Unless you live under a rock beneath the foundation of a house that's built in a cave, you're well aware that Justin Bieber was arrested last week in Miami. The 19-year-old was taken to jail and eventually released on bail after being charged for resisting arrest, drunk driving, drag racing, and driving with an expired license. He also admitted to being under the influence of marijuana and prescription pills. The Internet darn-well exploded once news broke. Heck, a congresswoman being interviewed on MSNBC was stopped short to make the announcement.
Now, normally the dust from this kind of pop-culture shakeup would've settled by now, but it hasn't. There's a petition on WhiteHouse.org calling for Bieber's swift deportation, or as the petition's author puts it: "remove Justin Bieber from our society." Suddenly, the dust feels like shrapnel lodged in walls. And, covering up the holes is going to take more than a swift broom sweep and floor polish. The petition has received, as of 5 p.m., 128,452 signatures — 28,452 more than what's needed for the White House to respond. What was, at its initial conception, a pop-culture problem is now a matter of the government.
The Washington Times reports that a response could take "weeks, months, or even years." This gives the anti-deportation petition time to earn the staggering 98,090 more signatures it needs before it, too, is worthy of White House recognition. Again, if that does indeed happen, it could take years before anything progresses.
Whether the White House responds or not isn't the issue here. (If anything, it'll politely treat it the way it addressed the Death Star petition.) It's a matter of stepping back and really looking at what's happening. There are over 100,000 people verbally calling for a teenage pop star's "removal" from our country. Sure, he's acting like a punk and is definitely not living up to the role-model status he rose to, but deportation seems a bit, erm, harsh. Politely turning the other cheek toward the situation and letting his team handle it outside of the limelight (for it has certainly changed tones from the bright, endearing spotlight) seems to be the best way of handling this. Perhaps a petition to stop talking about it is in order. (Los Angeles Times)