By Brenda . . . We’ve all seen the ads, the memes, the commentaries bashing “those people.” No matter what your particular persuasion is, there’s some group out there telling you that you’re all washed up, totally wrong, and that all of “your people” are haters of the worst kind and are destroying life as we know it. Yes, it’s gotten that bad. We all are feeling it.
Haters come in all colors, all political parties, and all religions. There will always be haters. But I firmly believe that the majority of Americans of all colors and parties and religions do their best NOT to hate.
Please, don’t buy into the media hype that gives hate all the attention and sucks every ounce of love out of any space we occupy. It creates a skewed picture of our world, our country, our neighbors… even our own selves.
Hating and bashing (aka “demonizing”) is juvenile and unhelpful, whether it comes from the left or the right, from liberal or conservative, black or white, religious or agnostic. Ignore it. Please! And don’t engage in it yourself.
Demonizing is what fuels the public registry. Demonizing is what makes our advocacy so difficult. I am filled with despair when I see registrants and advocates of various stripes refusing to vote because “politicians are useless.” I also despair when an advocate or registrant complains bitterly about unjust laws then turns around and votes for the very people who are making them worse.
Yes! Our political system is screwed up and needs fixing. Yes! Our justice system has damaged or even broken nearly everyone it has touched. But HATING and demonizing to the point that you throw away the ONE thing you can do — and nowadays most can, even with records — the simplest thing you can do to possibly improve your life and the lives of those present and future is self-destructive. Hating to the point of voting for candidates with proven track records of harming our cause and obstructing those most willing to help is not only self-destructive, it is a slap in the face to the thousands of us putting our lives on the line fighting for change.
Please, think carefully if you find yourself bashing “the other side” or throwing up your hands and declaring you hate “all of them.” Cut out the hate-mongering sources from your life and find something positive instead. If we cannot get rid of demonization within our OWN hearts, how do we expect to get rid of the demonization that is registration?
Brenda is NARSOL’s executive director. She is also the layout editor for the Digest, serves as affiliate coordinator for our affiliates, contacts, and advocates, and oversees special projects such as Fearless, the state WIKI, and Humans on the Registry.