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5 real things you can do right now to fight Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban.'

The president's executive order is a shocking reversal of American values.

5 real things you can do right now to fight Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban.'

On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump enacted harsh restrictions on immigration and refugee intake via executive order.

Titled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," the executive order has the effect of placing a hold on the U.S. refugee program and restricts travel from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The order also stipulates that of the refugees who are let into the country, Christians will be prioritized over Muslims.

Photo by Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images.


Within hours of the order's signing, its effects became clear. At major U.S. airports around the country, more than two dozen individuals covered by the newly implemented restrictions were detained upon arrival. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that the order would also have the effect of banning green card holders from seven countries from re-entering the U.S. In all, the order could block up to 500,000 legal U.S. residents from exiting and re-entering the country.

Though the administration has insisted this is not a "Muslim ban," Muslims will be disproportionately affected by Trump's actions. In December 2015, then-candidate Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." For what it's worth, Michael Flynn Jr., son of Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, celebrated the order on Twitter as a "Muslim ban."

Protestors rally during a protest at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Jan. 28, 2017. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

Banning people on the basis of where they're from or what their religion is, is quintessentially un-American. It's a slap in the face to the men and women who founded this country on a principle of religious liberty, and it's a show of disrespect for the men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our national ideals at home and abroad.

Since the order was signed, people have taken to the streets in protests, donated to causes dedicated to ensuring the safety and rights of immigrants and refugees, and legal challenges have already begun to work their way through the courts, with stays reportedly being issued Saturday evening to halt any immediate deportations.

The fight on this is just beginning. Here are five things you can do right now to help:

1. Donate to causes supporting legal challenges to the order.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against the Trump administration, arguing that his executive order is unconstitutional.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit along with the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, the National Immigration Law Center, Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, and the firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

On Twitter, musical artist Sia announced matching donations to the ACLU up to $100,000, and entrepreneur Chris Sacca said he would match donations up to $75,000.

2. Join a protest.

As news of the challenges facing the detained travelers emerged, protesters began showing up at the affected airports with a simple message: This is not who we are.

ThinkProgress has a running list of upcoming protests against the ban.

Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

3. Donate to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In the lead-up to last year's election, anti-Muslim sentiment seemed to be on the rise. In the months since, documented instances of Islamophobic attacks and hate crimes have seen a spike. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a civil rights advocacy organization that works to resolve instances of anti-Muslim discrimination through mediation, negotiation, public pressure, and legal action.

On Twitter, musician Grimes offered to match donations to CAIR up to $10,000.

4. Call your lawmakers.

Where do your politicians stand on Trump's executive order? Have they released any sort of statement? Either way, it's a great chance to reach out to their offices. Representatives and senators cannot single-handedly undo an executive order, but they can put pressure on the administration to roll back the changes.

Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

A number of lawmakers from both parties have spoken out against the order on social media. Even if your representatives have taken a stand against the order, you can call to say thanks.

5. Speak out, speak up, and let it be known that this is not who America is.

No matter how we voted in November, we are all a part of the same country — and that country should be a welcome home for all.

To paraphrase Emma Lazarus: We should aim to be a welcoming home to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the homeless, and the tempest-tossed. That's the America we should aspire to be.

So tell your friends, tell your families, share messages of support on social media. We don't need to fear the unknown. In fact, the odds of an American dying as the result of an act of terrorism carried out by a refugee is a minuscule 1 in 3.64 billion in any given year.

Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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