Monday, November 14, 2011

Honestly, what is wrong with people?

Hey, I talk about rape a bit here, so if you're not into that, then maybe sit this one out, cool?

Many people think that I am too kind to people from history. Well, except for Thomas Jefferson, because seriously. But generally, I take the view that if you look at where people were coming from in history, sometimes it  might help us understand that some people who seem totally backwards today might have even been progressive in their time. I guess I do this out of some sort of ideal of 'fairness'/'mercy', but also some sort of egoism. Because I know that most likely I am doing something unspeakably evil. Either things I'm aware of (like buying shirts at the Gap made of slave labor), or not aware of. So I guess if I'm saying that those people were trying to work with what they have, maybe people will give me and our time the same courtesy.

But when I think about some things that have happened recently, I can already think: No way. People from the future, I give you full ability to judge American society in 2011 to be thoroughly messed up. I guess the specific incidents that I have to mention here are the treatment of the Occupy Oakland camp, versus the Penn State Riots.

Occupy Oakland may not be perfect, and it might even be illegal. But guess what? The law that they are breaking is 'Illegal camping', so unless you are some sort of legalistic authoritarian, I don't see how the legality of the protest trumps the actual substance. It's like a person making a perfectly reasoned argument, and the other pointing out a grammatical mistake; it's irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Let alone that public spaces should be open to people anyways. But let's say that Illegal camping should be some sort of sacrosanct law that we have built our society off of (as opposed to say... free speech). The police used tear gas and riot squads attacking people with batons and rubber bullets. Unless this is how illegal camping is generally solved, which I don't believe is true, I don't get why it's being used here. I mean seriously, what the hell?

I mean, in UC Berkeley, the students were beaten (or nudged, if you believe the Associated Press) with batons because they were committing the violent action of linking their arms. I feel like I have to be in some sort of bizarro world where everyone in power must either be incredibly stupid, or just the worst liars on the entire damn planet. God, you'd think that Red Rover would be priority 1 in our schools if this were the case.

However, you have riots in Penn state. Now, let's just stop there and examine why these riots are happening. If they were part of Occupy, I'm sure the police would have gone all sorts of Kent state on everyone, and the news coverage of it would have been nonstop until the media people died from some combination of starvation and rage-induced strokes. But that's not the case. They were in fact, rioting because Joe Paterno stepped down because he had been protecting a child rapist.




Are we at such a nadir as a society that we are honestly having "Pro Child Rape" riots/rallies? I don't care what anyone says otherwise, rioting because your friend/leader/guy you never even met got in trouble for covering up rape is a 'Pro-Rape" event. This reminded me of the "we killed Osama Bin Laden" group celebrations, but angrier. And at least I could even understand the sentiment behind that, even if it was a bit blood thirsty. But when you're sitting down, thinking about yourself, and you come across the thought "You know, I think I'm more concerned about college football than children being raped", at what point does this not ring some sort of bell? I'm not saying that you have to stop liking football, but at least don't treat it as a "break a few eggs/rape a few kids to make an omelette" situation. I mean, I didn't even know this kind of person existed. Jesus Christ.

Not only that, but they broke things and turned over vans! What? Where was the tear gas then? I mean, do I really have to believe that the police are more sympathetic to raping children than to solving income inequality? Because that is seriously the implication of this differential treatment.

I mean, if you're not embarrassed to live in a country that's priorities seem to be so clear of any actual compassion or inkling of justice, then I don't know what to do for you.

1 comment:

  1. The Joe Paterno stuff drives me nuts. "He's old! He didn't do it. He blahblahblah." Yep, because doing the act is unforgivable, but knowing about it and not doing anything? PERFECTLY OKAY. It's ridiculous. That doesn't make you better. It actually almost makes you worse. Because you're supposed to have a moral compass, but along that compass your career is more important than a few abused children.

    It totally breaks my brain that people knew about that guy and still let him work with at risk youth.