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Twice, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has spoken out after a terror incident. Twice, his statements provoked a raging counterattack from Donald Trump and those around him.

Photo by Odd Andersen/Getty Images.

In both cases, Trump and his team have taken public umbrage at Khan's approach to managing his constituents' response to terror — often by construing the mayor's words to mean something other than what he clearly intended them to mean.


Here's what the mayor said the day after terror attacks in London that killed seven people and injured four dozen:

(emphasis added)

"My message to Londoners and visitors to our great city is to be calm and vigilant today. You will see an increased police presence today, including armed officers and uniformed officers. There is no reason to be alarmed by this. We are the safest global city in the world. You saw last night as a consequence of our planning, our preparation, the rehearsals that take place, the swift response from the emergency services tackling the terrorists and also helping the injured."

Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images.

Here's how President Trump framed that comment:

And, again later, after numerous commentators and media outlets noted that Trump had taken Khan's remarks out of context:

Trump's tweets are similar to his team's reaction to the London mayor's statement after an explosion in New York that injured 29 people in September 2016.

Here's what Khan said about that incident (emphasis added):

"Part and parcel of living in a great global city is you’ve got to be prepared for these things, you’ve got to be vigilant, you’ve got to support the police doing an incredibly hard job.

We must never accept terrorists being successful, we must never accept that terrorists can destroy our life or destroy the way we lead our lives."

Here's how the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., framed those comments on Twitter ... when he found out about them six months later:

Why do the Trumps insist on taking Sadiq Khan's statements out of context?

Khan is, in some ways, a natural foil for the president. He's cosmopolitan, erudite, and perhaps most tellingly, Muslim. But it's hard to argue that anything he said in either case is false — or even opposed to Trump's own view of terror.

Photo by Justin Tallis/Getty Images.

The assertion that the threat of terrorism is an endemic risk to life in a global city is self-evidently true, as attacks on New York, London, Mumbai, Madrid, Paris, Brussels, and more have demonstrated. In calling on residents to support law enforcement and report unusual activity, Khan is echoing a major theme of Trump's campaign.

Yet, in both cases, when Khan said, "Stay calm," Trump and his team accused him of saying, in effect, "Terrorism is no big deal."

Trump's entire policy agenda depends on thinking terrorism is a huge, world-swallowing "big deal" — and Khan's pleas for calm vigilance are a threat to that mindset.

A constant drumbeat of anti-terror agitating from elected officials can cause generate something like a permanent fight-or-flight response in the mind, according to psychologists who have studied the effect of terrorism on the human brain

"We obsess and then develop habits and rituals to ward off bad things. That can be watching TV over and over again to get more information, reading all we can in the media, and all of this is focused on warding off harm," Eric Hollander, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told CNN in a 2016 interview.

In other words, the more political leaders and media outlets hype the threat of terror, the more citizens fear it in a way that is out of proportion to the actual danger it poses.

We can't have a rational discussion about the appropriate response to terror if we're scared to death.

When political leaders ratchet down the rhetoric, allowing citizens to take a step back and consider the evidence — i.e., one is far less likely to die in a terror attack perpetrated by foreign terrorists than in a car crash, by choking, or even a being struck by lightning — from a safe distance, it's easier to generate a rational approach to the problem.

On the other hand, a scared populace can be more easily persuaded to make policy from the gut, regardless of evidence.

An anxious public is more likely to support right-wing leadership, draconian anti-terror actions, and restrictive immigration policies, if those leaders tie security to the presence of new arrivals, explained political scientists Bethany Albertson and Shana Gadarian in The Washington Post.

When fear rules the debate around terrorism, Trump benefits.

That very well may be why Khan's persistent calls for caution and reason provoke such strong reactions from Trump.

It might also be why he insists on framing the mayor's comments in the least generous terms.

The rest of us, however, could benefit from Khan's advice.

Keep calm, remain alert, and talk to each other.

Photo by Niklas Halle'n/Getty Images.

Terror is a complex problem requiring a complex approach. Should it come from law enforcement? The military? Diplomacy? A combination? How scared should we be? What's a proportionate amount of mental energy to expend on worrying about it?

Regardless of what the solution is, we can really only discuss it if we're not constantly terrified.

That might not be what Trump wants.

But with the threat mounting, it's what the world needs — perhaps now more than ever.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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