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Romney's response to Trump's white supremacist comments is essential reading.

"This is a defining moment for President Trump. But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children."

Romney's response to Trump's white supremacist comments is essential reading.

Mitt Romney and President Donald Trump have always had a somewhat peculiar relationship.

When Romney ran for president in 2012, Trump alternated between insulting the former Massachusetts governor and ultimately offering his endorsement. Similarly, when Trump campaigned in 2016, Romney slammed Trump's policies and unwillingness to release his tax returns, but cozied up to him after the election.

"Frenemies" is probably the most accurate way to describe their relationship.


Trump and Romney met for dinner in November 2016. The awkward look sums up the relationship pretty well. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

After managing to (mostly) bite his tongue over Trump's tumultuous first months in office, Romney laid into him with a fiery Facebook post.

At issue was Trump's moral character and the signal he sent to white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the wake of the Charlottesville protests.

I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president's Charlottesville statements. Whether he...

Posted by Mitt Romney on Friday, August 18, 2017

There are some key takeaways from Romney's post.

1. "Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn."

Getting right to the heart of the matter, Romney directly called out Trump on the message sent to the white supremacist community. Groups picked up on Trump's dog-whistle signals and reacted accordingly.

"His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric."

Trump during his now-infamous press conference on Aug. 15. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

2. "The leaders of our branches of military service have spoken immediately and forcefully, repudiating the implications of the president's words."

It's not every day military leadership is forced to clarify or rebuke something said by the commander in chief, but that's where things stand today. While many of their comments were framed as being simply about having zero tolerance for racism, it's pretty clear who they were referencing.

"[T]he morale and commitment of our forces — made up and sustained by men and women of all races — could be in the balance. Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America's ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished."

A makeshift memorial to Heather Heyer, who died after being struck by a car driven by an alleged white supremacist on Aug. 12, 2017. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

3. "In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means."

The president is supposed to be someone we can all look up to, who we can count on to represent all Americans. Trump's first 200 days in office show that his loyalties lie with his core base of supporters and no one else. Romney's point touches on the fact that the divisiveness being forged by Trump's statements could do lasting harm to the country.

"Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence?"

White nationalist Richard Spencer is escorted by police out of the Aug. 12, 2017, rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

4. "He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize."

If there's one thing Trump doesn't do well, it's apologize. In fact, he views apologies as a sign of weakness, instead choosing to double- and triple-down on his flubs. Romney is right: Trump should apologize; he won't though.

"[T]here is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis — who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat — and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute."

5. "This is a defining moment for President Trump. But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children."

It's hard to overstate the importance of this situation. Trump has essentially said there is some equivalency between white supremacists and people who fight against racism. That's more than just despicable, it's dangerous. It's on him to make this right and not just for the sake of his own political career, but for the sake of the country he purports to lead.

"They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country."

People hold a vigil outside the White House on Aug. 13, 2017. Photo by Zach Gibson/AFP/Getty Images.

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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

Anderson Cooper has interviewed hundreds of people, from top celebrities to heads of state to people on the street. He is fairly unflappable when it comes to chatting with a guest, which is what makes his reaction while interviewing inaugural poet Amanda Gorman all the more delightful.

Gorman stole the show at President Biden's Inauguration with a powerful performance of her original poem, "The Hill We Climb." People were blown away by both her words and her poise in delivering them, especially considering the fact that she's only 22 years old. But it's one thing to be able to write and recite well, and another to be able to impress in an off-the-cuff conversation—and Gorman proved in her interview on Anderson Cooper 360 that she can do both at a level most of us can only dream of.

In the interview, Gorman explained how she dove into research to prepare her poem to fit the occasion, and then how that work was disrupted by the attack on the Capitol.

"I'm not going to say that that completely derailed the poem, because I was not surprised at what had happened," she said. "I had seen the signs and the symptoms for a while, and I was not trying to turn a blind eye to that. But what it did is it energized me even more, to believe that much more firmly in a message of hope and unity and healing. I felt like that was the type of poem that I needed to write and it was the type of poem that the country and the world needed to hear."

After explaining how she used tweets and articles and messages about the Capitol insurrection to hone parts of her poem, she shared thoughts on reclaiming the power of words.

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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.