Written by Phoebe . . . It is not even about the NC State Fair. If you’ve seen recent news, you are aware that NCRSOL challenged the Sheriff of Wake County to allow registrants to attend the state fair. Do you think this was really about the fair? I don’t. But boy does this garner attention – each and every year. The media latches on to this multiple times during the week of the fair – every station, multiple times a day. Makes for a good story, I suppose, unless you are on the other end of that story.
The fair is just another place in a long list of locations that registrants are not allowed to attend. But WHY? Do we stop anyone else from going to the State Fair? I’m going to continue saying this – there is a huge drug problem in this area and yet we don’t stop drug dealers from attending. The request to allow registrants to go the State Fair is not about the fair itself. It is about human rights. It is about the fact that the government has said a registrant cannot go there. There is no valid justification as to why. Yes, there has been a person or two arrested at the state fair. However, what they don’t tell you is if that person was committing some kind of act at the fair OR if they were just merely on the premises. Maybe they really wanted those gotta-have French Fries that were just featured on the news. Maybe they were hitting up the deep-fried Oreos vendor. Maybe they were standing in line for those giant-sized donuts I heard all about this year. Like most of us, registrants are no different. They, too, want to fill their bellies with deep-fried-everythings during the week of the fair! Oh, and by the way, how much publicity was there about the 35 fair workers who were charged with drugs during a single night of monitoring their temporary living quarters?
Let’s forget the registry for just a moment. Would it be fair to say to that someone with size 11 feet can’t go to the fair – for no other reason than we just have that rule? Would it be fair to say that a recovering alcoholic couldn’t go since there’s a beer garden there? Would it be fair to say that someone with animal allergies can’t go since there is a petting zoo there? Is it really fair to restrict registrants from the fair for 30 years (the length of the registry), no matter what their charge? You have people with misdemeanor charges who cannot attend for 30 years. Just plain crazy. Telling someone they cannot go to certain places because of a charge against them, for which they have already paid the penalty of imprisonment and/or probation, is not fair. FAIR. Now that word makes me laugh in the most sarcastic way. The state “fair” is not “fair.”
To assume all registered citizens are a threat to society is a falsehood. Do I think sex offenders are discriminated against? I absolutely do. I rarely use the word discrimination because I want to be really careful about how I and when it is used. But yes – as a group, registered sex offenders are discriminated against. NCRSOL’s push to allow registrants to attend the state fair isn’t about the fair and the fries, Oreos, and donuts – it’s about your rights as a human.
NCRSOL – thank you for your voice. Your members appreciate you.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Be a change agent…