Break the Chain Are you MADD?!

Updated (12/13/2002) Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) has done tremendous work to increase the awareness of the dangers driving while drinking poses to society. But would they circulate this unremarkable poem and bullying petition? Not quite.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

PLEASE READ TO THE END AND SIGN! Thank you! ***

I went to a party, Mom
And remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom
So I had a Sprite instead.

I felt proud of myself,
The way you said I would,
That I didn*t drink and drive,
Though some friends said I should.

I made a healthy choice,
And your advice to me was right,
The party finally ended,
And the kids drove out of sight.

I got into my car,
Sure to get home in one piece,
I never knew what was coming, Mom
Something I expected least.

Now I*m lying on the pavement,
And I hear the policeman say,
The kid that caused this wreck was drunk,
Mom, his voice seems far away.

My own blood*s all around me,
As I try hard not to cry.
I can hear the paramedic say,
This girl is going to die.

I*m sure the guy had no idea,
While he was flying high,
Because he chose to drink and drive,
Now I would have to die.

So why do people do it, Mom
Knowing that it ruins lives?
And now the pain is cutting me,
Like a hundred stabbing knives.

Tell sister not to be afraid, Mom
Tell daddy to be brave,
And when I go to heaven,
Put *Daddy*s Girl* on my grave.

Someone should have taught him,
That it's wrong to drink and drive.
Maybe if his parents had,
I*d still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mom
I*m getting really scared.
These are my final moments,
And I*m so unprepared.

I wish that you could hold me Mom,
As I lie here and die.
I wish that I could say I love you, Mom
So I love you and good-bye.

WE ARE HOPING TO GET 5,000 SIGNATURES ON THIS, THEN PASS IT ON TO THE PRESIDENT. PLEASE SIGN.

When this petition has reached 5,000, please return it to:
MADD
P.O. Box 541688
Dallas, TX 75354-1688
info@madd.org
800-GET-MADD

IF YOU GET THIS PETITION AND JUST DELETE IT, YOUR SELFISHNESS KNOWS NO BOUNDS...SIGNING IS SUCH A SMALL EFFORT TO MAKE. AFTER YOU*VE READ THE POEM, PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME AT THE BOTTOM. AND NEVER FORGET ... DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. EVER. NOT EVEN ONCE

How to set it up!
1. Copy the entire e-mail.
2. Paste it into a new e-mail.
3. SIGN YOUR NAME AT THE BOTTOM.
4. Then send it to everyone you know.

THE NAMES:
(632 names deleted)

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

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E-petitions like this one prey on human emotions. Whether people forward this one on because they are genuinely touched by the poem or because they'll feel guilty if it turned out to be real and they didn't, I'm not sure. We all want to make a difference on hot-button issues like teens and drunk driving, and when it's as easy as hitting the forward button, it's hard to resist.

These sentiments are global. Just a few months after the version above originated in the U.S., a virtually identical version targeting the Prime Minister showed up in the U.K.

The first copy of this chain I received had 632 "signatures" on it. Another version received the same day had more than 260. The name, location and e-mail address of everyone who signs petitions like this one are passed through strangers' hands for a very long time. Are you sure you want your information distributed this way?

The most telling sign that this "petition" is not have the work of MADD is the bullying line "IF YOU GET THIS PETITION AND JUST DELETE IT, YOUR SELFISHNESS KNOWS NO BOUNDS." I also doubt MADD would feel compelled to add "EVER. NOT EVEN ONCE" for emphasis. MADD issued a statement in which they explain that they did not start, nor do they endorse this petition:

"The poem does not belong to MADD - in fact, the author is unknown. Moreover, the request for signatures, or online petition is not a MADD-sponsored initiative, and should not be considered as such."

This "petition" never actually tells you what it is for. Why does the president care whether 5,000 people have read a poem? A true petition would have a clearly defined action statement, as MADD, again, points out:

"Some variations of the e-mail use language that is inappropriate and fail to propose a specific call to action. "

MADD recommends that, instead of forwarding this chain letter, you take real action and contact your congressmen or other legislators directly. Break this chain!

What Do You Think?

Category: Armchair Activism
References: MADD

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