Arnold Schwarzenegger uses the perfect analogy to explain 'real freedom' to anti-maskers
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There is a big, gaping hole in the center of the belief that refusing to wear a mask or get vaccinated is a patriotic expression of the personal freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

Sure, you're free to do as you wish, but the fastest way for people to invite tyranny into their lives is to forget that freedom is predicated on responsibility and accountability.

Refusing to wear a mask in a place where COVID-19 is likely to spread puts yourself and others at risk. Refusing to get vaccinated only promotes the spread of the virus. The longer this pandemic goes on, the more likely it is that freedom-loving people will be subjected to punitive restrictions from lawmakers and businesses seeking to crack down on those who aren't being accountable.


Freedom must be accompanied by accountability or society quickly becomes uncivilized and that's a fertile breeding ground for authoritarianism.

Actor and former Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger perfectly explained this delicate balance on Monday in an interview with CNN's Bianna Golodryga and former National Security Council staffer Alexander Vindman.

He blamed the continuation of the pandemic on those who are living in denial.

"A year and a half later, we are still in a mess and there are still people living in denial," Schwarzenegger said. "There are still people that don't believe in masks, there are still people out there who say, 'Well, we don't have to do social distancing,' and all this kind of stuff."

He explained that a big problem is that people have an immature grasp of what freedom really means.

"The only way we prevent it is we get vaccinated, we wear masks, we do social distancing, washing your hands all of the time, and not just to think about, 'Well, my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.' No, screw your freedom. Because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities," he said.

The "Terminator" star used an analogy involving stoplights that everyone can understand.

"You cannot just say, 'I have the right to do x, y, and z,' when you affect other people. That is when it gets serious. It's like, no different than a traffic light. They put the traffic light in the intersection so someone doesn't kill someone else by accident. You cannot say, 'No one is going to tell me that I'm going to stop here, I'm going to go right through it.' Yeah, then you kill someone else, and it is your doing. It is the same thing with the virus. You cannot go and not put the mask on because when you breathe you can infect someone else, and you can infect someone that then gets sick and may die."

Those who doubt that freedom without responsibility leads to authoritarianism should look no further than recent history. Over the past year and a half, Americans have had to sacrifice a lot of their personal freedom because of a virus that thrives on a lack of accountability.

Those who truly love liberty should realize that we're at a tipping point where the best way to persevere it is to fight back with accountability instead of defiance.

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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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