Lexyne’s note: This post began as my attempt to get over a short period of writer’s block, hence the title. As I continued to write, however, it morphed into a brief comment on the current state of affairs surrounding the Penn State sexual abuse/rape allegations. I decided to keep the post as is to 1) show my stream of consciousness as this is really a “journal” post and 2) to express my sentiments regarding the crisis. As such, I felt that the original title served as an appropriate summation of my thoughts.
I have been attempting to write a blog post now for over two weeks. I have yet to complete it, even though I have pictures edited and cropped, sources researched and referenced properly, and the bulk of the words in place. But I am having a problem: for some reason, I just cannot finish it. ARGH!!!!!
I think this is my first case of writer’s block. And, for the record, it sucks.
I have read that this is a troubling issue for many writers; and the block can last anywhere from a few hours to years. In an effort combat the block, over the last few days I have tried to get motivated to write by reading other blogs (like this great tribute post/obituary about legendary hip hop artist Heavy D) and books hoping for some inspiration, to no avail. Even my favorite Tazo chai tea in my favorite mug did not work.
I eventually turned to the news hoping to find something that I would be interested in writing about. But, unfortunately, all that I kept seeing was bad news. However, once I delved further into what I perceived my writing block issue to be, I determined that the news was part of the problem.
With the latest revelations about the Penn State sexual and rape allegations, Herman Cain’s sexual harassment issues and recent flubs about Libya, and the deaths of Joe Frazier and Heavy D who were giants in the African American community, it is understandable that I have been troubled, which likely affected my ability to write.
The situation with Penn State—including the heated discussions surrounding Joe Paterno’s involvement, or lack thereof—have soured many attitudes (including mine) against the school while revealing devastating secrets held by the university’s administration. Public opinions concerning the case include expressions of outrage and incredulity regarding Jerry Sandusky, Paterno’s former defensive coordinator, and his alleged sexual abuse of eight children over the course of a decade.
Although Paterno and others admitted to prior knowledge of Sandusky’s alleged assaults, they have been condemned in the general public for failing to alert the police in an effort to stop further abuse from occurring. Penn State’s current linebacker coach, Mike McQueary, testified to the Grand Jury that he witnessed Sandusky raping a child in the football building in 2002. After informing Paterno and the athletic director of the incident, he too, did not discuss the matter further with police.
Amid the fallout, Paterno and then-president of Penn State, Graham Spanier, were both released from their employment contracts by the Board of Trustees. Others involved have been placed on forced leave by the university.
But the more important concern should, of course, lie with the victims of the alleged sexual assaults, who have—again—been victimized by the firestorm surrounding the crisis.
Even though I do not know who they are, I am worried for the young boys, who should now be in or near adulthood, and especially their mental health. I am sure that they are facing their share of turmoil that will likely continue for many years to come as the civil lawsuits begin. I hope that the young men have been receiving therapy and support from friends and family. Additionally, I pray that the young men find some semblance of peace amid so much chaos.
When thinking about all of the events surrounding the Penn State crisis, I have tried not to judge the actions of those involved, especially when I have no understanding of their circumstances or beliefs. However, I will never understand completely how or why none of those highly influential members of the Penn State community did not break from their collegial loyalties in order to protect children who were not able to protect themselves.
It is an unfortunate and disheartening reflection of their moral and ethical values. But, even more devastating, it is also a reflection of the larger disjointed community that comprises all of us. I hope that we learn from our mistakes.