GOOD

Let’s debunk the ridiculous myth that Trump and Drake are both ‘generous’ men in private.

They get a shopping spree at Saks. He gets to feel like God.

SNL/Hotline Bling video

Last week The New York Times profiled two undocumented immigrants—Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz—who worked as maids for Donald Trump’s exclusive New Jersey golf club.


As women in the unusual position of dusting the president’s television (no doubt while he’s on it) Ms. Morales and Ms. Diaz have borne witness to Trump’s public and private selves. In Trump’s public self, they experience a bullying racist. Behind the scenes, however, he revealed himself to be kind—generous with tips and praise—even going so far as to help the diminutive Ms. Morales clean the upper-reaches of a tall window. “I told myself, ‘God bless him.’” Ms. Morales recalled. “‘I thought, he’s a good person.’”

Reading this, it’s hard not to soften toward Trump. But it’s uncomfortable, too—like learning Augusto Pinochet was an unusually sensitive child, or Saddam Hussein, while imprisoned, saved crusts of bread to feed to birds. And while Trump is no Pinochet or Hussein (he is his own special brand of menace), the dissonance created by his competing selves is equally charged. Trump is a person who can privately praise Ms. Diaz for doing a, “really good job,” give her a much appreciated $50 tip, and in the same breath publicly denounce undocumented immigrants—people just like her—of “vicious and violent” character. What a strange combination!

Except, no. Not really.

In truth, his public and private selves are not different, but part and parcel of the same worldview. Giving poor immigrant employees hefty tips—in person, where he can bask in their gratitude—inflates his ego. He can play the role of the magnanimous King, reveling in feelings of goodness and relative power. For the bargain price of $50, he cheats people of their dignity and livelihood, and still gets to walk away feeling like a “good person.”

Trump didn’t invent this practice. It’s common on both sides of the political divide. Drake—as opposite to Trump as you can possibly get (well, excluding what looks like a mutual predilection for young girls)—is a good example. In his video for “God’s Plan,” we watch him give away nearly one million dollars—the entire budget for the video—to various strangers in need. The video, which documents numerous emotional reactions to Drake’s unexpected generosity, is moving. But mingled into that is an undeniable element of the grotesque. It’s clear whatever these people receive pales in comparison to how Drake himself benefits: They get a shopping spree at Saks. He gets to feel like God.

Does it feel small to criticize a man who lightened a burdened person’s load? Who brightened his or her day? Of course. It feels crumby. And that’s why (with rare exception) no one does it. It feels nicer to cut these guys some slack, to forgive them their hypocrisy, and focus on the good. But it’s exactly that aversion—to feeling like a wet blanket—that protects the Drakes and Trumps of this world—and enables their savior King fantasies. When Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg mused, “Isn’t it a little bit cheap [of Drake] to use those emotions of, ‘Look at this person in need of getting something good,’ and transfer those emotions onto yourself? I don’t know the last time I saw a four-minute montage of ‘Look at all the nice things I do,’” Drake didn’t reflect. He bristled. “This is the most important thing I’ve ever done,” he shot back. As if that’s reason enough to shield him—as if the video can’t simultaneously be the most important thing he’s ever done, and also—in the scheme of things—unimportant.

Of course, people who work hard, who contribute meaningfully to society, should be financially rewarded—this isn’t an argument for a perfectly egalitarian society. Equal distribution of wealth is unrealistic and, frankly, uninspiring. But we are living in a time where an increasing amount of people no longer make a living wage. The middle class is disappearing. 41 million Americans struggle with hunger. Sick Americans turn to GoFundMe—not health insurance—to fund cancer treatments. Mentally ill Americans are abandoned to our prison system. We do not live in a society that functions—providing its citizens fundamental needs, and its non-citizens basic human rights. Instead, we feed the wealthy, and smile through tears when, on occasion, they peel pittance from a bill fold, sharing with the poor what they earned on their backs.

When Trump gives a maid a $50 tip—she will spend it on basic necessities—food, shelter—or send to her family in Guatemala. When Drake buys a struggling family groceries, they still need to figure out how to eat next week.

The fact remains these men are mega-millionaires and billionaires in a country increasingly defined by a stark wealth-divide—donating money to a symptom while benefiting from the disease. And if you go so far as to point it out? They won’t hear it.

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via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

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via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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