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Steubenville, OH

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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby david cohen » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:12 pm

sorry, but I don't lay the blame for the incident on a scandal ridden team. in fact, the court never convicted the team- only 2 juvenile members. the guilty got their punishment, so whatever sins you might think the community is guilty of committing are simply your opinion. I bet there are plenty of good kids on that team who are just as horrified as the rest of us.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby kurt_w » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:36 pm

Courts don't "convict teams". Schools, on the other hand, have the power to temporarily disband their own athletic teams, and don't require any legal proceedings to do so.

As for the rest of your comment, if you think the problems there began and ended with the two guys who were on trial, you obviously haven't read much about the case. Those two were just the tip of the iceberg.

The football team had evolved a "rape culture". Maybe all the attention, and the convictions of two players, will put a stop to it. Maybe the forthcoming grand jury investigation will do something. But it's ultimately the school's problem, and the school needs to deal with it. Now.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby rabble » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:41 pm

david cohen wrote:sorry, but I don't lay the blame for the incident on a scandal ridden team. in fact, the court never convicted the team- only 2 juvenile members. the guilty got their punishment, so whatever sins you might think the community is guilty of committing are simply your opinion. I bet there are plenty of good kids on that team who are just as horrified as the rest of us.

Yeah but they had to grant immunity to two of them to get the whole story out.

I can't see why a court would grant immunity to someone who wasn't guilty of something. They're letting two kids off the hook so they could get two of the main perpetrators.

That makes me suspect there was more than four people involved in this. And I already know from just a little research that the community was definitely more interested in fielding a winning team than dealing with a team rape.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:10 am

I'm with you, kurt.

Have you seen how CNN reported on this story?

Incredibly difficult...to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believed their lives fell apart...when that sentence came down, [Ma'lik] collapsed in the arms of his attorney...He said to him, 'My life is over. No one is going to want me now.'


Because that's who we should all feel sorry for here. The rapists.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby jjoyce » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:56 am

Y'know, when he says "nobody is going to want me now," he means a football college. That's his most important concern. And that's kind of the point of the whole story. This town in Ohio, by no means out of the ordinary, puts its boys who play football first.

Ever read "Friday Night Lights"? It took place in Texas, but could just as easily have taken place just about anywhere sports is a huge deal and athletes are held to a different standard.

There's a case of a hockey team in Minnesota that saw most of its roster suspended for a number of games and the unconfirmed allegation includes the words "sex tape." Based on what we've heard from the parents, the players are the victims, of course. They lost out on a shot to go to state, or whatever. And the program... how will it recover from this? That's what all the public angst is about.

I love high school sports, but it's stuff like this which makes me wonder if that college (name escapes me) that did away with all athletics in favor of an expanded personal fitness program wasn't on to something. Unhealthy attitudes tend to be the rule, not the exception, around varsity sports, particularly in towns that take athletics too seriously.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby david cohen » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:06 pm

I still think that there are plenty of good folks in that town who had nothing to do with this mess, so why punish them and their kids. I can see dumping the coaches and anyone who witnessed the vents and covered it up, but making the whole town pay the price is excessive. Even Penn State didn't get the death penalty for the most horrific stuff we've seen in sports culture.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby rabble » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:18 pm

david cohen wrote:I still think that there are plenty of good folks in that town who had nothing to do with this mess, so why punish them and their kids. I can see dumping the coaches and anyone who witnessed the vents and covered it up, but making the whole town pay the price is excessive. Even Penn State didn't get the death penalty for the most horrific stuff we've seen in sports culture.

I don't think that's what's going to happen, but if it did it wouldn't be us that's punishing the innocent. It would be the team, the team's parents, the coach, and the school, all of whom allowed that kind of culture to exist and apparently flourish.

You know as well as any of us that any group dynamic can become so entrenched it takes a major trauma to make it shift at all. It's too bad the innocent have to endure it but it was their fellow students and parents who let it get so far that everyone has to pay.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby david cohen » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:56 pm

I see where you are coming from Rabble; however, I don't think any group dynamic will shift over this. If anything, it will go deeper underground. Hell, just look at our local high school athletics. Drinking parties and retail theft, some replete with parental and administrative cover ups, haven't really changed any culture at all. The only thing that will change in Steubenville (or Madison or Waunakee for that matter) will be when the students decide enough is enough and police it themselves. Part of that is looking out for one another. It's sad, but true.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby rabble » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:08 pm

david cohen wrote:I see where you are coming from Rabble; however, I don't think any group dynamic will shift over this. If anything, it will go deeper underground.

Maybe. Still ought to be done, though. Even if the message sent is "We have to pay lip service to the law and damn it, don't rape any drunk women till you're in college" it's better than pretending the whole group isn't responsible what its children do as a group.

But in my opinion it's moot because even the grand jury won't take it that far.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby acereraser » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:31 am

It's not just the team, unfortunately. Reading about this story makes it seem like I'm watching a crappy re-enactment on the History Channel, maybe Lifetime, but updated for modern considerations.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby snoqueen » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:57 am

The more I read about this the better it sounds to give up on the whole high school teams thing and have a fitness program and some actual fun. This is not fun. It's a self-perpetuating institutionalized form of perversity, it does not build young people into better adults, and in addition it costs struggling schools a bundle.

Of course nothing will change -- not until a) they run out of money; or maybe b) some mysterious culture shift happens, and we've seen a few of those so don't rule it out.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby pjbogart » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:30 am

snoqueen wrote:It's a self-perpetuating institutionalized form of perversity, it does not build young people into better adults, and in addition it costs struggling schools a bundle.


I don't know, Sno, it seems like a lot of this prepares young people for adult life. First off, physical domination and bullying of people that you perceive as "lesser" is an important characteristic of society. Secondly, when considering "right and wrong" it's important to differentiate between different categories of "wrong" things. Things which are morally wrong but not technically illegal are really only a little bit wrong. You really have to judge such issues according to whether you benefited in some way from them. Things which are legally wrong are still wrong, but only if you get caught. If you don't get caught, you can feel a little guilty about it, but as they say, "no foul, no harm". Things which are wrong and land you in jail deserve a lot of rationalizing such as "Jimmy did it too and he didn't end up in jail".

So yeah, I think kids can learn a lot from this tragedy, which is apparently the rapists who can't play football now.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby snoqueen » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:36 am

... physical domination and bullying of people that you perceive as "lesser" is an important characteristic of society. Secondly, when considering "right and wrong" it's important to differentiate between different categories of "wrong" things. Things which are morally wrong but not technically illegal are really only a little bit wrong....


I sort of see where you're going with this even if I don't agree with your parsing of the details. Still, is it desirable to have powerful and publicly-funded social institutions (the school, in the case of high school kids) represent the worst in society instead of something neutral or better?

Some argue the entire government is the worst in society, so maybe to them this arrangement is perfect: kids learn early to undermine and flout laws and regulations at every opportunity. But for the rest of us, who think government is either neutral (like weather or plants, say) or a possible force for good, is supporting this kind of institutional perversity a good idea?

After all, having a powerful institution on your side tends to perpetuate your ideas, and hardly anybody's saying the rotten parts of high school sports culture should be perpetuated.

I wish they'd just take a break at Steubenville for a couple years, think it all over and discuss, and see where they come out. A surprising number of people might say things during the sports-hiatus were better, not worse, for their kids and for the school.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:08 pm

Some are not taking kindly to the verdict nor the victim. Death threats.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby Galoot » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:26 pm

I completely agree with kurt on this--shut the entire football program down, it is the right thing for the school to do, to gain any sort of credibility. There has been far too much support for the rapists and castigating of the victim in the town.

A 5-year timeout sounds just about right.
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