In a response to Eric Barron’s letter today asking for civility, Jay Paterno said his claim that Penn State will likely never have “the full story” is a cop out and that the “people advising you have only added fuel to the fire.”
Paterno writes on his website’s blog that he will be civil in his response and he appreciates the idea behind the email, but doesn’t seem very moved by it. Here are some excerpts, as they appear on Paterno’s site:
“You ask for civility you ask us to feel sorry for “the donor of time and treasure who no longer feels welcome” –I do feel sorry for someone like that—I know someone like that…You ask us for respect. You say “we are likely to never have the full story”–I will say this as civilly as I can–that’s a cop out.”
“You are right in this–we do not have the full story yet. Squelching dissent by labeling those we disagree with as being disresepectful or not being civil is an easy way to try and villify those with opinions unlike our own. Luckily we have reason to combat the errors of the past. You can be a leader in that regard.”
“But remember this–Respect is earned and is a two-way street. In your YouTube video you seem to wonder where this incivility comes from. Here is your answer; It is the way that frustrated people express themselves when they feel disenfranchised, or that people in power ignore what they have to say.”
A slew of alumni have already responded positively to Paterno’s tweet containing the link to the blog post. In Barron’s original letter and video released overnight, he wrote that the university leadership is unanimous in “deploring the erosion of civility associated with our discourse.” Integrity monitor George Mitchell’s second yearly report on Penn State’s compliance is due soon, and Penn State’s home opener is tomorrow against Akron, so the timing is certainly interesting.
You can read Paterno’s entire post here.