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Saundra Santiago Headshot

Don't Bless the Beasts, Bless the Children!

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I am not writing about the recent TV appearance I made on the new CBS show, Person of Interest, or how I just happened on acquiring about 50 or so Vintage Broadway Playbills from the 30's, through the 70's, but a horrible incident that is now unfolding as we speak, because I got the lowdown while driving from my home upstate into the city in my car listening to radio sports news with my husband.

I don't usually listen to sports talk, but the rule we have is driver controls the radio. So I am listening to all the news about the Penn State scandal on various talk radio sports channels, and they keep emphasizing to go to the Grand Jury Indictment Report and read the details. As disturbing as the story is already, I go on the computer and begin reading the report and I have to stop, because it's making me queasy and upset. And I am not even a parent!

Having been through Grand Jury duty recently, I know that the statements made are probably accurate in descriptions. I am deeply disturbed, not so much by the actions of an emotionally sick man who took advantage of his status, as pedophilia has been around for ages, or that "the" allged pedophiliac happened to have a prominent position in a charitable organization for underprivileged young boys and a prominent position in a very macho favorite American pastime, football. I am shocked by the indifference and arrogance of all the people who knew the truth and did not go to the police and report it in order to save face and protect an "institution." American football is a big money-making venture, probably the biggest in sports, and like the Catholic Church, people protected the institution over those who were being exploited.

I am shocked that "looking the other way", "sweeping it under the rug", "the big coverup," still occurs at the expense of innocent children and teens. Maybe the people who knew and had information did not know the full detail of the allegations. Maybe they were protecting their livelihood or their own families from embarrassment, or maybe they were told to keep quiet by higher authorities, but they know now, and I hope they can live with themselves after the fact, and realize that they did not act morally or spiritually on behalf of the very children's welfare their mothers and fathers entrusted them with. Young teens are children, somewhat innocent, even today. There is an old 70's Karen Carpenters tune, corny, but beautifully sung, "Bless the Beasts and the Children." This is a case of not blessing our children, but blessing our Beasts!!!