Saturday, July 7, 2012

Community v. victim

Now that Jerry Sandusky has been convicted for abusing minors and Penn State has a pile of court cases over why they didn't act sooner, Terrence Heath has a look at the ingredients that made the scandal possible. It has three parts.

* A community that is closely-knit and sees itself as superior to those not in the community. This sense of community is something to be proud of and protected.

* The members of the community take their identity from the community and invest a lot of themselves in it. So when scandal threatens members want to protect the community because that protects themselves. If it can happen here in this special space, what does that say about me? Better that it can't happen here.

* Those in authority are more interested in the reputation of the community than the welfare of the victims. Those at the top create a system that discourages making waves.

I now have a few question to ponder: Does this effort to protect the community instead of the victim exist at the national level? How does patriotism factor into that?

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