Paterno, White Patriarchy and Privilege

Paterno, White Patriarchy and Privilege

OPINION: The hero's farewell given to the disgraced coach speaks volumes

David Leonard

by David Leonard, January 30, 2012

Paterno, White Patriarchy and Privilege

about us than him.  It reveals our continued difficulty, silence, and unwillingness to deal with the issue of sexual violence and abuse.  It illustrates the ways in which we valorize and hero-worship football coaches and where football sits on the national landscape.  It highlights the power of nostalgia and the celebration given to a particular inscription of White masculinity.  Over the last year, several prominent African American figures passed away -- Gil-Scott Heron, Manning Marable, Fred Shuttlesworth, Derrick Bell – whose contributions to humanity, to knowledge, to community, to justice and helping others reach are without reproach.  Why haven’t their deaths been breaking news?

David J. Leonard is Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He is author of After Artest: Race and the War on Hoop (SUNY Press, spring 2012). 

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