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Penn State Riots Were Disgusting [NSFW VIDEO]

Patrick Smith, Getty Images

“Penn State Riots for Paterno, I Die A Little Inside,” was too long a title but one that really seemed most appropriate.  Several of the videos in this article are raw footage and contain explicit language.

Minutes after the Penn State board of trustees made the announcement that they had fired long time football coach Joe Paterno, students at the school took to the street in a violent and disgusting show of support for the 84-year old coach who was complicit in the cover-up of a former assistant’s years of child molestation and rape.  Many of the students in the following videos would vehemently challenge my assessment of the coach’s actions, but that, in my opinion, just shows the lack of prospective that these students bring to the situation.  Many of the students in the following videos would also be quick to point out that Paterno passed the concerns onto his superiors, that he is not legally liable.  But that simply isn’t enough.  There’s a difference between legal liability and moral culpability, and while Joe Paterno may have fulfilled his legal obligation he in no way occupied the moral high ground – or even the moral middle ground – that is demanded of a man who holds such a celestial stature.

I’m a Michigan fan who’s always had a soft spot for Joe Paterno because of his record, the way he’s done things, ect.  I’ve always thought it was great that this five foot nothing, seven hundred year old Italian man was controlling the sidelines of one of the most powerful programs in the nation.  For that reason I want so hard to be able to say that Paterno isn’t to blame, that he did all he could, that this shouldn’t tarnish his record…

Rob Carr, Getty Images

But I can’t.  I just can’t.  Paterno, the administration, the wide receivers coach, etc. are guilty of the most alarming lack of human decency that I’ve ever seen. It’s totally unfathomable to me that there is anyone in this world that wouldn’t fight with everything in their body to protect children, children, from Jerry Sandusky’s unspeakably heinous crimes. How does anyone turn a blind eye to the sort depraved, loathsome and vile action that tears the innocence from a child at best and will almost certainly scar their life in irreparable fashion?

You’re outraged because Joe Paterno was fired?  Have prospective, be outraged for victims.  Little boys were molested, abused, raped and sodomized.  How is that not bigger than anything else to you?  How does that not trump anyone’s record?  Anyone. I can’t wrap my head around why it doesn’t, but it has to.  It simply has to.  There are no words to describe the disappointment I felt watching so many students flooding the streets in support of a man who’s idle hands allowed someone else to put theirs on little boys – I know it certainly wasn’t Paterno’s intent, but that was the result of him burying his head in the sand.  How does that not register as more important?  It’s football. This is rape of children.  Have prospective.  A football coach gets fired for not calling the police when alerted about child molestation and rape on his campus and you decide that the appropriate reaction is to flip over a news van?  Ugh.  You are Penn State?  That’s a terrifying thought.

You’re outraged because Joe Paterno was fired over the phone?  Grow up.  You should be outraged that not a single person in this entire case bothered to pick up a phone and call the police.  Not a single person decided that the well-being of little boys were above their own interest. You’re outraged that Joe Paterno’s six decade tenure ended in this fashion?  That’s regrettable, but get a grip.  Be outraged over the fact that there are at least eight, but likely many more, small children that have to live over six decades of their life with the cloud of their sexual abuse hanging behind them as a never-distant memory.  I’m sad to see the tenure of Joe Paterno end in this manner, but it had to happen. This type of epic failure on every level has to be answered with swift and decisive action – ironically, the type of swift and decisive action that could have saved so many of the victims years ago.

Look, I understand that you can’t lump in the entire student body, that the several thousand students who took to the streets last night is a fraction of the school’s population.  I know that these were 18-year old kids blowing off steam, and I know that several of the students in the videos below make sure to mention the victims before embarking on their wild, baffling tangents – but mentioning the victims isn’t enough.  Understand.  Joe Paterno was wrong.  He was simply wrong.  Passing along his concerns wasn’t enough, he needed to relentlessly pursue this until those boys were safe.  He didn’t and I’m sorry, but that’s a fireable offense.  It sucks that it had to end like this, it really does.  But it had to end, it just had to end.

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