Kal Penn Responds To Racist Troll By Raising Thousands For Refugees

"I started a fundraising page for Syrian Refugees in your name."
Kal Penn at a premiere in 2008.
Kal Penn at a premiere in 2008.
Phil McCarten / Reuters

Kal Penn is turning racist vitriol into meaningful action to help other people.

On Saturday, the Indian-American actor posted a screenshot on Instagram showing a text-message conversation with a friend. The friend was talking about an Iraqi refugee turned away from the United States in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order halting the U.S. refugee program and suspending immigration from several countries.

Someone then messaged Penn saying that he doesn’t “belong in this country” and is a “fucking joke.”

So Penn responded in about the best way possible: by raising money to help refugees.

“To the dude who said I don’t belong in America, I started a fundraising page for Syrian Refugees in your name,” Penn wrote in a follow-up Instagram post.

The CrowdRise fund, which benefits the International Rescue Committee, doesn’t appear to actually show the person’s name, at least publicly. But by mid-afternoon Saturday, it had raised over $15,000 for the cause, and the amount was rapidly growing.

Some people have donated under the names “Melania Trump,” “Donald Trump” and “Chief Strategist Steve Bannon,” but we’re going to go out on a limb and assume those are pseudonyms.

Way to go, Kal!

You can donate to the fund set up by Kal Penn here.


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