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View Diary: Tree Climbers: "We loved these men...the notion some might be monsters never crossed our mind" (7 comments)

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  •  The sad truth (5+ / 0-)

    In most institutions, it is more important that things look good than it is that they actually are good.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:19:39 PM PDT

    •  Agreed - this quote from near the end of the piece (6+ / 0-)

      really troubles me.  And I take umbrage with his view that it was just the way it was and that it's time to just let it go - and move on...and how he equated justice with revenge... (emphasis mine)

      Gary Alan Fine, a 1968 graduate of Horace Mann and a sociologist at Northwestern University, accepts that Berman’s accusers are telling the truth, but worries that the Horace Mann teachers are being judged by the standards of a different time. “This was the late sixties, and what we now think of as rape or sexual assault didn’t quite mean the same thing in that age of sexual awakening,” Fine said. What some teachers did “was wrong, absolutely, but there are degrees of wrongness, and what was wrong in 1966 is today much more wrong. I can’t imagine that in the late nineteen-sixties anyone would have been terribly surprised had they learned that some faculty were having sexual relations with students. Most would not have thought it good, but it was the way of the world.

      Fine said that Berman “probably influenced me more for the better than any other teacher,” sharpening his writing, deepening his thinking, and opening him to beauty. Fine, who devotes his scholarship to scandal and reputation, said that his time in that secluded classroom informed his ideas about influence: “If you’re a powerful person and you do things that others respond to because of your power, you may convince yourself that they really love you and this is between two equals.” Still, he finds himself thinking about Berman and the other teachers as “men in the twilight of their lives,” he said. “Even if they did something wrong, at some point revenge or justice becomes unseemly. At what point do you say, ‘Let it rest’?

      Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/...

      "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

      by Roxine on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:40:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The magical "It is more wrong today"... I also (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lonely Texan, WakeUpNeo, Avilyn

        have heard the Bonobo argument from others to whom I have talked. You know the "Bonobos sexually fondle their offspring and they have a great group relationships" Yeah right, teach those offspring to normalize the behavior to soothe the elders makes for a friendlier group. Using children to satisfy the adults... What a life lesson to base a culture or civilization on.... I believe it is the cancer at the core of both that will lead to many bad acts in reaction.

        It is a way some victims of adults transform the experience to make it endurable and to lessen the feeling of having been required to pay for the older person to teach them what they need to know. There is no difference between that and selling a child for the parent or one with power over them to satisfy their own needs. The parent OWNS the child (the ADULT owns the child) and the child should be grateful and lay aside revenge later in life when that power figure is now weaker. The child should be grateful to be alive when the more powerful or stronger might have actually chosen to kill them or eat them when they were needy or weak or dependent.

        Guess they trained their victims well or so absolutely vested their interests within their victims psyches that they live on through them

        Fear is the Mind Killer...

        by boophus on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 06:40:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a friend... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roxine

        ...she was repeatedly molested by her older brother.  The family refused to believe her and made her an outcast in her own home.  Eventually, the truth did come out and they all acknowledged that he indeed did abuse her.  But then they did exactly what has been described above.  They told her it was time to forgive and to move on.

        Even if we can forgive our abusers for our own sake, nothing we can say or do removes the accountability they continue to have.  The danger of not requiring justice is that 'cheap' grace is applied.  "Letting it rest" may sound merciful, but does nothing to ensure that the offender does not re-offend.

        And accountability sends a message to others; to those who would choose to do such evil that they will be held to account for their actions.

        And it sends a message to the victims that they were heard, and that justice, however slow to arrive, vindicates their cry for help.  

        The same mindset that we find expressed in that excerpt is the same exact mindset that the men in the Penn State Scandal displayed when they talked about treating the abuser 'humanely' rather than stop his evil.  

        Thank you, again, dear heart, for being a voice for those of us who cannot speak or have spoken and went unheeded.  God Bless You!

        Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do. ― C.S. Lewis Much Love, Andrea Lena.

        by Andrea D on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:34:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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