A Social Commentary on Car Ribbon Magnets

The colorful ribbon “statement” magnets affixed to the rear ends of cars, trucks and SUVs have become the blight of society. If a bumper has one, it might as well have three or four, each competing for the spotlight. Everyone can be a religious patriot thanks to ribbons. Whether you’re stating “God Bless Our Troops” or “Bring them Home,” you can pick a side of the fence for a couple dollars. Thanks to our culture of supply and demand, Trendy McGee can now purchase plain ribbon magnets (in her favorite color) sans a clichÃ?©d slogan-to coordinate with her paint job and license plate colors. And let’s not forget the more specialized “Adopt a Poodle,” “Git-R-Done” and “I Love Tennis” ribbons. (These really exist on eBay.) I even heard of a proposed joke ribbon that would sport the phrase: “Please support this ribbon.”

Citizens, we must face the facts-car ribbons are far from activism. They’ve become nothing more than a bad joke. Far from raising awareness about the issues, ribbons are nothing but a faux pas capitalized on by superchains and supported by people who like to complain…or who like to be “in.”

I have no problem when I see a Purple Heart Award sticker displayed on a vehicle, knowing that its recipient physically took part in the cause. Nor do I mind environmental stickers and the like, if they are sponsored by legitimate agencies. I can only hope that their owners are partnering with an advocacy group in some way. I’d like to believe that they put forth significant time and effort to back the cause of the sticker.

But why should I believe that ribbon-activists do anything more than grumble about the issues? Why should I believe them when our culture of over-consumption makes it so convenient to purchase a cause at the local Wal-Mart and slap it onto our bumpers?

If you are like most people, you are able to collect recyclables, write letters to soldiers, start a petition, or simply talk to others about what you believe. By taking personal responsibility, you can bring others alongside you in the mission we are all a part of.

A cause is nothing without human action, and we will never accomplish anything if car ribbons are society’s apathetic response to the issues. So let’s put our time and money where our mouth is. If you’re serious, please remove the ribbons from your rear end. And your neighbor’s.

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