Dr. Boyce Watkins has unleashed a fascinating editorial for NewsOne.com on the horrific Penn State scandal, posing some thought-provoking questions regarding the factor of race in the actions of Jerry Sandusky and Penn State.
In light of the media’s use of language like “underprivileged” and “at-risk” to describe the victims, Dr. Watkins wonders if a majority of these young boys were African American, and if that played some role in the University’s response to Jerry Sandusky’s behavior.
She also poses a few other important questions that illuminate the largely ignored racial factors that may have played (and continue to play) a role in the Penn State sex abuse scandal.
On the race of the victims:
“The fact that the children might have been Black boys doesn’t make the scandal any worse than it already is. But it does create a heightened reaction from a community that is sick of seeing Black men victimized in far too many walks of life. It also leads some to wonder if race played a role in Sandusky’s fetishes, or the tone of the university’s response”
On the economic power of the NCAA:
“Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno and other administrators likely swept Sandusky’s activities under the rug because they were trying to protect their massive cash cow. In that regard, the university came to the concerted conclusion that protecting the reputation of the Penn State University football program was more important than protecting the innocence of young children. Only a keen addiction to the power of money can make a group of educated men and women do such an evil thing.”
On the role of race in Penn State’s response:
“When Black children are being shot in “the hood,” nobody cares. Black men are incarcerated at holocaust proportions, but few politicians show even a hint of concern. In light of these realities, it’s not entirely inconceivable that Sandusky chose his targets for the same reason that many serial killers murder prostitutes with no family — it’s easy to get away with the unthinkable when you go after the victim that no one cares about.”
On Jerry Sandusky’s race privilege:
“I can’t help but wonder if the Penn State scandal would have been swept under the rug had a Black coach (or athlete) been found abusing a young white kid in the showers in the same manner as Jerry Sandusky. Would the free passes Sandusky has received from the judge (who volunteered with his charity), prosecutors and the university have come to pass if the situation had been shaped differently?”
Read the rest of this powerful article at NewsOne.com
Does it matter if most of the victims were African American?
Did race play a factor in Sandusky’s ability to get away with his alleged crimes for this long?
Sound off below!