VP Joe Biden's impromptu speech on refugees and American values is exactly what I needed to hear.

CBS 11's Jack Fink shouted a question to Vice President Joe Biden.

"Mr. Vice President, can we ask you a question about the Syrian refugees, sir?"


I love the way he turned his head and immediately went toward the question.

It's basically what I do when I smell bacon. To Vice President Biden, truth and kindness are his bacon.

Then, Biden made two great points immediately.

1. Kindness

2. Truth

I love the smell of that!

Go on then, Joe!

And with that, he was done.

How can you deny that? Like, Come ON.

That's the truth right there.

And when our buddy Biden said, "We have a real vetting system for refugees coming into this country," he was. not. kidding.

Right now, we're seeing a whole lotta conversations about how welcoming Syrian refugees to our country could somehow make us less safe. But, I'm taking a tip from Biden, and sticking to the truth.

Here are the facts:

1. Refugees are the most vetted category of folks coming to the United States. They have to undergo interviews and a TON of security screenings from the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense, and more before they can come to the U.S.

2. Syrian refugees can't just "show up." It takes an average of 18 to 24 months for refugee applications to be processed in the U.S. And it's actually taking a lot longer right now because the White House is being extra cautious about security concerns after the Paris attacks.

Also, here's one for kindness:

3. Syrian refugees are fleeing some of the worst violence and terror ... not unlike the violence and terror we recently saw in Paris. These folks are survivors. And we should stand with them, especially right now.

I'm with Marine Phil Klay who tweeted:

"[I]t's only during frightening times when you get to find out if your country really deserves to call itself the 'home of the brave.'"

If that just made your heart explode like it did mine, go ahead and share this with someone.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

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True

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.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

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