Aziz Ansari's essay on Donald Trump is a must-read for every American.

On June 24, 2016, comedian Aziz Ansari penned an essay in The New York Times on Donald Trump's Islamophobia.

Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Peabody.

It's filled with heart, common sense, and cold, hard facts.

All of which are, you know, the most obvious attributes lacking from the reality-TV-star-turned-presumptive-GOP-nominee's increasingly perplexing campaign for the White House.


Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

The essay, "Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family," nails several points about why Trump's candidacy is so dangerous and how it's directly harming many Americans.

"Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels," Ansari wrote. "It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense."

Every word is worth the read. But here are three main takeaways from Ansari's essay.

1. Trump's Islamophobic policy platforms are ludicrous. And Ansari has the math to prove it.

"The overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics."

Citing data that suggests the number of U.S. Muslims with potential ties to terrorism barely registers above 0%, Ansari spells out why Trump's baseless Muslim travel ban proposition not only paints families like his own as more dangerous — it's completely nonsensical.

Really, if we're going to be fearful of Muslims, we should probably be just as scared of white guys (at least, according to, you know, data).

2. White people can't know what it feels like to bear the brunt of Trump's racist rhetoric, Ansari explains.

"I asked a young friend of mine, a woman in her 20s of Muslim heritage, how she had been feeling after the attack. 'I just feel really bad, like people think I have more in common with that idiot psychopath than I do the innocent people being killed,' she said. 'I’m really sick of having to explain that I’m not a terrorist every time the shooter is brown.'"

Believing that Muslims inherently have an extra responsibility to condemn terrorism to prove they're not part of the problem is flat-out wrong. We don't ask white Christians to apologize for the Westboro Baptist Church — why should we demand apologies from 3.3 million American Muslims

Trump's blanket statements grouping everyone of a single faith with extremism have real effects. They play into the message of actual terrorists that seek to drive a rift between the West and Islam, validated by Islamophobic violence.

No one should feel forced to apologize for a stranger's acts they had nothing to do with.

3. When it comes to a more level-headed method in preventing terrorism than barring Muslims? Ansari suggests letting fewer military-style weapons get into the wrong hands.

"Suspected terrorists can buy assault rifles, but we’re still carrying tiny bottles of shampoo to the airport. If we’re going to use the 'they’ll just find another way' argument, let’s use that to let us keep our shoes on."

Lawmakers may detest terrorism, but they seem to hate taking on the National Rifle Association even more.

Despite the fact that military-style guns were used in the mass shootings in Orlando, San Bernardino, and Sandy Hook, and despite a recent filibuster and 24-hour sit-in in the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., still has yet to push through any substantial gun control measures to help curb the violence.

Trump presents a unique form of bigotry we haven't seen in a presidential race in quite some time. We need more people like Ansari calling it like it is.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Peabody Awards.

"The vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric coming from Mr. Trump isn’t so far off from cursing at strangers from a car window," Ansari explains.

And the last thing we need is a bigoted driver with road rage behind the wheel in the White House for the next four years. 

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via The Walt Disney Company / Flickr

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Of course, there's a healthy way to approach such a potentially dangerous topic.

Telling your partner you find someone else attractive shouldn't be about making them feel jealous. It's probably also best that if you're attracted to a coworker, friend, or their sibling, that you keep it to yourself.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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