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A Republican office was attacked. Here's how Democrats helped in response.

People across the political spectrum condemned the attack.

A Republican office was attacked. Here's how Democrats helped in response.

A Republican Party outpost in Orange County, North Carolina, was firebombed over the weekend. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

An already tense election season took a turn for the worse as pictures emerged showing the charred aftermath of what some were quick to label an act of political terrorism.

While it's unclear who carried out the attack, it was quickly condemned by people from across the political spectrum.

Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offered short statements via their Twitter accounts on Sunday afternoon.


Trump's chosen rhetoric, assigning blame to Clinton and North Carolina Democrats, didn't seem to bode well for anyone hoping for a calm, level-headed investigation into the attack.

A few short hours later, a group of Democrats did something many would have considered unthinkable just a day earlier: They gave money to the Republican Party.

Led by David Weinberger, a senior researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, a small group of Democrats launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the Republicans rebuild and reopen the office. Within hours, they raised more than $13,000 from 550 donors.

"As Democrats, we are starting this campaign to enable the Orange County, North Carolina Republican office to re-open as soon as possible," reads a statement on the GoFundMe page. "Until an investigation is undertaken, we cannot know who did this or why. No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences."

Helping the GOP reopen its Orange County office seems like a noble thing to do, but not all Democrats agreed with the decision.

Some pointed to the fact that there's still no way to know who carried out the attack or what their political leanings are — as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo notes, situations that look like politically-motivated attacks aren't always what they seem. Others noted the fact that any damage to the office would likely be covered by insurance.

Photo by Jonathan Drew/AP.

The attack was wrong — that is something we can all agree on. Giving money to the Republican party in North Carolina, however? The same party that tried to enact a voter ID law designed to disenfranchise people of color? The same party that pushed through virulently anti-LGBTQ legislation? To some Democrats, that didn't make sense.

Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images.

A list of North Carolina organizations in desperate need of funding quickly popped up on social media for people in search of a good cause to donate to instead of (or in addition to) the GOP.

Among organizations listed were relief funds set up to help the people of Fair Bluff and Lumberton, still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Others recommended the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, LGBTQ legal organization Lambda Legal, a University of North Carolina scholarship fund set up in honor of Muslim students killed in a hate crime last year, North Carolina Justice Center's Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Equality NC, the ACLU of North Carolina, the Carolina Justice Policy Center, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Southerners on New Ground, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

A man in Lumberton, North Carolina, walks down a flooded street in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

The response to the attack — whether or not donating money to the North Carolina Republican Party is the morally right response — is one on which reasonable people disagree, and that's OK.

In the end, nobody got hurt, the GOP office has funds to reopen, and hopefully, some money that wouldn't have otherwise been donated made its way to a few important charitable causes.

For many people, seeing any animal in captivity is a tragic sight. But when an animal cannot safely be released into the wild, a captive-but-comfortable space is the next best thing.

That's the situation for a dozen female pachyderms who have joined the Yulee refuge at the White Oak Conservation Center north of Jacksonville, Florida. The Asian elephants, who are endangered in the wild, are former circus animals that were retired from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2016. The group includes two sets of full sisters and several half-sisters. Elephants tend to live together in multi-generational family groups led by a matriarch.

Philanthropists Mark and Kimbra Walter, who fund the refuge for rare species, say they are "thrilled to give these elephants a place to wander and explore."

"We are working to protect wild animals in their native habitats," the Walters said in a statement. "But for these elephants that can't be released, we are pleased to give them a place where they can live comfortably for the rest of their lives."

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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