Thursday, November 10, 2011

Berkeley and Penn State

I've been trying to come up with a good way of articulating my intuition that there's something significant about the fact that the police violence against Occupy Cal (on the UC Berkeley campus) and the pro-Paterno riots (on the Penn State campus) happened on the same day...but I haven't really found a way of doing so that doesn't come across as stunned outrage. My best draft of a posting started with the sentence: "I wonder what those Penn State students will think about themselves years from now when they realize that--whatever their intentions--what they really did was riot in defense of child-rapists and the people who protected them." But it was hard to figure out where to go from there.

Fortunately, Dave Zirin just posted a piece in The Nation that says pretty much what I wanted to say, and more eloquently than I ever could have. I hope readers of this blog--especially students--will go and read the whole piece, but to give you a small sampling, here's how it concludes:

November 9 was a generational wake-up call to every student on every campus in this country. Which side are you on? Do you defend the ugliest manifestations of unchecked power or do you fight for a better world with an altogether different set of values? Do you stand with the Thugs of Penn State or do you stand with Occupiers of Berkeley? It’s fear vs. hope, and the stakes are a hell of a lot higher than a BCS bowl.

1 comment:

Micki McGee said...

Thanks for the link to that piece, Glenn. I had also been struggling for some way of putting these two events into the same general neighborhood of space-time, and was foundering in my analysis.