November 2011


What’s worse: Allowing Neo-Nazis to murder 10 people or Joe Paterno letting a coach rape kids?

Honestly, I cannot answer my own question, but it is something that I’ve been pondering of late.

The details of both are disturbing – and I’ve been inundated with details about one from the German half of my life and details about the other from the American half of my life.

The Neo-Nazi story actually hits a bit close to home for me: two Nazis committed suicide in Eisenach while another woman in Zwickau set her apartment on fire in order to try and destroy the evidence. It was, I hope, the end of the National Socialist Underground.

Weimar is, approximately, half way between the two. Jena is the hometown for two of the Nazis.

How the police managed not to connect the dots is up for discussion: 13 years, 10 murders (including a police officer), 14 bank robberies, and 2 nail bombs.

Most disturbingly of all: a German intelligence agent was, reportedly, at the scene of one of the murders, and the police still didn’t connect the dots.

On the Penn State story, I’m trying to avoid too many details – it’s just too awful to comprehend: an assistant coach, caught in the act of raping a minor, by a graduate assistant who reported the crime to the head football coach, who did… nothing.

Joe Paterno is, as far as I am concerned, as guilty as the rapist: he could have reported the crime to the police and stop the rapist in his tracks.

How it is that he thought that not calling the police was appropriate? I hope that he feels the full force of the law and that his personal fortune, however much it is, is wiped out in the civil lawsuits that are sure follow.

Meanwhile I am weighing the respective cons – and trying to decide which was worse.

Both are depressing.

3 comments to What’s worse: Allowing Neo-Nazis to murder 10 people or Joe Paterno letting a coach rape kids?

  • Just to clarify, it’s not that Paterno ‘did nothing’. He notified his immediate supervisor…who did nothing. But yes, appalling all the same.

    An interesting overview of Paterno’s liability in this case:

  • What is the world coming to…watching the news just makes me want to vomit. Have you heard of the baby thrown from the 5th floor of an apartment building. It’s just so awful!

  • pseudowife

    Ira Glass went to the campus of Penn State in 2009 and interviewed (I believe) tailgating students. NPR has replayed the story and some really disturbing quotes:

    not direct but one student basically waxed poetically on how perfect Penn State Administration is and how they deal with everything “correctly” or “make things right”.

    The football patriotism was in full swing…to hear the story amidst recent events is quite eerie. To think that this has been covered in the name of a school’s football program is just too much to handle. I guess we see where some segments of society put worth: football and not underrepresented children…