The recurrence of whitewash

An American football coach, a deceased British DJ and an American cyclist. What do they have in common? Well for one they are in the news. The stuff they have done pretty horrific.

Jerry Sandusky was recently sentenced for abusing countless numbers of boys. Jimmy Savile, a veritable British institution turns out to be the ultimate nightmare by abusing countless numbers young people. Finally, Lance Armstrong seems to have won all his titles and fame by cheating.

Now, what’s been done is terrible enough but something that binds these three people is the culture of cover up that protected them for so long. All of their acts were known in their circles for years. Yet a culture of silence followed it. The same with the abuse of children in the church. It doesn’t matter what institution or grouping of people it is, those who wield power are able to bend justice into injustice and drag those close to them into that injustice. So Sandusky’s employers knew but didn’t report anything. Savile’s associates and employers knew but didn’t do anything. Armstrong’s teammates definitely knew but didn’t do anything. No they actually did something. They colluded and reinforced the injustice that was occuring.

This is scary. Because it could happen to anybody. Have we ever been part of a group that suddenly turned on an individual an bullied them? I have. I’m ashamed of that. This is the spirit of people coming together that I want to avoid. How we see an injustice and yet can’t see it.

I follow formula 1 a lot and here’s what two of the better drivers in terms of personality and driving have to say.

For Alonso, Lance Armstrong is always a legend even if he cheated. This is something that a lot of Armstrong’s fans are saying. ‘He cheated. So did everyone else. He was the best of the cheats.’ Why do we choose to be blind?

When Roman Polanski was under threat of being extradited Whoopi Goldberg along with other hollywood personalities leapt to Roman’s defence.

Why do we do this? Why do we defend the indefensible? Why do we cover up uncomfortable and unjust happenings within the groups we are in? Is it because the image of what we believe, is more important than the reality that presents itself later? Questions, questions. I just hope that I’m brave enough not to be part of whitewashes though I fear I’m already part of some. Lord have mercy.


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