As an MSU Alumni I listened to the brave women who gave their testimony this week regarding the Larry Nassar abuse and I had many mixed emotions. Very sad for these women who had to suffer for years and feel as if no one cared, especially those who may have been in a position of power to stop it. They are brave women who endured both physical and emotional pain in a place that was supposed to be safe and educational. They are heroes to all of us and will be in our prayers as they start their road to recovery. It also reminded me of the state that much of our country has been in for many years. We have seen the recent exposure in Hollywood of those in power using their influence to abuse others. We have seen those in Congress and the Media who did the same thing. It seems on a weekly basis we also hear of High School teachers having a sexual relationship with students. These acts of abuse have been going on for years. The many victims who have had the courage to come forward are exposing a long pattern of abuse by the powerful. Universities are a microcosm of society and the issue at MSU was not the first university and sadly won’t be the last. The culture in America over the past 50 years has seen the acceptance of Movies, TV Shows, Music and other forms of entertainment that would have been unacceptable or at least shunned by the majority of society. We have seen lawsuits to stop those that want to pray in public or those that want to mention GOD or put up religious symbols in a public place (The Ten Commandments etc.). We listen to the constant middle school bickering and name calling by elected officials and professors at universities all across this country speak out with vulgar and intolerant language. Yes, those in a position of power who could have stopped the evil acts of Larry Nassar need to be punished both at MSU, the NCAA, USA Gymnastics and any other entity that had an ability to stop this. Beyond that, we as a society need to look at how we let the culture of the United States of America get to the point of allowing those in a position of authority to use their power to hurt others and use fear of repercussions as a deterrent to stop it. We are all responsible for the culture that has evolved in our society and all of us are responsible for changing it. We need to move more towards a country that respects one another and need all the influences from the Media, Hollywood and Washington to reiterate the importance of moral values. If we can change our culture then maybe the evil actions of a person like Larry Nassar will be the rare exception and not a common occurrence. Praying.
Eric Grunor, MSU class of 1990