In a truly astonishing piece, David Brooks manages
to apologize for those who failed to report on the horrific
sexual abuse scandal at Penn State by intellectualizing human
responses to witnessing crime. Apparently, not reporting child
rape is ok because:
Even in cases where people consciously register some offense,
they still often don’t intervene. In research done at Penn
State and published in 1999, students were asked if they would
make a stink if someone made a sexist remark in their presence.
Half said yes. When researchers arranged for that to happen,
only 16 percent protested.
I find it truly amazing that Brooks could honestly compare not
making a scene about a sexist remark with failing to report child
rape. But then you have to know what Brooks does for a living,
Brooks earns his keep by being a contrarian in his home at the
leftish New York Times - he pens articles supporting class
division, defending snobbery, and justifying whichever war the
President wants to drag the country in to. In short, he is a
sophisticated shill for the interests of the upper classes, and
he gets paid an awful lot to massage their egos.
As Chez Pazienza writes:
It practically goes without saying that Brooks will give the
automatic benefit of the doubt to those who've attained
positions of authority and therefore know better and are made
of higher-quality stuff than the average unwashed, but to
indirectly condone the systemic concealment of child rape --
and the protection, inadvertently or not, of the rapist -- is
new territory even for him. In the ethical purgatory Brooks and
his anointed ilk inhabit, there are always acceptable
rationalizations for why the powerful do what they do,
regardless of which realm those powerful happen to move in or
what it is they happen to be doing.
Brooks must be as horrified by the scandal as anyone else so why
he is writing this nonsense is anyone's guess. Perhaps defending
the powerful is so ingrained in his psyche he literally cannot
help himself. I'm guessing he isn't an apologist for the
Holocaust, but after reading his piece in the Time, I honestly
don't know anymore.
If you have a brain, a heart and a soul you would've done
something more. Something right. And even if you
wouldn't have, it in no way exculpates the actions of those who
we already know didn't do all they should have. If you dropped
the ball and didn't do the moral and human thing when put in
that situation -- whether it be because you were blinded or
scared, or because you wanted to cover your ass and the ass of
your football program and school -- it would make you exactly
the same as the people at Penn State who covered for Jerry
Sandusky as he raped kids: wrong.
According to Brooks though, powerful people are never wrong. They
just make mistakes.