Help Trump Get a Purple Heart
NEW UPDATE 10 AUGUST: Donald Trump's Metaphorical Swear Jar (aka "Phase II") is live but in a preliminary phase. Ongoing satirical/charitable efforts (in the spirit of this campaign) will be concentrated there...please see "Updates" section just above this paragraph for information/explanation. May the Basic Human Decency be with us. #TrumpSwearJar
IMPORTANT: all money raised goes directly to vetted organizations working to help Syrian refugees, and NOT to Trump or any political figure. Don't worry...it's satire for a good cause. Please read past the 2nd paragraph (well, 3rd paragraph counting this one. Sorry, math AND reading skills required at this point...which could actually help screen out and disorient the negative/ignorant trolls).
On 2 August 2016, a veteran handed Donald Trump a Purple Heart medal at one of his rallies in Virginia. Making light of a military decoration awarded to combat-wounded service members just days after attacking a fallen soldier’s family, Trump remarked “I've always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”
As with seemingly everything else in his life, Mr. Trump got one handed to him instead of earning it. That being said, as a Purple Heart recipient [proof ] who earned one the old-fashioned way by returning from Afghanistan one leg lighter, I fully endorse his desire to earn one and would happily oblige his interest in doing so, by being one of the first to chip in to fly him to the conflict zone of his choosing. After all, you're never too old to follow your dreams.
…ok, let’s be serious. Super serious. We’re not going to be able to help Donald realize his conveniently retroactive military fantasies, and based on precedent he could likely get a series of deferments to avoid going even if we tried. So instead, we’re going to convert his toxic bigotry, ignorance, and callousness into something positive. As Michelle Obama said/as Melania Trump might say at some point in the future: "when they go low, we go high."
What better way to do that than to redirect money to a good cause that Donald Trump would vehemently oppose: aiding Syrian refugees. All money actually raised will be distributed to vetted groups working directly with Syrian refugees as well as refugees of similar conflict zones - the decent fellow humans who were unfortunate enough to be in one of these regions when everything around them collapsed, and whom Trump has broadly categorized as likely terrorists unworthy of resettlement.
Due to the amount raised so far, the funds will be split between three organizations with different specialties:
-1/3 of it will go to the International Rescue Committee, which is one of the nine voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) that work directly with the admitting/screening U.S. government agencies to help refugees “move in” and establish their new lives, while at the same time helping them become self-sufficient and well-integrated members of their community.
-1/3 of it will go to the Syrian American Medical Society, which is comprised of medical professionals of Syrian descent offering a wide range of medical services to Syrians in need, both inside and outside of Syria. In addition to providing medical care themselves, they also help to “teach a man to fish” by providing instruction to Syrian medical professionals.
-1/3 of it will go to Refugees Welcome International, essentially an “AirBnB for refugees” that engages our European and Canadian friends whose governments allow private refugee sponsorship (something the U.S. does not yet do). Because so much of the spirit of this fundraiser is centered around a unified global outlook (we’re all fellow homo sapiens, sitting on a rock hurtling through space together), I figured we could help our European and Canadian allies demonstrate the efficacy of private sponsorship.
Why these three groups? I wanted at least two of the organizations to be smaller (yet established) groups that need the money more than the big VOLAGs, while at the same time giving at least some to a leading secular VOLAG with a proven record. Furthermore, I could not find anything substantially negative on any of them, save for the occasional xenophobic lowest-common-denominator all-caps rantings of Trump supporter types on obscure blogs/social media.
Admin note: GoFundMe holds fundraisers legally accountable for using money raised on their site "in the exact manner you state within your campaign." I have contacted all three organizations via email (and Facebook) to figure out how to transfer the money directly to them when this fundraiser concludes. Proof of transfer and full receipt of funds will be provided (both on this page and in an email to donors) for purposes of transparency.
UPDATE (5 August around 5:30pm): #PurpleTrumpsOrange is now the official hashtag for this fundraiser (credit to Ollie Mastrangelo).
Credit for the design of the "Purple Trump Fantastic Medal for Huge Classy Terrific-ness and Definitely Not for Total Lightweights, Captured POW Losers, or Unfair Meanie-heads" goes to Tyler Kerr.
For periodic updates over the past several days, please see the “Updates” section (just below the photograph of Darth Trump himself, if you can bear to look at it for more than a few seconds…kind of like looking at the sun, except that he doesn’t provide any light energy for life on Earth or drive photosynthesis or anything nearly as useful)
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” -Mark Twain
[Also yes, the orange theme on this page is very much intentional.]
However, it’s not over. We’ve started a fledgling community on Facebook dedicated to continuing the momentum and spirit of this original fundraiser, called Donald Trump’s Metaphorical Swear Jar ( www.facebook.com/TrumpSwearJar). This video briefly explains/illustrates how it works: www.facebook.com/TrumpSwearJar/videos/1826394107593739/. The more people that ‘like’ the page and follow/share our future efforts, the better able we will be to continue helping Trump inadvertently raise money for the targets of his many derogatory attacks. Additionally, the page is a great place to find like-minded people who appreciate giving back while at the same time satirizing the love child of Mussolini and a bag of expired Cheetos. I mean who knows, Cheetos were invented in the 40s, Mussolini died in 1945 and Trump was born just months later in mid-1946…many people are saying it, maybe it’s true and maybe I am saying it but let’s be honest, a lot of people are saying it…
Anyways, this absurd (in a good way) final total of $66K+ is thanks to all of you: whether it was $5 or $20 or $500, and whether you were donating from my Massachusetts hometown or from South Africa, every contribution was critical and was/is appreciated. Over 2,600 people helped directly with that part. Tens of thousands more helped to share and publicize the campaign, and each one of them was critical in that regard as well; this would not have reached even a few hundred dollars if it weren’t for the sharing/exposure. In the end, you’ve all helped to counter toxicity and ignorance with generosity, compassion, and the kind of basic human decency that most learned in kindergarten. As many friends/family who have spoken with me since this fundraiser’s success can attest, I have a totally renewed confidence in our species and our electorate.
That being said, the final thing I will ask of you is to help send an even more important message to Trump by voting this November. First, because our military predecessors earned Purple Hearts the hard way to uphold this privilege for everyone. And second, because during the UK’s “Brexit” referendum in June, we saw what happened when apathy and/or “don’t worry about it, we’ve got it in the bag” attitudes were prevalent - and common sense was subsequently overridden by xenophobic lowest-common-denominator-ism. After you’ve voted, help drive people to voting locations to make sure the most disenfranchised are also able to make their voices heard. The best thing we can do to prevent this fetid underbelly of America from resurfacing is to absolutely rout Trump and his platform of unfounded fears, bigotry, and general ignorance in early November, in order to teach him and any who might follow him that they are not representative of our country, nor are their dangerous and regressive ideologies contributive in any meaningful sense to the necessary progress of our species.
I’ll sign off for good by re-sharing one of my favorite quotes (one that partially inspired the ethos of this fundraiser) from Carl Sagan, an astronomer, teacher, fellow humanist/atheist, and inspirational thinker: "Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group. Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family; next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers; then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations. We have broadened the circle of those we love. We have now organized what are modestly described as super-powers, which include groups of people from divergent ethnic and cultural backgrounds working in some sense together - surely a humanizing and character-building experience. If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth.”
Pale Blue Dot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjtuVvfRhHs
HOW IT WILL WORK: every time Sauron…er, Trump says/does something hateful, bigoted, xenophobic, or otherwise just plain awful (on average: frequently), all money raised by the DT Swear Jar community (and its allies) in the week following will go to a vetted non-profit benefitting the targeted group/demographic/etc. As an example, let’s say Voldemo…Trump goes after the integrity and character of three-legged puppies this Friday. Starting that day, community members will cast votes for their non-profit of choice that serves the amputee puppy community, and then donate and/or encourage friends to voice their dissent by donating to the winning non-profit (via a linked GoFundMe campaign each week).
WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED: concerned Americans and world citizens who want to keep Trump as far away from the White House as possible (and not just for the sake of the integrity of the interior decorating), and for those who aren’t ready or willing to donate to a political figure or party but still want to contribute to good causes benefitting deserving fellow humans. It will provide a positive, constructive outlet for all of our frustration and election fatigue, and will be modeled after this satirical-but-surprisingly-effective “Help Trump Get a Purple Heart” campaign.
If you’re on board and want to help make this happen, join the community (and invite your friends) by ‘liking’ the Donald Trump’s Metaphorical Swear Jar page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TrumpSwearJar
The page is very basic right now (just set it up tonight to get it out there), but based on precedent, I’m sure Darth Trump will give us some fresh material in a matter of hours and we’ll be off on our next campaign.
So hop in your metaphorical X-Wings and load up on proton torpedoes. We’ve got a Death Star to defeat.
Also, an admin note: as the fundraiser slows down and we start thinking about closing it down, I’ve been working with the GoFundMe Community Management Team to get a head start on figuring out how best to transfer the money to the three organizations, keeping transparency and full accountability at the forefront. I am going to be looping financial representatives of the three organizations into the email traffic with this GoFundMe team so that we can handle things more efficiently, too.
This quote, from one of my personal heroes and perspective-bringers, is why this matters. And why all of you who have shared/internetted/donated/tweetered [did I get the past tense of ‘tweet’ correct? I’m so hip] matter as a critical part of the effort. Next challenge: get Trump to match each donation? #PurpleTrumpsOrange
Also, many have wondered why the money isn’t going to U.S. veterans. Though I empathize, here’s why I chose for it to instead benefit refugees (with a focus on Syria): because Americans aren’t being bombed en masse in their homes by Russian and Syrian warplanes, nor are they risking their lives and abandoning everything to cross continents and seas in order to escape a situation that makes the Siege of Stalingrad in 1942-3 look like kindergarten recess. It’s a nearly binary comparison.
Other updates/random notes:
A. I’m not a diehard Hillary supporter. I am, however, a realist and will do what is necessary to stop Trump - because I know and love many people who are not white males like me and who would be severely negatively affected under a Trump reign. In fact, I am ashamed I did not do something sooner to speak out.
B. I deleted unnecessary, xenophobic, racist, etc. comments (“why come your [sic] helping those MOSLUM [sic] degenrates! [sic]”) because, well, life’s too short and my brain already hurts enough having to pay attention to Trump-related news. Similarly, I deleted comments from anyone who clearly hadn’t read the page and just got outraged at the title.
C. If anybody reading this knows how to make a time machine, we’ll need one for the express purpose of giving Trump more hugs and positive human physical contact as a child.
D. Check out the #ManyPeopleareSaying hashtag, satirizing Trump’s common attribution of information.
E. Another update tonight…
It is not only Americans who are horrified by his behaviour, I donate because from South Africa I cannot vote to help, as a mother I felt terrible when he said he always wanted a purple heart without any consideration to how parents whose children receive the medal posthumously must feel, no one wants a purple heart and more importantly no parent wants to be a gold star parent!
I think the bravery of Mr and Mrs Khan to get on that stage was a turning point and when Trump loses and history is written, Captain Humayan Khan will not be the only hero in the Khan family, they will be too, not only for America but the rest of the world.
My utmost respect and gratitude to you sir, for your service and for this genius campaign. The US Army dogtags and Dragonslayer (unofficial) medal I received for my year of working alongside the most honorable US service members, from 2010-2011, as a civilian SME in Iraq are my most valued posessions. I will give them to DT, IF he takes you up on your offer. Heck, I'll even throw in my 1staid kit in case someone frags him and he's "only injured." I was a 52 yr old civilian when I went and a mere 5'1" female. His hands may be bigger than mine but surely he should prove he has the balls to serve in any capacity before he has the delusional audacity to claim he his capable to serve as the POTUS. I am donating on behalf of the 1500+ former colleagues and students of mine who were slaughtered by DAESH in Tikrit. I am donating on behalf of Sana, my Iraqi interpreter and friend who was brutally tortured for assisting the US Forces. I am donating on behalf of Cpt. Khan and all of the gold star families. I am donating because I am Canadian and I don't get a vote. I am donating because we all have a duty to do what we can to prevent the increase of religious intolerance, racism, and ignorance and hate.
Personally, I was drawn to the original concept of your satire (it would have been sweet retribution if somehow it had occurred) but when I saw the good it could do for others, I had to give. Out of so much darkness, you are a ray of good, and respect and we needed to believe again in Anne Frank's quote: “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart".
I am a Vietnam Vet. I was an Army helicopter pilot. I spent my one year tour doing everything I could to help our soldiers on the ground. I carried the wounded and the dead, the ones that truly "earned" the Purple Heart. While in country, I flew a dangerous, night resupply mission to deliver whole blood and surgical instruments to save some critically wounded soldiers, my fellow "comrades in arms". To do this, I had to hover over the tree tops in complete darkness while "friendly" artillery was impacting all around me, only 200 yards away. During that mission, shrapnel from a nearby explosion flew through my side window and cut my cheek. Later back at my base, someone suggested to put me in, to receive a Purple Heart. I strongly refused and told them "Don't You Dare"! Yes, I was wounded in combat, but I did nothing to deserve it, I did not "earn" it! I am appalled, but not surprised by Mr. Trump. His accepting that medal is an insult to all those that did earn it, the hard way. I was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for what I did, but the courage I had to complete that mission (Goggle, Jim Eskildsen, "My Flight Into the Twilight Zone) was/is nothing next to the courage of our Purple Heart recipients. Mr. Trump is clearly not one of them.
Cristina Davis - I don't care if he gives the money to charity or buys himself a new car. HE DESERVES IT. How dare a candidate for the United States of America who has never served in the military say something as disrespectful and insensitive as he did about receiving a Purple Heart! And, Gary Peppers--you are such a putz. How can you say he never said it? Leaves me speechless. You probably think the democrats rigged the video, huh?
Brilliantly humorous response to what must have been such a disparaging insult. For me, though, the best part is what you are actually going to do with funds. So ignore the "America First - and Only" types. There is plenty of money and generosity to go around. And you have more than earned the right to decide how these funds are dispersed. Thank you!
From a Canadian who is absolutely terrified that Donald may end up President, thank you for keeping his disrespect of the Military in the spotlight, and doing something good out of that man's disgusting behaviour. For you Americans who are criticizing this go fund me because you believe it dishonours and tarnishes the Purple Cross, Trump did that the minute he accepted it and commented on how easy it was to get. How you can still defend this sorry excuse for a man totally mystifies me and millions more.
consider Syrian American Medical Society, https://www.sams-usa.net/foundation/ This organization is endorsed by Ed Kassig, whose son Abdul Rahman Peter Kassig, who was murdered by ISIS. The Kassigs have met this tragedy with Love, and this is an organization they recommend.