Checklist Before Showing Solidarity with a Cause
Before putting on that armband, bracelet, pin, ribbon, or bumper sticker, ask:
- Who's behind the organization of this show of solidarity? Do you know who's paying for it?
- Is the message clear and unambiguous? Could anyone mistake what it is you're saying by making the statement?
- When does it stop? Is there a clear end date at which you could conceivably stop making this statement, or is it indefinite in nature? (At some point, most people stopped putting 9/11 magnets on their cars. But when was the appropriate time to stop?)
- Where does it end? Is there a reason you would choose to show support in this way exclusively for this one cause, or will others try to get you to show solidarity, too? (The WWJD bracelet soon got mimicked by dozens of other cause bracelets, just like the AIDS ribbon cascaded into an endless series of cause ribbons that columnists and commentators openly lampooned in the early 1990s.)