friends who are Illini and Ohio State people. So all of the attention on Penn St. has gotten my attention.

More biases….I have worked in an emergency shelter for tween-and-teen girls and a child-care center with 3-and-4-year-olds. So I try to always be on alert to signs of abuse.

Final bias…I have been involved in a college campus rape case. (No…I was not raped)

However…the uproar and firing of Joe Paterno is, in my opinion, nothing but self-righteous hypocrisy and misplaced anger. 

The investigators have said that Mr. Paterno has been fully cooperative and was not…I repeat NOT…a target of prosecution. At some point we have to look at the facts as they are. The fact is…the grad assistant should have called Penn St. campus police who would have been REQUIRED to call State College, PA police because one of the people involved was under 18. That’s the fact.

But what’s really bothering me is all the self-righteous hypocrisy. As if many, if not most, of us haven’t seen something wrong happening and done nothing. (otherwise all those bullied children are telling tales) And let’s remember that Mr. Paterno didn’t SEE anything; the grad assistant came to him and told. He, in turn, told the person who he was/is supposed to tell–the Athletic Director (who has the power to investigate).

But let’s not forget that all of this could have been stopped had the grad assistant made an anonymous phone call to campus police. 

So…be disappointed in Joe Paterno if you feel that’s necessary. But to be angry with him I believe is self-righteous hypocrisy to the n-th degree.

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6 thoughts on “Self-Righteous Hypocrisy and Misplaced Anger

  1. Right. Truly right. BUT, there is a fault in the system, which emhasizes loyalty (to itself) and considers carrying tales outside to be treachery. I doubt that they KNEW they should report it to the police. They surely thought that they lived in a self contained universe that could take care of anything. Meanwhile there’s also the awful notion that terrible things need terrible punishment of somebody or other. A scapegoat. In this case people are being punished who had either nothing or little to do with the case. It’s unjust. Small comfort to those who’ve lost their jobs, but it might serve to alert people to their real responsibility to report crimes to the POLICE and, I hope, alert them that if they don’t do that more inocent people will suffer.

  2. I don’t really get how “has been fully cooperative” and “didn’t call the cops” belong in the same paragraph.

    I can agree with “As if many, if not most, of us haven’t seen something wrong happening and done nothing” as a concept as long as it isn’t applied to the concept of:
    1. Knowing about something as bad as having anal sex with a ten year old
    2. for over a decade
    3. when doing something about it was as easy as calling the cops or firing the guy, or whatever, because you’re Joe freakin’ Paterno and you pretty much rule Penn State.

    Because we’ve all ignored things we shouldn’t have but I really don’t think anyone reading this has ignored anything that bad, for that long when we had that much control over the situation.

    I feel like your comparison is kinda ridiculous here in that you completely ignore the issue of degree. It’s like saying “We’ve all lost our temper at one point or another, so it’s misplaced anger and hypocrisy to be upset at that guy who went on a shooting rampage.”

    No, it really, really isn’t.

    If Palermo had seen anything as morally complex as a Spiderman movie, he would have heard the phrase “with great power comes great responsibility.” Palermo was kind of the definition of “great power,” to the point that it is hard to imagine that everyone in the situation didn’t take their cues from him. Now people are holding him to task for not acting responsibly.

    Would that it happened that way more often.

  3. Pingback: Moral courage, climate change, and other UU blogging « uuworld.org : The Interdependent Web

  4. You are completely wrong here. PSU football was the center of the university and Joe Paterno was in charge of that: no administrators disagreed with or challenged him. Children were raped and victimized, the most vulnerable of all, those in a program to ehlp the most vulnerable were preyed upon by the founder of the charity, a Penn State icon. I have taught school for 30 years and find your covering for Paterno–the person in charge of the program who allowed thias predator to use the ahtletic facilities of the university–astounding. I can say that I have never abused a child and have reported any abult I’ve suspected. When the grad. asst. told Joe, why didn’t he ask question if he didn’t understand. Surely he assumed a young man wouldn’t come to his house to see him for NOTHING! Although Sundusky should spend the rest of his life in prison and the administration turned a blind eye–and may also do time–Joe either knew and did nothing or, as head of the program, didn’t know. He should have.

  5. Pingback: Moral courage, climate change, and other UU blogging : UU World testing site

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