I haven’t been able to muster the equanimity to find much to say about the Penn State football coaches who covered up at least one child rape in the name of the sanctity of college stadium shower stalls. The spectacle of students rioting because some football coach is finally being held slightly responsible for serially abetting a child rapist — well, that’s a little too res ipsa loquitor to require much embroidery. And if the administration doesn’t expel everyone involved in attacking cops and toppling vehicles, well, that’s how much a Penn State diploma is worth these days.
But the case did remind me of another where it was the administration itself doing the victim-persecuting-symbolic-lynch-mob thing. That school is Boston University, which prides itself, of course, in residing on a much higher pedagogical plateau than Penn State, which explains the tony sophistication they brought to their lynch mob.
At Boston U., rather than knocking over anything as pedestrian as a minivan, President John Silber and esteemed lunatic Noam Chomsky joined hands with scores of other useful idiots throughout academia and the media to shove the elderly victim of a sadistic rapist under every available bus. For years, until she died.
First, they showered convicted rapist Benjamin LaGuer with literary awards and honorary degrees, because, you know, he’s a rapist who said he was being persecuted while writing execrable poetry. Rapists are second-fiddle to cop-killing terrorists in the literary award circuit: thus, LaGuer has won only one PEN award, while terrorist Marilyn Buck won three, and terrorist Susan Rosenberg four, for their execrable poetry. But Silber et. al. made up for this dearth of aesthetic recognition with a sort-of in-house degree mill for LaGuer while he lobbied for his freedom.
That’s how much a Boston U. degree is worth these days.
Then DNA technology improved to the point where LaGuer’s test came back positive, and his guilt in an unusually horrific assault was confirmed. But instead of apologizing to the victim, whom they had personally, viciously, systematically destroyed, John Silber came up with another excuse for freeing LaGuer from prison. He testified that LaGuer believed so strongly in his own innocence (and thus not incidentally his victim’s perfidy) that he should be freed because of his belief in himself as a persecuted non-rapist, even if he was, in reality, a non-persecuted real rapist.
Then, having having thoroughly salted the earth of pedagogical integrity from Cambridge to Logan International, Silber wrote some book about ethics and moved on.
The kids at Penn State should be expelled for knocking over that van. That may or may not happen. Joe Paterno may or may not face real consequences, rather than fake ones in the form of weepy sports columnists expressing hurt feelings. But everyone involved in the Benjamin LaGuer case — from Silber, to Chomsky, to Deval Patrick, to Henry Louis Gates, to Eli Weisel, to Barbara Walters, to William Styron, to all the reporters who bragged about being “pen pals” (what is it with that word?) and members of the “Benjy Brigade” while pretending to report on the story, have faced absolutely no consequences to date.
And that’s a real crime.
Here are my previous posts on the LaGuer case. The information in Wikipedia and other sources is dissembling to the point of sheer dishonesty: