John Legend nailed why calling MS-13 gang members 'animals' is a problem.

President Trump referred to people as "animals" — and then doubled down, saying that he was only referring to certain people.

Trump's comment came during a roundtable discussion about sanctuary cities in California, after Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims described what she sees as a problem with current law enforcement and immigration policy.

Trump replied, "We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we're stopping a lot of them — but we're taking people out of the country. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals."


Many honed in on the president's words, accusing him of dehumanizing all undocumented immigrants from south of the border. The president clarified that he was specifically referring to those in MS-13 — gang members mostly from Central America, notorious for particularly brutal, violent crimes.

I.C.E. agents detain a suspected MS-13 gang member and Honduran immigrant. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

John Legend beautifully explained why it doesn't matter if the president was only dehumanizing violent gang members.

When Trump made these remarks, Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, were in the hospital welcoming their new baby. Yet the singer still took a moment to explain why dehumanizing any group — even violent gang members — is problematic.  

"I'm in the hospital with our new son," he wrote on Twitter. "Any of these babies here could end up committing terrible crimes in the future. It's easy, once they've done so, to distance ourselves from their humanity."

Image via John Legend/Twitter.

‌‌The perspective one gets gazing at a brand-new human being, still unmarked by the world, is as about as pure as it gets.

Legend challenged us all to examine the root causes of violence and look for collective solutions.

"But it's much more honest and challenging to realize they were all babies once and think about what in society, their home life, etc. took them from baby to violent gang member," he continued, "and then to think about collective action we could take to mitigate these conditions."

He also noted our duty to examine the role U.S. policy may have played in the formation of MS-13 in the first place.

Image via John Legend/Twitter.

It's easy to create black-and-white, us-versus-them, good-versus-evil narratives.

It's harder to dig deep into what leads people to violence and contemplate how we could play a role in preventing it.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

Without devolving into personal bashing, Legend pointed out a universal truth: As history has proven time and again, dehumanization of any group of people is a dangerous path.

Image via John Legend/Twitter.

What makes his comments so compelling is that he put forth his arguments and challenges ideas with a thoughtful nod to the complexity of the issue — and without disparaging anyone's ideology, political affiliation, or appearance.

Thank you, John Legend, for a refreshing example of how to engage in thoughtful and reasonable discourse, even within an undeniably divisive topic.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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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.