Recently I read some comments on another advocacy website pertaining to TN’s new law effective July 1, 2019, in which adult registrants may not reside overnight in a home with a minor in it.
The comments that caught my attention weren’t the “we’ve got to fight and do something about this” comments, but instead, the number of defeatist comments, “nothing is changing, we’re only fooling ourselves, we’re not winning, little wins mean nothing”.
One person even went so far as to say something to the effect that they felt like slapping the next person who said “we are making progress and winning”.
While I’ve written advocacy blogs for a while now, about the ups and downs of the registry battle, the unfair rules registrants have to deal with, the plight of registrants children, the homeless, jobless and suicidal, I don’t think I’ve even begun to scratch the surface of these issues. There’s so much involved because the topic is so broad and encompasses so many unique factors.
Do I want to slap those with a defeatist attitude, shake them and admonish them for being ”Debbie Downer’s” for not “doing their part” in joining the battle like the rest of us?
No, I don’t. (Ok, I’ll be honest, maybe a little bit.)
But haven’t we all had days and sometimes weeks or months when no matter how active and engaged you are in fighting to tear down the registry, no matter how hard you are working for this cause that you believe in, there are days when you just want to say “the hell with it, I’ve had enough” and lay down your sword? This fight is tiring and mentally fatiguing. It has the ability to sap your emotional and physical strength, it can consume you, interfere with your job, your family, your home life.
And in the end will it all be worth it, will our efforts make any difference?
I’m not about to preach to anyone. I tell myself that if I do nothing, nothing will change. Of course there’s no guarantee that anything I do, writing and phoning politicians, blogging or sending countless emails, will change anything. But I’ll take that chance. Who knows how long this fight will continue. We’re making progress, it’s slower than we want or need it to be, but it’s something. Speaking only for myself, I’m better off doing something than doing nothing. For me, the effort is worth it.
I’ll bet most lawmakers don’t personally know any registrants, their ill-preconceived notions about registrants are notions gained through who the media tells them “sex offenders” are. So, they continue to pass more and more restrictive laws based on these ill-preconceived ideas about registrants.
We fight because we need to change those preconceived ideas. We fight because we need to set the news media straight. We fight because registrants and their families are worth fighting for.
For those penning defeatist comments, I’m hoping that like the rest of us, maybe you were just going through some difficult times. We’ve all been there, we’ve all felt that way, thought those same thoughts.
Maybe someday you’ll feel like joining the fight, until then, the rest of us will continue the battle.