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Students at BU Protest Robin Thicke, Few Show Up

Photo: Ian Chamenko

Photo: Ian Chamenko

In the few weeks that the change.org petition was online, a total of 2,983 people signed to keep Robin Thicke from performing at the Agganis Arena. On the Facebook page, a total of 101 people stated that they were going to attend the protest. In reality, about 15 people showed up.

This is a stark reminder of the reality of activism versus slacktivism in our society. Activism is the action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about some kind of change. Slacktivism on the other hand, involves actions performed on the Internet in support of a cause that requires little time or involvement. People are more apt to participate in this slacktivism as they did with the Robin Thicke petition than to actually go to a protest.

Patrick Johnson, organizer of the protest at BU as well as the petition on change.org, is an activist. Inspired by Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC, he has organized and participated in a number of protests including a protest of the poverty wages at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. This junior at BU drew from his experiences in Spain where he was surrounded by protests concerning the economy when organizing the protest at the Agganis Arena. It was clear that he had experience dealing with people passing by who did not necessarily agree with his position. Johnson and the Humanists of BU were not the first students to disagree with Robin Thicke’s performance at the Agganis Arena, and it was because of this that they faced no opposition in organizing the petition and the protest.

The question remains, does slacktivism make any change in society? It’s one thing to see almost three thousand people sign an online petition to keep an artist from performing and an entirely different thing to see 15 people shivering in the cold protesting the event. It is times like these where we must decide how committed we are to a cause and how far we are willing to go for it.

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Posted by on March 7, 2014. Filed under Around the Hub,Art & Culture,Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.