Jerry Sandusky is a convicted pedophile.
According to reliable sources including newspapers, magazines, and online blogs, there were numerous missed opportunities to investigate allegations, going back as far back as 1998. Who knew? Who knew what? Why did it take so long? Why?
These are the questions most folks are asking. These are not, to be clear, the questions I’m asking. Anyone with half a brain, who knows big business – make no mistake, universities are big business – anyone who’s seen big business in action, knows the answer to these questions. So I’m asking a different question. I’m asking a relevant question. Here it is: Where were the Parents and who were the Enablers?
My mother was not educated. But she took in laundry to make money, in addition to raising three kids. My father was not educated. But he was an entrepreneur, who used what little profit he made to support his family along with “extracurricular activities.” In other words, horses and other women.
So when you take into consideration what they had to work with, you could say my parents were “busy people.” Yet I knew, from an early age, that anybody touching me, in a more than a friendly way, was a “Stranger Danger.”
Now, to be clear, we did not use the phrase “Stranger Danger.” But I specifically remember getting the lecture from my mom, many times. And I specifically remember her teaching me modesty, as well as respect for other people’s privacy.
Where were the parents?
At our parish, we had Priests and Brothers. The Priests were in charge. The Brothers were our friends, running “Bull Sessions,” where we could talk openly about issues, both with and without girls, as we battled the demons lurking in our hormones.
The Priests gathered information from us about the behavior of the Brothers. At the time, I didn’t know why. But in hindsight, I get it. They knew there were “Brothers with Issues.”
So they kept their eyes open. All the kids knew which Brothers to stay away from, and how to squirm away from icky touching. Life was hard for the pedophiles. Life was good for the kids.
Where were the folks in charge?
All my life, I have known about boys liking boys. We did not know about girls liking girls, probably because girls holding hands, whispering in corners, and hugging each other, for the most part, is how we perceived girls as being girls. What I’m saying is we knew girls were weird.
How come we knew all these things back in the Bronx? Even before we had all the fancy pants psychologists, making big money on TV, helping us “verbalize.”
It was pretty simple back then. We had Freddy and Camellia, who were a brother and sister, living together, who would come for Sunday Dinner. We had strict instructions on what we could and could not say. Mom once told me she wondered about their life, especially since they lived in a one bedroom apartment.
We had Uncle Louie, who would come for Sunday Dinner. Uncle Louie was a bachelor. Mom said Uncle Louie loved steam baths.
We had Uncle Joe, from Canada, who would sleep on the sofa in our living room when he came for Sunday Dinner. Mom did not like all the tickling. So she made sure to wake-up before we did, keeping us away from Uncle Joe’s inappropriate fingers.
Where were the Moms?
When my kids were young, I told them stories about Freddy and Camellia, about Uncle Louie, about Uncle Joe, about tickling being the opposite of funny. I explained about boys liking boys; I explained how some girls holding hands with other girls are into holding more than just hands.
When Greg went to overnight camp, and came up against a counselor who was trying to “hone his craft,” on the kids in his cabin, Greg knew exactly what to do: band together and protect those at risk. Most pedophiles go after the easy prey. My kids knew what to do. My kids knew how to outsmart a creep.
Where were the Dads?
Sandusky may be a pedophile. But he should not be the pedophile we worry about. If the folks in charge, and the parents, were doing their job, this pedophile would have had a tough time “honing his craft.”
The pedophiles we have to worry about are the ones hiding in the weeds, pouncing on our young when they cannot defend themselves. The ones who take them away in cars, never to be seen again. The ones who kill, once they’ve had their way, to protect their brokenness. These are the pedophiles who should keep us up at night, listening for tell tale sounds.
I’m not saying Jerry Sandusky in not a pedophile. But to be Brutal, to be Frank, that’s exactly what I am saying.
We need another name for a guy who destroys our kids, and their future, with inappropriate behavior, and then is protected by Parents and Enablers, so he can continue “honing his craft.” We need a word for the Enablers who help him develop and improve his technique. Jerry Sandusky had a long and fulfilling career. He probably left hundreds of damaged children in his wake. He did it with the help of numerous Enablers and “So Called Parents.” If any one of these folks had done their job, Sandusky’s career would have been the opposite of fulfilling.
All those kids were victims. Jerry Sandusky is nothing more than a criminal who was enabled. And the Enablers are scumbags.