Sometimes I think that young people in the Third World look at America and they think, “Why can’t I have that?” And then on days like this, I assume they’re thinking, “What a bunch of pricks.” Last night was probably one of those times, as thousands of students and fans of Penn State University rioted through the streets of University Park, some in support of iconic football coach Joe Paterno, and others in support of the university’s sudden decision to fire JoePa after 45 years.
The Board of Trustees announced at a 10 p.m. press conference that Paterno’s employment would be terminated immediately, as opposed to yesterday’s reports that he would be allowed to resign at the end of the season. The termination comes, of course, after Paterno’s former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was revealed to have allegedly sexually abused young boys in Penn State athletic facilities. Paterno was admonished by investigators as having done everything necessary when accusations were first made in 2002; however, that has done nothing to quell the moral outrage.
As I stated yesterday, I will make no humor of or judgment toward this affair, but it’s worth pointing out how ludicrous the behavior was of those causing property damage to small businesses and the university last night. And of course it even reached the Occupy Wall Street people, because they really seem like the sporting bunch to me.
UPDATE: Now with more pictures of students tipping over a news van and with their faces clear as day so that people might identify them and put them in a jail cell of their own. As well as a few others of people generally supporting Paterno.
INCREDIBLY OBNOXIOUS UPDATE: Penn State rioters planked. Unreal.
(Images via Buzzfeed, the AP, Getty and Reuters.)
By the way, if you ever have a chance, ask a police officer what it's like to suddenly be thrown into riot control duty when they're outnumbered hundreds or thousands to one.
And this picture probably says the most of any.
I included this photo and the next because it's rare that you get to see the faces of the people voluntarily cleaning up such an absurd and needless mess, but a hat tip to Ryan Smith, Brennan Pankiw and Jared Hook, who were identified by Getty as the guys walking around with shopping carts and trash bags gathering glass and debris from the windows of the damaged stores and buildings.
Be proud of yourselves today, fellas. Because I would like to imagine that when you needlessly destroy the property of a TV news station and your faces are captured by camera in the process of destruction, that station just might use every resource to find you and have you punished to the fullest extent of the law. Have fun explaining to every company that passes on hiring you why you were arrested. I pray you're journalism students.
Too bad they didn't push that van over.