For years now, both City Hall and the larger waking citizenry have been pondering a thorny matter of cognitive dissonance: In a city that tries to prize, above all else, brotherly love and sisterly affection, how can we be giving free rent to an organization that has hate built right into its charter? It only further complicates matters that the organization is the Boy Scouts Of America. One idea intended to rectify the situation somewhat — on the basis that here was a group with homophobic policies that the City itself would never endorse — was to try and evict the Scouts. And those of you that followed this story for a few years know that it did not go well. And in fact, the Boy Scouts only just got over gloating about it.
But it didn’t last long; it couldn’t. Late yesterday, news broke both nationwide and local that the Boy Scouts have been, ‘lo these years, literally lousy with pedophiles. This, added to the homophobia thing, boils the whole situation over in such way that the Boy Scouts are now just another fading American institution that has committed suicide by hypocrisy. And that institution doesn’t even want to know the questions brought up by the combination of both homophobia and, sickly, conversely, rampant pedophilia: Are the Boy Scouts homophobic because they believe gay kids would only tempt the scout masters? Or is this just a culture of abuse through and through, where the hate is just part of a cycle of evil things that all sort of complement in each other?
Today, representatives from the Boy Scouts are all over the media, pitching the company line: That it’s good that they did this report, and that they released it, and that they’ve also instituted new policies (including rigorous background checks) on anyone who works with kids. Some of that, at least, is to their credit. On the other hand, these are also merely the lessons of Sandusky. The Boy Scouts knew that a grenade would go off eventually, and are now throwing themselves on it in the most self-serving way possible.
For here is the heart of the matter: Just as we’ve seen with the church — and the church of football, natch — pretty much any time you have a closed, strongly patriarchal organization where men are supposed to impart some set of values to boys, you always wind up with some percentage of those men quite literally fucking some percentage of those boys. This is a fact; men are, left to their own devices, just awful. And the sooner we cop to this, the sooner we may begin to correct most of what is wrong with this world. For the record, I am saying this as a man, and I’m not trying to get laid. Just cut it out with this shit already. This is Philadelphia, and though we may be many unpleasant things from day to day, this is not who we are. Again, as ever, the Boy Scouts need to go.