A Child Was Raped

17 Nov 2011

Charles B. Pierce, for Grantland:

It no longer matters if there continues to be a football program at Penn State. It no longer even matters if there continues to be a university there at all. All of these considerations are trivial by comparison to what went on in and around the Penn State football program.

This has become more than a question of whether Joe Paterno or Penn State did everything in their power to protect children. We, as a people, failed those children when we allowed them to be abused and we failed them again when we did not stop the man responsible. The civil and criminal charges are punishment, but their more important function is a reminder to society of our duty to each other and a threat to those who would break our social contract.

We cannot hide this behind football coaches and scholastic reputations. A child was raped and we, as a people, must not forget it.