Friday, November 11, 2011

A Child's Rape

Penn State has a mess to clean up and we are going to let the justice department, lawyers and prosecutors deal with all the ramifications of systemically raping children by one of their staff and keeping a shroud of secrecy to maintain the enormous profits from their football program.  To date, those profits generated is in the millions of dollars annually.  It is unfortunate, but money rules and power corrupts any humanity or sense of common decency.

What I want to talk about today is Mike McQueary.  You know who he is by now, he is the assistant coach who witnessed the rape of a 10 year old in the showers.  McQueary has been kept off the field for the upcoming game because there are alleged threats against  him and his family and the university fears for his safety.

We have all heard people making off-the-cuff comments about McQueary and I am here, not to defend him, but to get you to look at things from a different perspective.

Question: How could Mike McQueary not have called the police?
Question: Why did McQueary not beat the living daylights out of the coach and then call the police and the boy's parents?
Observations made: McQueary is a strong, tall and muscular former quarterback, he could have taken on the child rapist with one hand tied behind his back. Why didn't him?

We will have to allow McQueary to make his statements, but the fact remains that what he saw bothered him greatly even if he had no training or clue on what a "normal" individual would do in a similar situation.  McQueary was a quarterback and now we are all playing arm chair quarterbacks thinking we would do things differently or better.

Let me assure you that right now, today, we all probably would.  Let me state that if you had been raised in an environment in which secrecy and loyalty are the only values that are stressed in your life, you would probably, most likely have said NOTHING to anyone.  Yes, you would not have said ANYTHING.  

McQueary broke ranks.  He was bothered enough by it that he reached out to the person he trusted the most: His father.  He trusted his father who told him to report the situation to powerful coach Paterno.

Paterno reports that McQueary was visibly agitated when he arrived at his home the next day and told him what had happened.  McQueary put his trust and faith on the other adults around him who would take care of the most horrific situation he had experience in his life. (as far as we know).  

McQueary was 28 and he did something NO ONE else had done before: He spoke up as an adult to the other adults who have always been in charge.  The adults in question took steps to cover it all up and send a very strong message to those below: Silence is Golden, Shut Up and demonstrate your loyalty to this magnificent and powerful institution.

Yes, McQueary is a big, strong guy, but size does not endow anyone with courage - Take a look at everyone who was in "the know" and ask yourself where was their moral compass? their compassion? their outrage?

Most of us would like to think that we would have beaten the tar out of ANYONE raping a child, but the sad fact is that when you are in an environment that squashes your very soul into submission, you keep your mouth shut and go on with blinders, tunnel vision and recurring nightmares.

Do you really think that if you were part of that environment you would actually speak up and against your bread and butter? Your superiors? Your own parents and coaches? - Think again and think without emotion but base your thinking with the restrictions of reality.  You are going to have to do some very hard soul searching that may leave you bruised and shake up all you think about yourself.

Don't believe the above statement? Take a look at the visceral reaction of Penn Students when coach Paterno was fired.  They did not rile up against the vicious cycle of child rape, but against the decision to take off the game an individual who little kids were afraid of.  Their loyalty is blind and this is expected in this type of environment. Even in light of these events, coaches have urged players' families and fans to wear white at the next game to show their support for Paterno.  Why? - Because the status quo must be maintained.  Silence and loyalty maintains power and generates wealth.


A mother came forward this week and related that when she told her son to talk to coach Paterno, the child refused because he was just as afraid of him as he was of his rapist.  His rapist: Jerry Sandusky.

Why would a child be just as afraid of Paterno as he was of Sandusky? - His mother reveals that her son was allowed to leave school at age 11 with Sandusky and she was never notified by school officials.  How deep does the power of Penn State officials go? Why is it that when a mother called the police and filed a report against her son being sexually abused by Sandusky the case never saw the light of day? Why is it that a prosecutor who had NO INTENTION of pursuing the matter went missing along with the hard drive in his computer?

Sandusky was employed at Penn State University for over 20 years.  Do you have any idea how many children he raped in this period of time? What about before he was hired? Do you realize that maybe someone like McQueary may have fallen prey to this predator? or that many on the football team had come to accept that this is the price you pay for future fame and glory?  How many people in the span of 20 years KNEW, just KNEW that Sandusky should not be allowed around children and did NOTHING? 

One answer fits all: People who are bred into the environment don't rock the boat.  They can lose their jobs and be mired in legal battles from which they will never recover financially or emotionally. 

Don't believe me yet? Take a look at women sexually harassed by Herman Cain and the powerful industry that is talk radio and Fox programming.  These women have been belittled and demonized by these powerful people who see these women as an annoyance that must be destroyed so they can continue to go on with "business as usual." - Conferences have been cancelled and women refuse to come forward.  After all they had to go through, these women are still being victimized and silence is once again, forced on them.

Take a look at every child that comes back changed from their experience at summer camp and  won't talk about it until they are well into their 20's or even 50's. Silence was forced on them via threats and guilt.

No one knows what it is like to be sexually assaulted, degraded, demoralized and raped until we walk a minute in a victim's shoes.  Unfortunately, it is true that those who have been raped as children will either become predators themselves or the fiercest advocates for children's rights.  There is no way to sit on the fence on this issue unless you are still in shock over what happened to you.  Maybe, just maybe, this scandal at Penn State will allow those older players who are in denial or state of shock to come forth and speak up.  On the other hand, they may be silenced into submission once again by the media and Penn State's powerful lawyers. 


Pedophiles are called "repeat offenders" for a reason, they can't and won't stop.  These predators have a circle of intimates who are just like them.  They share child pornography via computers and enable one another to hunt for prey.  

There is an organization that is exclusively about adults having sex with children, their claims are preposterous but they want to be legitimized.  They call themselves NAMBLA.  There are website that exclusively depict footage of adults having sex with children, just as there are web cams showing women being gang raped and bestiality.  

You can find anything you want on the internet and connect with people who share the same predilections.  Predators stick together and the world of sports is as fertile a field as any other, but sport organizations comes with the added perk of collective and complicit silence.  Raped women or children are made to go away through shame or threats.  The cycle continues until someone blows the lid off and the powerful lose their cover.

Child rapists are predators who have no real human emotion that would preclude them from repeating the act with as many children as possible.  For Sandusky, the children he likes to rape are between 10 and 12 years old.  For Cain, the women were in their early 20's but one thing that unites these types of people is the safety of implicit silence and victim's shame.

While I strongly expect that many of Sandusky's victims ended up being players at Penn State or members of the staff at the university, I can only hope they will come forward now as a group, just like the women who were assaulted by Herman Cain.  There is strength and safety in numbers and this is the only way to destroy the power of silence and end a vicious cycle of generational abuse. 

If you are an adult who has been raped as a child, you need to know these 2 things:



If your child has been abused, let them know that it was not their fault and they did nothing wrong.  If they have never been abused, continue to think long and hard before you allow them to spend the night at someone's house or go away to camp or religious retreats.  The fact is that YOU DON'T KNOW these people. They are total strangers and if your child is uncomfortable around a relative or neighbor, pay attention; their body language and reactions speak louder than words. Heed them.

Where do you think pedophiles like to work and reside? They gain your trust and confidence as a parent because they are authority figures in religious institutions or camp counselors or coaches.  You, as an adult, do not question anything because you have been socialized into respecting and trusting a uniform or a position.  It is not unusual for parents to send their children away with total strangers because they are under the assumption that these people can be trusted.


Things have not gotten worse since you were a child it just seems that way because we can repeat a story to everyone around the world in a matter of seconds. In our grandparent's generation children were raped by authority figures the same as today, but everything was kept at the local level, isolated and covered up quickly.  The components to perpetuating the cycle then are the same as they are today: silence, and good people turning away from things they found unpleasant and personally threatening. 

Penn State is not the only story in sports where children are systematically raped either.  It happens all the time in schools and neighborhoods across the nation.  Take for instance the case of  Mr. Ogletree who spoke against Donald Fitzpatrick of the Red Sox.  Mr. Ogletree is 48 years old now but he was powerless when it happened to him at 10 years of age and so were the other children that shared his nightmare.

I summit the link to The Grand Jury findings on Penn State's investigation if you can stomach the detailed descriptions.

Before I leave you, I want to emphatically state that the phrase: "Children are resilient" is a big, fat lie made up to give adults a way out of their guilt.  It is insulting to children and minimizes their experiences as a right of passage.  

Children are NOT resilient, they are SURVIVORS.  Don't ever let anyone tell you that your children forget. They don't. They remember every detail through their entire lives and when they have children of their own, it all comes back with a force that knocks the wind out of their sails. No one "gets over it" it is always there.

We can stop the cycle of abuse by speaking up.  It is the only way to hold power accountable for crimes against humanity and allow children to have a childhood they don't have to get over.

I wish you PEACE


Marie Bagatela said...

I was outrage when I heard of it...but that was nothing compare how I blow today at work...
Usually I am calm and don’t raise my voice with my coworkers, and I try as much as possible to avoid any confrontation...I am there to give my eight hours the best I can, we are all human and holding grudges or winning battles is out of my scope of interaction!
So today I was fixing my make up when I heard my supervizor explain to one of my coworker that Paterno did right passing the info to his superior!
I snap instantly!
_ Excuse me...there was not a battle of bear that was broken in that locker room, but a human life! An innocent child BTW! I dont give a damn if Paterno pave the street with gold and have dinner with angel every Sunday...what he did has no excuse...none...he is guilty of a crime worse then the guy who is Sick and he cant help himself...
MY supervisor said I don’t understand...I interrupt him even worse:
Don’t U dare to undermine my humanity trying to "give" me explanation" End of Story! If U have property damage You go to your supervisor, if You have child abuse of a worse matter...sexual abuse of a ten year old child, You go to police. Period...PERIOD! I think all employee heard me!
That’s how I feel...and If we don’t morally reject that, we are not giving a lesson to any one in the future!
-There is not a good deed that can cover for this crime from Paterno and the rest of the adult who knew and allow that travesty to go on...
I don’t wish death penalty , but for those ppl...
Don’t ask me what kind of death penalty I will impose on them...
I have a terrible imagination...

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Olivia and I don't think I can write anything more to the point than what Marie wrote.

Your post does make it clear why there was a holocaust, unfortunately. And it also points out how far we've come that kids are brave enough to buck the system and speak out when they see such things happening.

Marie (re67u)

Liv said...

I have allowed myself to immerse deep in this story because it is mine and many others story. Victimized as a child and not being able to tell, and when you do, they are protected, not you. I not only feel for these children, I understand and embrace them with every fiber of my soulspeak.

I have no compassion for these men of football and power. Even the youngest was a victim only of his own weakness and tainted moral code. Lets face it, Sports is a male god, for the most part, and the power and $$ that has been allowed to embrace it is a sick and disreputable business in its core. It breeds contempt for any other and the people behind it are as sleazy and soulless as the most of the GOP.

I hope that school ceases to exist. I would like to see it bankrupt and every penny going to all the kids affected and their families. I want to see every man involved be to be looked upon as so vile that they are spit upon in the streets. I want them to spend every day of the rest of their pitiful lives remorseful for not doing the right thing.

I have no compassion for them. None.

May they metaphorically burn for the rest of their miserable lives.

sandinbrick said...

I am most disgusted with this! It reminds me again, that fear of losing your job, or some other ridiculous reason for not reporting such a horrible incident is beyond me. I just couldn't live with myself knowing some young boy was being raped and just stood by. We need to forget our heros, and take it straight away to the police. That where this young man messed up. I know he trusted his bosses, but after they didn't do anything about it, he should have gone to the authorities. Also I can't believe these college kids went crazy over this. No, forget your hero's, time to do what's right.

Penny said...

Excellent post. I'd like to believe I would have beat the crap out of Sandusky in that shower if I was capable. Or... at the very least call the police and report the rape. I think McQueary's reaction was fear-based when his first thought should have been motivated by the fact a child was being raped. You go to the police!!! That to me is a no-brainer.