Like the rest of America, I found myself getting sick after reading about the sex abuse scandal at Penn State University. The detailed reports are nothing less than mortifying, and I am among those who believe that this university should pay tens of millions to victims and their families in order to make things right. I also find myself wondering if anyone other than former Penn State Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky should be going to jail over this – there appear to be numerous accomplices who should be losing more than their jobs.
But a radio conversation I had this afternoon with Santita Jackson (the daughter of Rev. Jesse Jackson) led me to reflect on the buzz that this case has suddenly created within the African American community. Black folks are increasingly concerned about the fact that many of the victims were Black boys, and wondering if race created an additional layer of vulnerability. In light of this, I thought about a few things that I’m asking myself about this pathetic and tragic situation.
1) How many of those boys were Black? Read more…
by Kevin Powell
Joe Paterno. Herman Cain. Penn State football. Presidential campaigns. Men. Sex. Power. Women. Harassed. Children. Abused.
These are some of the hash tags that have tweeted through my mind nonstop, these past several days, as multiple sexual harassment charges have been hurled at Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain; as Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator for Penn State’s storied football program, was arrested on 40 counts related to allegations of sexual abuse of eight young boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky’s alleged indiscretions have not only brought back very ugly and unsettling memories of the Catholic Church sexual abuse mania a few short years ago, but has led to the firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno and Penn State president Graham Spanier, plus the indictments of athletic director Tim Curley and a vice president, Gary Schultz, for failing to report a grad assistant’s eyewitness account of Sandusky allegedly having anal sex with a ten-year-old boy in a shower on the university’s campus in 2002.