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Nov 10 / King Kaufman

“How dare you?” A rebuke to Joe Paterno supporters

Kelly Scaletta

Kelly Scaletta

Of all the words written and said about the Penn State child rape scandal, I don’t know of any more powerful than Kelly Scaletta’s Bleacher Report piece, “Joe Paterno Doesn’t Deserve Your Sympathy, Penn State—Shame on You.”

It’s an outraged response to the on-campus demonstrations in support of Joe Paterno last night. And a “deeply personal” one, Scaletta writes.

Scaletta reveals that he was molested at the age of 11, and he’d never told anyone about it until he told his wife last night. Then he sat down to write this piece.

Addressing that part of the Penn State community that has expressed support for Paterno, he writes:

I simply held that within me for 33 years until tonight. It’s a hard thing to talk about. Nothing I have ever done has left me feeling more precarious. It is a frightening thing.

The people who were victimized are a thousand times more delicate than you can possibly imagine. Every action you take in defense of Paterno is an action against them. How dare you? How DARE you show more sympathy for the man who, through his minimal action, covered it up than the victims?

Don’t tell me that your “heart goes out to the victims.” If it did you wouldn’t be rioting in the streets of College Station, turning over TV vans or throwing rocks at the police.

Your heart goes out to the victims? Where is their vigil? Where is their demonstration?

It took courage for Scaletta to give vent to his justifiable outrage and reveal the reason behind it. His piece is not just a great piece of writing, it’s an example of the power of the printed word.

  • Justin David Tate

    Damn! That’s power.

  • Guest

    Plugging the team stream app at the end ruins the intensity and emotion of the post, imho.

    • Anonymous

      You’re right.

      I added that as a way of saying Scaletta’s not the only B/R writer who’s doing good work, but it came out looking like an ad. I took it out.

  • Kkraetzer

    Unless, you have been a victim, you certainly can not understand the pain and longterm effect. My wife tells me that about her experience running out of the World Trade Center on 9-11.

    • Anonymous

      I respectfully disagree, Ken. That’s what empathy’s for. It separates us from the lower life forms. The fact that so many fail at it does not mean it doesn’t exist.

      Those who have been victims of terrible crimes can probably tell those of us who haven’t some things we didn’t know. They can describe feelings we’ve probably never had. But can we understand? Yes. That capacity is part of what makes us human. It’s a potential we don’t always live up to, as we witnessed in State College last night.

      • Scott Harris

        Agreed. Kelly’s personal tragedies do lend gravitas to his perspective, but that perspective is not invalid without it.

  • Scott Harris

    King, thanks for sharing this. As I noted in the comments section of Kelly’s article, the article makes me proud (or prouder) to be affiliated with Bleacher Report. I hope it goes viral, if it hasn’t already…