Outraged responses to Mark Kirk's racist jab at Tammy Duckworth are pouring in.

In the Illinois senatorial debate Oct. 27, 2016, incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk responded to a challenge about foreign policy with a shocking joke that mocked opponent Tammy Duckworth's mixed-race heritage.

Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images.

Duckworth, who was born in Thailand and lost both legs while serving in Iraq, was touting her qualifications in evaluating the need for future military action, citing her family's long history of service:


"My family has served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution. I'm a daughter of the American Revolution. I've bled for this nation. But I still want to be there in the Senate when the drums of war sound because people are quick to sound the drums of war. And I want to be there to say, 'This is what it costs, this is what you're asking us to do, and if that's the case, I'll go.' Families like mine are the ones that bleed first. But let's make sure the American people understand what we are engaging in, and let's hold our allies accountable because we can't do it all."

To which Kirk responded:

"I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."

After the debate, Duckworth responded on Twitter with a family photo:

The rest of Twitter was ... not so gentle to Kirk.

The comments elicited strong reactions from voters, many of whom were outraged and upset.

Others noted the irony of Kirk having previously been caught of inflating his own military record, including making a false claim that he served in the Gulf War.

Some vowed to take their outrage with them the ballot box.

"Looking white" isn't a prerequisite for having a long, distinguished family history of military service.

Neither is being born in the United States. (Lots of foreigners — Frenchmen, Germans, and Poles in particular — served in the Revolutionary War, FWIW.)

Asian-American soldiers have fought in every major American war since the Civil War, and their representation in uniform is increasing.

Disagreeing over the proper role of the military shouldn't mean disagreeing on who looks like they have the right to join the conversation.

Kirk issued a statement shortly after the debate, affirming his respect for Duckworth's family's service but refusing to walk back his comments.

He tweeted an apology the next day:

The debate about how America should deploy its men and women in uniform is complex and critically important. That debate is not just for white people and hasn't been for decades. One's share of whiteness doesn't track with the amount one is allowed to contribute.

Roughly 7% of Americans — like Duckworth — are multiracial.

Duckworth with another multiracial American you might have heard of. Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images.

That's about 22 million Americans.

And just like many of them serve their country in times of war, they also serve their country by voting.

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Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

4-year-old New Zealand boy and police share toys.

Sometimes the adorableness of small children is almost too much to take.

According to the New Zealand Police, a 4-year-old called the country's emergency number to report that he had some toys for them—and that's only the first cute thing to happen in this story.

After calling 111 (the New Zealand equivalent to 911), the preschooler told the "police lady" who answered the call that he had some toys for her. "Come over and see them!" he said to her.

The dispatcher asked where he was, and then the boy's father picked up. He explained that the kids' mother was sick and the boy had made the call while he was attending to the other child. After confirming that there was no emergency—all in a remarkably calm exchange—the call was ended. The whole exchange was so sweet and innocent.

But then it went to another level of wholesome. The dispatcher put out a call to the police units asking if anyone was available to go look at the 4-year-old's toys. And an officer responded in the affirmative as if this were a totally normal occurrence.

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