Our View: Reforming our focus on current events

By Herald Editorial Staff
On March 3, 2014

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama said immigration reform will be a focus throughout the coming year.

However, in the coming months, the White House will have to examine whether or not to deport Justin Bieber, the Canadian pop singer who has made controversial headlines with his erratic behavior in the states, most notably his arrest for excessive speed in a residential area and driving while under the influence.

Certainly this was not the type of immigration reform the president was referring to in his speech.

To date, more than 260,000 people have signed a “We the People” petition to deport Justin Bieber. This is well past the required 100,000 signatures needed to require a response from the White House.

Though the White House said they would address the issue “in a timely manner,” it is very unlikely Bieber, nor any non-US citizen would be deported because of a driving-related offense.

But the real issue is why they should be addressing it at all.

Celebrities who play up their mistakes are nothing new. When child stars grow up, it can be hard for the general public to accept their newfound adulthood. This makes headlines from Britney Spears’ wild marriage and divorce to Miley Cyrus’ wild twerking.

But underneath the tight, flesh-colored body suits, celebrities are still real people. Just like us, they make mistakes. And, just like us, they like attention from time to time.

According to statistics from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, over 1.4 million people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2010.

It is fair to say the majority of those people did not face any threat of punishment from the White House, regardless of their citizenship status.

The only difference between us and celebrities is when they make a mistake, it is broadcasted, questioned and critiqued by the masses. For some celebrities, this is a signal that making mistakes could boost their following. For Justin Bieber, the White House’s involvement is proof this method can work.

Perhaps the reason some celebrities do crazy things is because we respond to it. If we didn’t care Britney Spears was engaged, would she have still shaved her head? If our response to Miley’s new dance moves was to stop following her on Twitter, would she have continued with a provocative music video?
Yet there is a bigger question everyone, especially students, should be asking: Don’t we have better things to worry about than a Canadian’s driving?
Countries around the world are facing unrest, and the planet is facing extreme shifts in weather possibly caused by humans.

Drug crime in our own country has increased, tax scandals are rampant with a convoluted set of codes, we have one of the highest income inequality rates in the world and people who would like to immigrate legally are shut out for years.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for the issues that the White House needs to be focusing on.

It is time to stop paying so much attention to the select few individuals and promote tangible and important issues to celebrity status.

“Our View” is written by the editorial staff. Opinions are not necessarily reflective of the student body, faculty or administration of ASU.

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