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Penn State: How many of the victims were Black?


by Danny J. Bakewell, Jr. Contributing Editor SPECIAL TO THE NNPAFROM THE LOS ANGELES SENTINEL


T


he molestation of a child (any child) is a sick and heinous crime. The allegations against Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky the long time coach at Penn State University and founder and primary fund raiser behind The Second Mile Foundation has captured the attention of the worldwide media and has brought an end to the face of Penn State University (Joe Paterno) along with the school President,


Athletic


Director, many of its assistant coach- es and for the most part its entire football program. However, while the allegations of sexual abuse and child rape sicken almost everyone who is within an ears shot of this scandal.


The resulting cover up or veil of secrecy which has been ongo- ing for the past 12 years may be more heinous then the alleged crimes themselves. While state and federal law prohibit the identity of a sexual crime victim from being released (no matter what age) it is interesting that no one is discussing the race of these young victims. Which also leads one to ask if these boys would have been young white males would the code of silence and veil of secrecy remained so strong and so quiet for so long?


The Second Mile Foundation was started as a Group Home in the State College Area (home of Penn State). According to both the grand jury report as well as the Second Mile website as “a program to work with troubled boys and grew into a chari- ty dedicated to helping children with absent and dysfunctional families”. What has not been disclosed or a topic of conversation is that many of the alleged victims are African American.


According to


Pennsylvania foster care records 48% of all children in out-of-home care are African American and 53% of all children in foster care are males with an average age of 11- years-old.


President of the California State Care Providers


Aubrey Manuel, Association


(CSCPA) stated that, “These per- Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.


centages are very similar to California.” The likelihood that the majority of these children are African American is overwhelming. “Particularly given that these kids were in a program, that the state fos- ter care population is over 50% African American Males and that the Second Chance Foundation client base is poor, underprivileged and foster children and that the coach (Sandusky) used sports as a major recruiting tool to get close to the vic- tims it would not be a risk at all to believe that at least half of the Penn State victims were Black Boys. The victim population most likely reflected that of foster care popula- tion.”


Throughout the grand jury report are stories of young boys between the ages 9 and 12 years old.


All


recruited and involved with Sandusky through the Second Mile Program. Furthermore, in almost every account someone saw lewd and lascivious acts being conducted upon children ranging from oral sex, to actual anal intercourse between Sandusky and these children. Much has been discussed about the gradu- ate assistant coach Mike McQueery actually witnessed the anal sex act and later reported it to then Head Coach Joe Paterno. Joe Paterno did report the allegations to Athletic Director who later interviewed McQueery and then reported back that “they had taken away Sandusky's keys to the locker room”. McQueery was never questioned or interviewed by campus or city police.


But what about the report or fail-


ure to report the instance by then ele- mentary school wrestling coach Joseph Miller who witnessed an incident one evening in 2006 or 2007 but failed to report it for almost 5 years. Or Steven Turchetta an Assistant Principal and head football coach at a local high school who tes- tified that “Second Mile program is a very large charitable organization that helped children who are from economically underprivileged back- grounds and who may be living in single parent households.” Turchetta testified that he witnessed on more than one occasion Sandusky remov- ing the boy from class and ultimate- ly heard of the sexual assault allega- tions by the boy's mother, who called the school to report the sexual abuse. Sandusky and Penn State are both considered culpable in these sicken- ing crimes. Sandusky because he not only used his relationship with Second Mile to gain access to the boys and preyed on the very vulner- ability that The Second Mile Foundation was supposed to be assisting these boys with overcom- ing and making them stronger men. As well as Sandusky used his rela- tionship with Penn State to give these children access to a football program known worldwide and is an icon in Pennsylvania and in College Park in particular, which is where Sandusky lured these boys with gifts, trips and access that grown men would be overwhelmed with let alone 9-13 year old boys from impoverished homes and foster care facilities.


Penn State, because they knew about these allegations and improper events and actions almost 15 years ago, did nothing but turn a blind eye. It is outrageous and sickening that this 67-year-old man is alleged to have done to a few as 9 and now allegedly up to 23 boys, all who came from broken homes in the poorest parts of the community who were only looking for guidance and someone to look up to.


No one is commenting on the fact that many of the alleged victims were Black youth while everyone involved in the cover up are White men. (Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Sentinel)


Safe Haven Law tramples fathers’ rights


Fathers should be given cus- tody of Safe Haven Babies by Jeffery M. Leving


A


day doesn’t go by that you won’t find a story about a baby that has been abandoned by their mother. Oftentimes, those children come from broken families or unmarried moth- ers who have broken ties with the father. The Safe Haven Law and its unintend- ed consequences have vanquished the voice of the birth father and may be putting children at risk. The Illinois Safe Haven Law


But what is missing from this law is an important component. Many of the abandoned children are left by their mothers. Even when the children are taken to “Safe Havens,” the law assumes that both of the parents of the child (it does take two human beings, one male and one female, to produce a child) have aban- doned the baby. That’s not always the case. What is often the case is that the mother abandons the child and the father is never informed. No effort is made by authori- ties in “Safe Haven” cases to determine if the father of the aban- doned child may wish to have cus- tody.


Jeffery M. Leving


permits mothers to abandon any child unharmed within seven days of the child’s birth at a des- ignated “safe haven” location including hospitals, emergency medical facilities, fire stations, and police stations. When a


Just because one parent decides to abandon a child does not mean both parents want to abandon the child. Yet fathers of new-


borns are left out of the equation. Because the two parents are often not married, the rights of the fathers are often pushed aside or subjugated to the will and whim of the birth mother. That is unfair to a child and to those


“What is often the case is that the mother abandons the child and the father is never informed. No effort is made by authorities in “Safe Haven” cases to determine if the father of the abandoned child may wish to have custody.”


mother abandons a child at a “safe haven,” and the child is unharmed, no effort will be made to find the mother or charge the mother with abandonment or cru- elty to a child. It is supposed to be an alternative to leaving chil- dren in dumpsters, where many end up.


fathers who would be willing to assume responsibility for the abandoned child’s well-being. Society needs to insure that a birth father of a baby is first enti- tled to notice and the opportunity to assume custody before his child is abandoned and left with strangers forever.


Chicago Defender • ChicagoDefender.com • November 30-December 6, 2011 13


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