when i was a kid, i had a gyroscope. it was a satellite looking thing but with a way cooler name (if you were a geeky kind of kid…) pull the string, toss it onto a hard surface and (through the wonder of physics) no matter how the angle of the surface changed it would happily spin, maintaining orientation.
use the term moral compass and that’s the image in my mind.
those two words have come to mind a lot lately. two more words: penn state.
when the story first broke, it was broadly brushed as though some along the chain of command fulfilled their obligation to inform those who had the power (and responsibility) to act on behalf of an innocent child. then the grand jury report was released.
the first witness to a child being raped in an on campus shower by an adult man (as awful as it is, that bears repeating – a witness saw a child being raped in the on campus shower by an adult man) had that feeling in the pit of his stomach. (you know that feeling, the one that tells you that something is seriously off) he told his superiors.
apparently those superiors did not experience the feeling in the pit of their stomachs. or maybe they did. then they felt the overwhelmingly human need to protect. but not the child victim.
the truth got bent off its axis and a rape got translated into maybe kinda some kind of could be misinterpreted as sexualish play and bumped to the fellas upstairs. up there it got translated into “horseplay”.
did anyone stop and think of the victim? a child. the victim was a child.
nobody does the right thing for a child. not surprisingly there are more children. everybody does the right thing for the god of football. everybody does the right thing for the god of the university. everybody does the right thing for the god of the almighty what i perceive to be my prestigious job (and even still everybody does the right thing for the god of funding for the charity and access to university facilities).
nobody does the right thing for a child.
there’s been criticism of the parent(s) of the victims for not reporting the abuse. shades of the catholic church whose excuse for not reporting rapes to proper authorities (as opposed to “church” authorities…you’re not above the law, father) was that “the victims never brought it to my attention”. the victims were children.
the students took to streets of campus to protest. not to protest the university’s cover up of child abuse. not to protest the (mis)use of university funds (presumably tuition monies) to pay for the legal defense of those who covered up a crime. not to stand up for the courageous young victim who spoke up about what happened to him.
to protest the firing of a beloved football coach. presumably to protest an act that might mar their beloved football season.
there seem to be a whole lot of people these days who need to get their moral compass checked. maybe we could send out some of those gyroscopes.