It’s a Tribal Thing

I’d like to take just a few lines to acknowledge the Jerry Sandusky – Penn State child molestation scandal. If you’ve had enough of the topic, skip on.

I have seen some remarks to the effect that Joe Paterno and the University President shouldn’t have been fired because they reported their suspicious to others, thus meeting their legally mandated duties. And remarks to the same effect that the assistant coach now on leave reported what he witnessed to his boss.

I’m going to have to call bullshit here.

This isn’t about law, it’s about a moral imperative. More obviously, it’s about biology. Watch any herd of elephants or pack of wolves and you’ll see the adults protect the young until they grow enough to fend for themselves. That happens when a predator of another species attacks or one of their own kind goes rogue.

This group of men in Pennsylvania knew that one of their own was preying on children and they failed to stop him. There’s no exculpation, no excuse. That they and all similarly situated should be punished for their failure to protect the young is more than a matter of justice; it’s imperative that we all learn from it.

Put another way, any grown man – or woman – who won’t do everything needful to save kids from being hurt is worthless to the tribe.

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