I don’t know what to say other than when you’re crying wolf over Twitter and conflating jokes about child abuse with child abuse, you’re making things worse.
I can’t think of anyone among my colleagues who work in child protection who are into quanon thing. Granted, we’re all educated, and we’ve all similar training, and we’re very much focused on the law and what exists in reality.
I also can’t think of anyone I work with who has time to tool around Twitter looking for things to twist and cram into a conspiracy theory, so I haven’t heard anyone at work talk about this qanon theory.
But then again, we’re also super fucking busy helping real children all day long to get deep into a conspiracy based on the imagined abuse of illusory children.
Believe me: the things that actually happen to children are bad enough without bored weirdos creating conspiracy theories that are into designed to draw attention away from actual child trafficking and actual abuse.
What I can think of is how much worse it’s going to be when people hesitate to call child protective services because they don’t want to seem hysterical or paranoid, and real abuse that happens to real children may go unreported.
I can also think of how much harder it’s going to be for real victims of abuse to come forward because on top of the manipulation, coercion, gaslighting, and threats, these children will have the additional problem of determining if what happened to them is actually abuse because it didn’t happen as part of conspiracy theory, or if they too would prefer not to sound crazy and just ensure it. Because it’s difficult for kids to come forward with any outcry because they’re afraid of being told it’s not true, that it’s not what they think, it’s not so bad, etc., etc.
It takes a lot courage for kids to reach out to get help, especially when they’ve likely already been warned not to do so, or may have been punished for trying before.
It takes a lot of courage for anyone to come forward at any time. This whole qanon thing does no favors for Epstein’s victims.
Human trafficking, and human sex trafficking, just doesn’t work this way. Traffickers won’t often even give their victims and clients their real names so on the chance that the victim escapes, they’ll struggle to identify their abuser. There was an Epstein. There have been high profile traffickers, but so much of it is by people we don’t know.
In fact, a lot of children are trafficked by family members and other trusted adults that they know, like neighbors.
So it doesn’t make sense to me, as someone who works in the child protection courts, that actual abusers would not only use their names and pictures of themselves, but get verified and then announce child rape to the world.
Again: jokes about child abuse is not the same thing as child abuse, because unlike with child abuse, there is no living breathing human victim in a joke that doesn’t name a real, living child.
You can’t stop a person from making jokes you don’t like. This is America. You can do something pernicious by trying the dumbest among us that jokes don’t exist anymore, and anything anyone writes and publishes is always rooted in reality.
And it really is that simple.
Look at it this way: you can’t be both for the First Amendment and against it. You can’t demand that the government not interfere with you spreading your bullshit but then demand it intervene over someone else’s bullshit that isn’t even an exception because it doesn’t incite violence against a particular person in the immediate.
My guess is that you’re going to find more actual pedophiles behind the Guy Fawkes masks than you are among American celebrities making baby fucking jokes.
And since the qanon people do not, could not, possibly work in child protection, they couldn’t know how draining it can be, what it is like to lay awake and night unable to stop empathizing with your clients, to wonder if you advocated for them strongly enough, if things will be okay now.
Because frankly, there are nights after work where I’d be grateful if all the new cases coming to me were about comedians and models Tweeting dark jokes about kids. I mean, compared to what is in my actual case load, getting nothingburger after me nothingburger would be a dream come true.
And if you still really want to help kids and not just be a keyboard warrior, CASA can always use more volunteers. If you want to invest some time in your education, there’s plenty of law schools with a focus on child law, and there’s plenty of social work programs.
My law school had a concentration in child law. Very popular.
But in reality, if you can’t even stomach a Tweet, then you don’t have it in you to do this work for real, so maybe it’s better for you to not get involved for real and to hide behind your conspiracy theories and social media, lest you run into a case of real sexual abuse of children and find yourself curled up in a ball unable to function.
How many years until the Satanic Panic ended in the 80s? I’m surprised that being as old as they are on average, qanon doesn’t seem to remember those years.
I’m sure this movement will cannibalize itself the way they tend to do. Hopefully, when it does, it won’t have caused too many adults who hear hooves to think zebras and not horses and to not report actual suspected abuse because they don’t want to sound crazy.