Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Herman Cain and Jerry Sandusky Make Me Sick

Well, either that or the Relief Society retreat I attended over the weekend made me sick, but I really love The Relief Society, so I kind of doubt it. Don't know what I'm talking about? Well, let's just say I woke up a bunch of other women at 5:30 am because I had the stomach flu. Not exactly a fun end to a sleepover, but on the plus side, I got to watch a lot of movies and eat a ton of jello.

Anyway, my horrible weekend aside, there have been some really awful things going on in the news lately. Granted, there are always awful things going on in the news, but US news sources aren't always great about publicizing human rights violations, particularly when those violations are sexual crimes perpetrated by powerful men against women or minors, so I don't think very many of us are used to seeing such focus on these issues.

Personally, I deal with these issues much better when they're fictional, and listening to Sandusky's phone interview made me more than a little queasy. But all this crappy news about sports legends engaging in and/or enabling sexual abuse against little boys, while Herman Cain remains unapologetic despite mounting evidence that he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women, doesn't just make me literally sick to my stomach. No, this news also has me wondering why it's difficult to accept the possibility that someone who does good things in public may be culpable in private. At least most people seem to trust the evidence against Sandusky, and his phone interview with Bob Costas reveals just how shaky their defense is. For those interested in the interview but without the stomach to handle it, I'm including Jon Stewart's coverage, which makes the interview at least a bit more palatable. It's still super creepy, though, so be forewarned.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jerry Sandusky Phone Interview
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The basic gist of the video is that when Costas asks Sandusky if he's sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky takes a very long time to give a very indirect answer, in which he says he's not sexually attracted to young boys, emphasizing the word "sexually" so much that we have to wonder what difference he thinks there is between being attracted to young boys versus sexually attracted. Like I said, it's pretty clear this man is lying.

And yet, despite the severity of charges Sandusky is facing, and despite evidence that Jo Paterno was told in explicit detail about Sandusky raping a young boy in the showers and yet didn't go to the police, a bunch of Penn State students threw the tantrum that is now so infamous. Racialicious is of the opinion that the Penn State riots are about maintaining privilege for white men, as they explain in their discussion of all the "us" vs. "them" language used by students participating in the riot. While there's evidence of race as a factor in this horrendous debacle, I suspect the issue is more complex, particularly since so many have come to Herman Cain's defense in his own debacle and since it's very common for people to dismiss allegations of sexual abuse.

So, I'm returning to Erica's question of the week from a few weeks back, but now I'm amending it: why can't we believe that a person who does good things in public could do horrible things in private too?

1 comment:

  1. Although I was never supportive of Herman Cain as a politician, it is troubling to me as a republican and a conservative that we can have a platform based on Fundamental Christian values and supposed Family Centered values and even THINK of allowing a man like Mr. Cain represent those values to the public. A lot of people make crappy choices, but once they have made those choices don't we look for someone else to represent our values and beliefs? Political or moral? If someone doesn't have enough control to keep it in his pants how can we trust him to sit in front of the proverbial "Red Button?"