Richard Daily ’54’s letter (Feb. 11) added one more round of “blame the victim” in the cadet assault on the Princeton band before the Citadel football game. He is “certain” that the Citadel administration made the perpetrators “pay.” However, one of the perpetrators of the assault boasted online that not only had there been no disciplinary action, but they had been praised for their school spirit and given privileges. Other Citadel cadets threatened violence when they come to Princeton this year if they detect any disrespect. Care to make any bets on them detecting disrespect?
I’ve read that The Citadel’s president, Lt. Gen. John Rosa, apologized for his cadets. This is another falsehood. My dictionary lists three elements of an apology: an acknowledgement of some fault, injury, or insult; an expression of regret; and a plea for pardon. Gen. Rosa’s statement contained none of these. Instead, he appreciated the cadets’ “enthusiasm” during a “heated exchange” and spoke vaguely of using the episode as a “learning experience” without specifying what behaviors were to be favored or avoided.
Gen. Rosa’s statement and lack of action are more disturbing than the hotheaded actions of his cadets. He delivered a message in bureaucrat-speak that his cadets are free to assault Princeton students with no adverse consequence. By accepting his non-apology as an apology, Princeton sends the message that it is willing to accept assaults on our students without protest.
Is football the right tool to bridge the cultural gulf between abuser and abused?