Monday, November 14, 2011

939 It's An "Urban Problem"

939 It’s An “Urban Problem.”

(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- Some guys here have the sense to keep their mouths shut.  There were callers to the Wessays™ radio program, comment writers to this site and to the local newspaper who speak in code.  They call any crime committed here “an urban problem.”  One likes to blame everything that goes wrong here -- and that can be plenty -- on the region’s continuing importation of “urban people.”

We all know what that means.  Well, maybe not “we all.”  For those who don’t, it means people with dark skin.  It’s an insult to Americans of African or Caribbean heritage, people from the Indian subcontinent, people from the Middle East and, yes, even to us city born and raised people with white skin and light eyes.  We’re “urban,” too.

These racists and ruralists have gone to ground now in the face of what may be the worst man-made thing to happen in his region since Pennsylvania’s 18th century home-grown murder sprees.  Turns out our little boy rape and cover-up machine is the work of local rural white people.  Oh, yeah, defrocked football saint Joe Paterno is from Brooklyn.  And he’s of Italian extraction which makes him almost black by the standards of the “urban problem” crowd.  But he’s been here longer than most of the born-here racist slime have been alive.

The defrocked university president, Graham Spanier, is from Cape Town, South Africa and is white and Jewish.  And the locals, if they know this, don’t know what to make of it.  He looks like Leslie Nielsen (a lot of bigwigs around here do, including the governor, and that’s close enough to survivalist-woodsman libertarian country boy enough for them.

The Pennsylvania State University has appointed a panel to investigate the henhouse.  The fox-in-chief, a fellow named Kenneth Frazier, is a member of the board of trustees who also is CEO of Merck, the pharmaceutical giant.  He was a Philadelphia lawyer, turns 57 years old next month, and is a graduate of Penn State and Harvard Law. And he is... um... Urban.  In fact, he’s the first Urban-American to become chief executive of a major drug company.  Previously as the company’s general counsel, he was a leader if not the leader of Merck’s Vioxx defense.  Now he’s leader of the investigation here.  That’s almost poetic.  Almost.

The point of all this?  Urban, suburban, rural, white, black, whatever.  Shameful crime is shameful crime.  And anyone here who knew about this stuff or saw this stuff and did nothing or did the legal minimum to stop it is guilty to some degree.


--Can the accused boy-lover, Jerry Sandusky get a fair trial in Centre County, Pennsylvania?  Probably not here or anywhere nearer here than Neptune.  The inclination is to say “so what?” but that would be unamericanly unjust to the defendant, as if anyone here cares or should.

--There’s a pretty good chance these cases won’t go to trial.  It’s hard to conceive of it all not ending in some kind of plea bargain, if only to protect the victims.  Sandusky is still saying he’s innocent, but that’s what they all say.

--Paterno has hired a high powered Washington lawyer, apparently anticipating suit filings against who-knows-how-many.  What does that tell us?   And what does that indicate that Joe might know that we don’t yet?

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to   (even if you’re part of the “urban problem.)
© WJR 2011

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