Megan McArdle tries to understand the motivations behind monster Jerry Sandusky's enablers:
Actually, I can forgive the walking out. No, really, I can. I can imagine myself walking in on a scene so horrible that I couldn't quite believe that it was actually happening. I can imagine it taking me as long as five minutes to convince myself that no, really, it actually happened, and either walk back in there and do the right thing, or fetch someone else who would do it with me.Perhaps it was simple cowardice. Brad Thor tweets:
Like everyone else, however, I cannot imagine how a bunch of people somehow tacitly agreed not to do anything about it. [. . .]
But perhaps because the heart of the darkness seems so incomprehensible, we've mostly been talking around the edges--stating the obvious, over and over, as if the mantra could reassure. It really goes without saying that we are outraged and saddened by these events--I literally almost vomited upon reading some of the grand jury report. We are all agreed that this is awful, and also that yes, we should never forget the potential for evil that breathes within all of us. It is virtually redundant to note that everyone involved in this scandal should be fired, and made to feel their bleak shame for the rest of their lives.
Saying all these things may be necessary, but it is not sufficient. We're all still left with a large, unanswered "why?" I am fundamentally a cynic: I believe that people will do almost any awful thing. But I need a reason. And I cannot find one in any of this.
Brad Thor: #Paterno & #McQueary are #PennState cowards who abetted a monster. Did the least amt possible. Real men do the right thing. #shameonthem.Search "McQueary coward" and you get 38,000+ results. I'm tempted to add that our culture doesn't exactly promote children as a precious asset worthy of our protection, but maybe that's taking it too far?
Paul Campos: The Mystery of Cowardice
Now here is the detail that, among all the details in the Grand Jury’s extensive depiction of the morally depraved behavior of Sandusky, Curley, Schultz, Paterno, PSU president Graham Spanier, and McQueary, is perhaps the most shocking: Five years after this, in the spring of 2007, Sandusky was attending PSU football practices with his latest rape victim: a 12-year-old boy who he had met through a Second Mile camp conducted at PSU, and who he was in the process of, among other things, orally sodomizing.Much more. Read the rest. Also see:
At this point, McQueary was no longer a graduate assistant, as he had been promoted to an administrative assistant position on the football staff a few months after his meetings with Paterno, Curley and Schultz, and was made a full-fledged assistant coach the following year. So Mike McQueary and Joe Paterno were at the PSU football practices to which Jerry Sandusky was showing up with his latest child rape victim in tow. They saw him, there, with his latest victim. They could not have had any doubt, at that point, about what they were seeing. [. . .]
Football is a hyper-masculine world, within which it’s a common insult to use women’s genitalia as a synecdoche for insufficient toughness and bravery, but I’m quite confident the women I know best would have displayed far more sheer physical courage in a comparable situation than McQueary did – and that most certainly includes my 4’10” 100-pound Aragonese grandmother.
Rod Dreher: Don't Be Like the Coward Mike McQueary
Mike McQueary Becomes Enemy No. 1
McQueary’s dad: ‘it’s eating him up not being able to tell his side’
I can't imagine anything he could say that would excuse his walking away from that boy.
For those with strong stomachs, here's the grand jury report.
Updated to add David French: Penn State and the Wages of Cowardice
It was cowardly for a 6′4″ graduate assistant to witness the rape of a child by an older man and not only take no action to stop it but also not even call the police. It is a sign of extended adolescence — no, extended infancy — that instead of doing anything to help a child in distress, he called his father, acting not like a man but like a child in distress himself.Read the rest.
Just noticed this from Adrienne, which begs for inclusion: Where have the real men in this country gone?... are there any left? Any??
Many thanks to Doug Ross for linking.
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