Things Americans Should Care About More Than Justin Bieber (and why joke petitions aren’t funny)

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IMAGE DESCRIPTION: On the left side there is a mug shot of Justin Bieber. On the right side there is a screen shot of a White House petition to deport Justin Bieber.

Last week, an official White House petition gained over 100,000 signatures and when petitions have 100,000 signatures the White House must review them. This is good news right? Well, not exactly. This particular petition called for the deportation of Canadian pop star, Justin Bieber. Let’s get this straight: more than 100,000 people are committed to deporting Justin Bieber enough to sign a petition, but those same people cannot find time between watching TMZ, eating Doritos, and reading “People” to sign petitions calling for the government to pass gun safety laws, end wars, or stop the hunting of baby Dolphins. Aren’t there more important things to worry about than a spoiled, self-centered teen celebrity? Yes, yes there are, and the following list are just some of those things:

Lack of access to reproductive care

Lack of easy access to all forms of healthcare

Poor public education systems

Overly high student loan rates

Lack of justice for members of the LGBTQIA community who are victims of hate crimes

Child abuse

Domestic/Intimate Partner abuse

Rape and rape culture

Sexism, Racism, Ageism, and all the other -ism’s

Wage gap for women and minorities

Global climate change

Poverty and homelessness

The economy

The truth is that it’s fun to mock celebrities when they pull obscenely idiotic stunts, but shouldn’t there be other things, more important things, that we spend the majority of our time on?

In addition to the number of signatures the “Deport Justin Bieber” petition received being just plain depressing and causing a severe loss of faith in humanity, these sort of joke petitions are not simply harmless fun and are, in fact, damaging. Do you remember the the petition asking for the U.S. government to build the Death Star by 2016? That joke petition received 34,435 signatures and at the time the necessary number of signatures for White House review was 25,000. Not long after that petition was comically rejected by the White House in an official response entitled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For,” the number of required signatures on official White House petitions was raised to 100,000. So on behalf of those of us who actually use petitions as a way of communicating with and appealing to our politicians – Dear People Who Signed The “Deport Justin Bieber” Petition, please stay off the internet until you grow the fuck up. Thank you.

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Sources:

Farrington, Dana. “White House Death Star Petition Wouldn’t Pass New Threashold.” NPR. Jan. 16, 2013. Web.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/01/16/169564305/white-house-death-star-petition-wouldnt-pass-new-threshold

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