I see so many Penn State graduates finding ways to say that they are still proud to be alums. Articles written and uploaded, facebook statuses proclaiming their pride, letters to the editor, etc. etc.. Why this obsession with making it clear that you are still proud?
I was brought up Catholic and have attended Catholic school for a majority of my education. When the scandal at the Vatican was unveiled, I made no effort to make it clear that I was still proud to be a Catholic. I was, in fact, not proud to be a Catholic. I was embarrassed for them, confused and disillusioned. I was angry and felt no need to find a reason to be proud, I just stood there in disbelief and let the anger build. It's okay to be angry and embarrassed.
Thus, I find it bazaar that PSU alums are so determined to proclaim that they are proud to be from Penn State.
A Penn State alum explained to me that the difference is based on the number of people who knew. The Vatican's scandal was deeper and many more people knew whereas at Penn State only four people knew, so it did not represent Penn State-- it only represented four people. Also, religion is much deeper than education.
There are times when lines between good and bad become grey. When 18 year old soldiers are drafted and sent to war and have to make life and death decisions. When child soldiers depend upon killing for their own survival. When an illegal immigrant finds ways to survive in America so that her daughter does not have to be genitally mutilated.
Penn State's scandal does not fall in this league of humanitarian grey lines.
I don't understand the immediate call to action to show pride. Where was the anger, confusion and disillusionment of its students and alums? Did I just miss it because I was not physically at Penn State? In the end, I guess I keep wondering, 'where is their anger?'.
Most of the people I know who did not attend Penn State also look on with the same sense of confusion and bewilderment that I do. Why so many calls to pride? Why so few articles from alums pondering whether they should be given the death penalty? Whether there should be stricter regulations put in place? Where is the questioning and anger?
This is the part I'm still waiting for, the part that irks me. There have been so few apologies and so many defensive reactions that I can find few reasons to try to understand. Because in the end, maybe I will never understand.
I'm happy that many people from our region received a great education at Penn State. I, too, got a great education at Catholic schools but I'm not posting tons of Facebook status messages and writing letters to the editor about it.
The facts are the facts. Just like with the Vatican, a scandal concerning molestation was discovered. It happened and people in positions of importance knew and did nothing to stop it. There are no grey lines here. There are victims and there are people who should show how much this bothers them but instead they seem determined to show how little it bothers them. Why this goes on baffles me and saddens me. Show some remorse for god sakes. Show that you are upset.
Because this is more than just about alums from Penn State. This is about showing that our society cares about kids more than sports and logos. That our society holds people accountable for acts that, legal or not, cross the laws of humanitarian responsibility. That the pursuit of knowledge allows for a greater society not just a richer one.
It's time for Penn State to apologize. It's time for its alums to stop writing about how proud they are. If you really want to show America that you are still a great school, show that you can apologize, accept blame and make amends. Show that you truly do care. Until then, expect little understanding from those who did not attend Penn State.