How one former president handled the Klan speaks volumes.

"What does the party do next about David Duke?" a reporter asked President George H.W. Bush in 1989.

It was just a month into Bush Sr.'s presidency, and he was facing a question about whether he regretted taking a stand against former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke's bid for state office in Louisiana.

Faced with a question about whether he should have kept his opinion to himself, Bush stood firm in his decision, saying, "Maybe there was some feeling in Metairie, Louisiana, that the president of the United States involving himself in a state legislative election was improper or overkill. I've read that, and I can't deny that. But what I can affirm is: I did what I did because of principle."


GIFs from YAP Archive/YouTube.

In November 1991, Bush was again given the opportunity to distance himself from white supremacists like Duke. This time, he did so even more forcefully.

After saying he would "strongly" urge voters not to vote for Duke, who was then the Republican nominee for Louisiana governor, Bush offered a longer explanation:

"When someone asserts that the Holocaust never took place, then I don't believe that person ever deserves one iota of public trust. And when someone has so recently endorsed [N]azism, it is inconceivable that such a person can legitimately aspire to leadership — in a leadership role in a free society. And when someone has a long record, an ugly record, of racism and of bigotry, that record simply cannot be erased by the glib rhetoric of a political campaign.

So, I believe that David Duke is an insincere charlatan. I believe he is attempting to hoodwink the voters of Louisiana, and I believe that he should be rejected for what he is and what he stands for."

Democrat Edwin Edwards defeated Duke a week later, coming away with 61% of the vote to Duke's 39%.

There are times when doing the right thing means bucking your own party and risking damage to your own political future. Bush knew the risks and seemed at peace with that moral decision.

Less than a year after helping elect Edwards, a southern Democratic governor, Bush was defeated by another: Bill Clinton. Bush's 1991 denunciation of Duke came as his approval rating — which was as high as 89% in March 1991 — had begun to falter.

Maybe the de facto endorsement of Duke's Democratic opponent hurt Bush's 1992 prospects — he did, after all, lose Louisiana in his reelection bid — but maybe some things are more important than politics.

Whether it was denouncing racists like Duke, publicly resigning his National Rifle Association membership, giving his son a lesson in ethics, or simply finding grace in defeat, George H.W. Bush showed that sometimes politicians can rise above politics. While there are many things one may or may not like about his policies and actions in office, he let his humanity shine through in difficult moments.

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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.