I had so many random thoughts and concerns about the Sandusky case. There are a myriad of what ifs and alternate paths this tragedy could have taken and so many people involved and incidents worthy of investigation wrapped up into this huge ball of money, fame and reputation.
What would we have thought if Sandusky was found not guilty? How would the Penn State administration and the rest of the country have felt about Joe Paterno’s fall from grace and subsequent death if Sandusky had walked out of that courtroom a free man? What would that say about a jury full of people connected to the school on a personal level? How would it have reflected on the media and their blood lust for scandal? It’s dizzying.
Most importantly though, with Sandusky being found guilty on almost all counts, what can we gather about our treatment of our children? Not just the kids we bear and accept responsibility for, but all of the children in what many of us consider the greatest nation on earth. How is this village doing with regards to raising its babies, especially the Black ones?
Don’t frown. Think about it. If those kids had been beautiful porcelain girls with ringlets of gold and eyes as bright as an azure sky, would the search for justice have lasted as long? Would 15 years have transpired prior to the trial? It’s not like no one knew.
I’m raising a black boy and it’s a challenge. They have a separate grouping of pitfalls to look for and crosses to bear unique to their combination of race and gender. So many find themselves in the “at risk” category that organizations like Mr. Sandusky’s are sought out by parents to help keep them on the straight and narrow. The thought of that helping hand being nothing more than a disguise for perversion is enough to make any parent ill. Instead of pulling them from the edge, Sandusky pushed them over. Contempt is an understatement.
The tragedy was then exacerbated by a college community that stewed and considered multiple plans of action when only one was right: contacting authorities and removing him from their environment. The fact that anyone involved had to stop and ask themselves or someone else, “What should I do?” is absolutely mind boggling. Insult was added to injury the night the student body decided a football season was more important to them than the horrible atrocities committed on their own campus. Many cried for their dear JoPa without one single word for the children who were raped and victimized.
I often heard the intro to “No Vaseline” as I read article after article about what person x, or y or z who saw, heard, knew and sat around figuring out what their next step should be. “Here’s what they think about you.” Obviously not much.
So what now? Start with this thought. That village it takes to raise a child? You’re part of it. You probably won’t turn the tide of history of have a monument in DC in 50 years for your input, but what if everyone did one thing for one kid? The wolves prey on the most vulnerable because they know no one is watching. So start watching. There are hundreds if not thousands of groups who dedicate their time, talent, money and sometimes lives to making sure at-risk youth are given opportunities not afforded to them on the corner or a run-down inner city school and they should be commended. But checks and balances are necessary for our children’s health and well-being. Be cognizant of the little ones around you, whether you share DNA with them or not. That’s not going to fix everything, but it will right more wrong than you may think. My son is the center of my universe, but some of these kids aren’t on anyone’s radar. Help change that.
As the mother of a Black boy, there are a lot of things I would like to call Mr. Sandusky that professionalism won’t allow. The jury has spoken, but there is no such thing as justice in this case, but Sandusky most likely die in prison and honestly, I’m good with that.
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