by Carol Ingells
I have been stunned,violated, abused, bereft, inspired, hopeful, amazed, grateful. All these feelings and more have lived in me this week of painful revelations in my city-- Lansing, Michigan. This city, dominated by Michigan State University, was my home for 50 years. This is where I taught school, was married, bore and raised a child, where I was involved in innumerable ways. This is the community I shared with my passionately dedicated writer/photographer husband for 40 years, sometimes feeling I came in second to his love for the community, the newspaper, his camera. This is where my husband, my sister, and my parents died and where my partner, Robert entered my life.
This week 150 young women screwed up their courage, came together and testified in court to the ongoing molestations of a supposedly renowned doctor. 150 girls! Not only were they molested, but no one listened to their stories. Their agonies were ignored as though they didn’t exist, weren’t valuable human beings. The “renowned doctor” was believed, protected, enabled.
Trust has been broken. Hearts have been broken. Not only because of the truth, but because the “highly respected” leaders of a great university would not face the truth; cared more about protecting the school and their own reputations than about the destruction of young lives. And what has it led to? Rage. Shock. Disillusionment. Grief.
The athletic department of MSU is implicated. The School of Osteopathic Medicine is implicated. The school’s President of 13 years, who was highly respected (and highly paid), has resigned. The Board of Trustees’ role is questionable. An over-all investigation has been launched, a special prosecutor appointed.
So why did I add inspired, hopeful, amazed and grateful? Because these young women have connected, bonded, supported one another in a beautiful way. Because the judge, a woman, allowed, encouraged, and listened as each one told her story. Because the university students rallied around them, thanking them and cheering them on.
Because maybe at last women are claiming their birth right, one that has eluded them for thousands of years. Because whatever humiliation, anger and grief Lansing has to suffer, maybe this city will come out the other side more honest, more compassionate, more whole.
There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. ~Leonard Cohen
Find Carol Ingells online at her blog, Prayer, Play, and Politics. This post was originally published there. (http://www.prayerplaypolitics.blogspot.com)