Meme maker uses Rush Limbaugh's death to raise over $500,000 for Planned Parenthood
Tommy Marcus, a 25-year-old University of Michigan graduate based in New York City, has rocketed his way to Instagram stardom under the alias "quentin.quarantino" since the beginning of the pandemic.
Marcus is a Quentin Tarrantino aficionado who has a tattoo of the dance scene from "Pulp Fiction" tattooed on his shoulder.
On March 13, 2020, Marcus pledged to post a meme every 30 minutes until the 14-day lockdown was over. However, as we all know, it lasted a lot longer.
As the pandemic raged on, Marcus got fed up with the "bullshit" and started calling out COVID-19 deniers, anti-maskers, and the politicians who enable them on his page. He earned 160,000 likes for cleverly calling out Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst.
Ernst helped spread the conspiracy theory that doctors were falsifying COVID-19 numbers for profit, but then jumped to the front of the line when the vaccine was rolled out.
In August, he began using his Instagram platform to help charities by selling merchandise and donating 20% to Planned Parenthood, No Kid Hungry, Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight.
Earlier this week, Marcus got the brilliant idea of using Rush Limbaugh's death to inspire people to donate money to Planned Parenthood. He began with the reasonable goal of $10,000.
Limbaugh once claimed that Planned Parenthood's goal was the "elimination of black families."
Marcus thought that by accepting donations "In memory of Rush Limbaugh '' he could somehow balance the evil wrought by the political shock jock.
"There needed to be some kind of counterbalance in the universe for the decades of sexist, homophobic, racist, and endlessly discriminatory propaganda that Rush spewed through the airwaves," he told GOOD. "In my mind, Rush biased an entire generation and really helped set the stage for the dangerously incendiary Trump culture we are still contending with."
Since the campaign's inception, it has already raised $500,000 for the women's health organization he calls "pivotal."
Marcus is obviously over the moon about the money and eyebrows he's raised, but he's also had some wonderful interactions with people helped by Planned Parenthood.
"My most satisfying reaction to the fundraiser was a follower who was just radically honest about how Planned Parenthood detected a very severe form of cancer early on and saved her life," he told GOOD.
"I think PP gets so unfairly and unreasonably pigeonholed — by both advocates and opponents — in the polarizing space of abortion when the truth of the matter is that sexual and reproductive health is an essential human right," he continued.
As a "voice of the pandemic," Marcus believes it's his job to deliver some levity and hope in a desperate time. His Planned Parenthood campaign was just another way of providing that to his followers.
"I think the biggest point of all of this is that, especially right now, I think everyone feels powerless, alone, defensive, divided," he said. "Maybe this fundraiser can be a little reminder that there's still unity and humanity right now That even a small contribution can fuel a tremendous impact."
According to Marcus, the average donation is $23.
He hopes the campaign has helped people realize that "even the most bitter and frustrating moments of political division can still yield something meaningful and constructive."
Donate to Planned Parenthood in memory of Rush Limbaugh by opening this link on the Instagram app.
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