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Will Smith weighs in on the 2016 election, racism, and Islamophobia.

"What makes someone evil is they don’t think they’re evil. They think they’re doing good."

While promoting his latest film, "Suicide Squad," Will Smith is using his platform in a unique way.

In the film, Smith plays an assassin named Deadshot. On screen, you'll find him in the middle of a hail of bullets, explosions, and destruction. For example:

GIF from Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube.


Smith's character is, technically, a "bad guy," which is a major change of pace for the movie star, who you'll usually find filling the role of a film's protagonist. Though he's a "bad guy" on the screen this time around, his recent comments during a number of press events show that in real life, he's still a hero.

Speaking at a press stop in Dubai, Smith addressed an important social issue that seems only to be getting worse: Islamophobia.

During a recent press conference, the summer blockbuster star talked about why he feels a personal responsibility to speak out on issues of racial and religious discrimination.

GIFs by The Associated Press/YouTube.

For him, that means trying to balance out some of the most incendiary rhetoric from a certain presidential candidate *cough* Donald Trump *cough* that many consider to be anti-Muslim.

Smith says he believes he has a responsibility to speak out so that "when [people] see a black man, the energy that we had can be what they remember." He added: "They have to know that your black skin won't hurt them."

Margot Robbie and Will Smith attend the European premiere of "Suicide Squad" in London. Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

In another interview, Smith got in another subtle dig at Trump when discussing how he got into the "bad guy" mindset:

"What makes someone evil is they don’t think they’re evil. They think they’re doing good," Smith told Access Hollywood. "Like, they actually think it’s OK to call a woman a 'fat pig' on television. They think it’s OK. That’s what makes them evil."

While it seems pretty obvious who Smith won't be voting for this November, he seems confident that he's not alone.

GIF by The Associated Press/YouTube.

GIF by The Associated Press/YouTube.

But surely, it's nothing personal.

OK, this is just another GIF from the movie. GIF from Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube.

You can watch Will Smith share more of this thoughts on the dangers of Islamophobia in the video below:

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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