The public awakening to the groomer action going on in America’s elementary and secondary schools has produced an unusual reaction.
First, there was the Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok and The Washington Post.
Instead of examining the numerous posts revealing the sexual misconduct and behavioral weirdness of many entrusted to teach our young, the Post earlier this week sent its thug tech reporter, Taylor Lorenz, to reveal the previously anonymous identity of the account holder and hold her up before the liberal mob.
Then on Wednesday, conservative journalist, Christopher Rufo got some harsh feedback for his effort to spotlight the contagion.
Rufo posted a tweet of screenshots of 15 public school teachers and coaches who just within the past week had been arrested, convicted, or sentenced of sex crimes involving children.
Instead of questioning what’s going on in schools, critics lashed out with whataboutism.
The conservative website Twitchy.com captured many of the grumblings about Rufo.
As examples, one Twitter user writes, “And that’s why they [students] should go to a catholic (sic) school, where that definitely doesn’t happen.” Another added, “Now do the Catholic private schools.”
Still, another replied, “Man wait until you get to the Catholic Church. Well, that’s if you actually care about sex abuse.”
In fact, the Catholic Church, whose sex scandals involving priests have been well documented over the last two decades, and its schools were frequently invoked by the whataboutists.
Others gathered by Twitchy also jeered Rufo by telling him to look at the Republican Party or calling him a grifter – off claims since Rufo only assembled a list of sex crimes reported by local media.
These attacks followed one last week by liberal journalist Andrew Sullivan, who happens to be gay and who two years ago surrendered his post at New York Magazine after the woke hipsters he had worked with claimed they could no longer abide his sometimes treks off the left-wing plantation.
He claimed Rufo was “fomenting a full-on moral panic in which all public school teachers are pedophiles unless proven innocent.”
Sullivan, who also had covered the clergy abuse scandal, added with righteous indignation that in his own work he was not “cynically digging up old stories to smear all priests or advance a political campaign for other purposes. I did not conflate teaching kids Catholicism with ‘grooming’ them.
But then we get to New York Magazine in August 2018, wherein Sullivan wrote about “cleansing the Catholic Church of its sins.”
In his piece, Sullivan wrote, “And so we come across a case like this: A teenage boy called George was befriended by a young priest in his twenties, Reverend George Zirwas. The boy’s family saw this as a good influence, as most Catholic families in the 1970s and 1980s would have. One afternoon, the priest invited George, who was around 14 at the time, to a rectory 25 minutes south of Pittsburgh, where he met several other priests: ‘During a conversation about religious statues, the priests told George to get onto a bed and remove his shirt, and strike a pose like Jesus on the cross. Then they instructed him to strip off his pants and underwear,’ writes the Philadelphia Inquirer. ‘In the unnerving moments that followed, George claimed that [the priests] began taking photos of him on a Polaroid camera. All of the priests giggled — and then added the photos of George to a collection of photos of other teen boys.’”
“This,” Sullivan noted, “was a grooming gang.”
To be fair, Sullivan was adding his take on a Philadelphia Inquirer story. Yet he was the one who used the word “grooming.”
In that same piece, Sullivan noted that such accounts and others of abusive clergy had almost mortally wounded the Church’s reputation, which was “All the more reason to throw open the doors and let the light in.”
“I’ll add one final thought,” he added. “I can’t help asking myself: How long has this been going on? More to the point, how would we ever have known about it until the modern era?”
Today, it seems that question is relevant in a different context: Would we have ever known about our schools were it not for Libs of Tik Tok and Christopher Rufo?