Monday, July 16, 2012

help wanted.

this isn't a post about Chicago storms, it's a post about what's ugly and scary and real.

I don't know if I can say what I want to say about this in five minutes (because I just started a new job and have to continue working for that), but here goes:

I read this article about what went down at Penn State today, and I thought it was really compelling. I'm sure this has been happening to boys and young men all over the country, like the filmmaker being interviewed posits. I'm deeply saddened by the fact that educators and coaches have been taking advantage of students, and have been prioritizing the money they make at colleges (evidenced by the covering up) over taking care of young men who were victims. But I also can't and won't demonize the men who take advantage of them. The speaker in the article makes the point that no one is above reproach, and if that's really true, that means that someday, after a trail of unfortunate experiences, I could become someone who would sexually prey upon those weaker than me. So could you. If this is true, if it really is, then we can't crucify men like Jerry Sandusky. We have to get him help.

It makes us feel better to label him, pedophile, monster, predator, disgusting, atrocious, inhuman. But the truth is, he was somebody's kid, too; sadly, maybe he was somebody's victim. People aren't born this way. For us to label him and thereby distance him from ourselves, from our tidy, "normal" humanity, is just one of the many lies we tell ourselves to feel better, to sleep at night.
It's time for a little more truth. Even if it keeps us up. Everyone deserves our help. Even the Jerry Sanduskys.

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