The English philosopher Edmund Burke was correct when he said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
We believe the tolerance of evil is as despicable as evil itself. German officers tolerated evil. Some of the German people tolerated evil. Dutch citizens in the Congo tolerated evil. Joe Paterno tolerated evil.
Paterno did what he was supposed to do as an employee of Penn State. He was made aware of criminial activity in his department and went to his superior to report it.
What he did not fulfill was his obligation as a human being. He was aware of repeated atrocities in his facilities. As a thinking, feeling man he absolutely should have gone to the police. He should have done all in his power to stop what was happening to those boys.
What does his legacy mean now? Is a lifetime of achievement negated by one shameful act? We believe so. His legacy is shattered just as the innocence of the boys who fell prey to Sandusky is shattered.
As for the 2,000 or so students who rioted after Paterno was fired, we understand the frustration of seeing your icon, your living legend, shamed and fired from the university of which he’s been an integral part for so many years.
We can understand it, but we cannot empathize. The students of Penn State should be angry that this was allowed to go on for so long.
Also, surely there is a better way to show your support for the man who represents your town than to run through its streets and wreak havoc.
We also believe that every football game ever played means nothing compared to the well-being of children and people in general.
What honor is there in a program corrupted by pedophilia? What fun is there to be had in a game if those coaching lack the backbone to stop the filth of a terrible crime? There is none.
Then there is the suspect himself—Sandusky. We believe evil exists in this world, and we believe people are capable of evil acts, but we don’t believe that a person can be, at his or her core, evil. However, Sandusky comes as close as anyone in the United States has in quite a while.
It’s sad that humanity is capable of such great atrocities. It’s sad that Penn State must deal with this crisis.
Most of all, it’s sad that nearly 20 young boys must carry this with them for the rest of their lives.