Turning a Blind Eye
Someone almost always knows. As a New York Times magazine story highlighted last weekend – and the sexual assault trail of former Penn States coach Jerry Sandusky continues to remind us – rarely does an abuse occur in a vacuum of knowledge. But too often it occurs under the willful cloak of silence.
This is the case with so many wrongs: bullying in our schools, domestic violence in our homes, sexual assault against our children. Someone always knew something – that a teacher was suspiciously close to his students, that a wife was showing up at work with bruises, that in a dark corner of the hallways, a bully was tormenting his victim. And often those “someones” walk away, and do nothing. This is human nature – we are afraid to interfere, cautious to misread a situation.
This reticent to be an actor rather than just a member of the audience also makes us reluctant to ask a friend about their grief, or the person in the pew next to us about their troubles.
The gospel reminds us, over and over again, that our role is to be the ones who stand up, the people who ask questions when a gut feeling says that what is happening is wrong. If we do, we inspire others to do the same. If we don’t, who will?
If you would like to read the New York time story, here’s the link:
For a story about the Sandusky trial, click here: http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/06/11/sandusky_accuser_testimony_first_accuser_of_former_penn_state_coach_takes_stand_in_sex_abused_trial.html
Date: June 14, 2012