The henious Penn State scandal is another perfect example of how people and society’s assumptions can go terribly wrong. I have argued for years how many in todays world would view a khaki pants, button down shirt, clean cut, good grammer individual as an honorable, upstanding, decent citizen while most times not bestowing those same thoughts upon the jeans, hoodie wearing sneaker crowd. When will we all learn that evil has no dress code or no color; it neither speaks a certain way nor has a certain DNA type; it doesn’t hear a certain type of music or follow a specific religion. As most things, it comes in many different packages & all too often it can not be readily identified. Most people you see look at a guy like this Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State Defensive Co-ordinator accused of multiple sexual assults on young boys, immediately labeling him – by appearance mind you, as an upstanding, decent, God fearing, all american male. Well SURPRISE! As is usually the case, he is the worse kind of evil, preying on innocent, defenseless kids. Almost as deplorable is how Joe Paterno or “Joe Pa” as he is affectionately known, the revered head coach, appears to have done very little to further prevent these tragedies, even as he learned of his co-workers indescretions. How people throughout the area were rioting over “Joe Pa’s” dismissal is beyond me. Is football that important in these people’s lives that they choose to overlook the most disgusting of offenses? Could it be they can not believe how wrong they have been about these people – their heroes? Would they be as forgiving if it was one of the students, a history teacher or the janitor? This blog is not to highlight the crime, as we all know it is unspeakable, it is intended to further explore our views on people based on how they look or how we want them to be. It has always been an issue of mine how some people are always granted the benefit of the doubt as if somehow wearing khakis and loafers exclude you from misbehaving. How I can walk into an interview room or a resturant along with another suit wearing individual and automatically be addressed differently, given different opportuinities or asked if I know where the bathroom is? I learned of this NJ cop who had a family, was “clean cut” and was a pillar to his community, who was arrested for infecting numerous women with the HIV virus he had been infected with from his multiple dalliances with prostitutes. You see this “social blindness” as I call it, can and probably has affected us all at some point in our lives to varying degrees. So the next time you meet one of the all american boy types, don’t be so quick to accept him with open arms, he may end being a Sandusky.
Character is what you do when no one is watching.