Actor Kal Penn, the star of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle who later became the White House's Associate Director of Public Engagement under President Obama, is turning racist lemons into compassionate lemonade.
On Saturday, amid the explosive controversy over President Trump's immigration freeze targeting Muslims, Penn tweeted a screengrab of a vile comment someone had left on his Instagram account: "you don't belong in this country you fucking joke," it read. But Penn is no doubt having the last laugh now, since he used the social media attack to launch a fundraiser for Syrian refugees. Within 24 hours, more than $265,000 in donations had poured in.
"We are better than the hateful people who tell us we don't belong in our own country, that America can't be a beacon of freedom and hope for refugees from around the world," Penn wrote on the fundraiser page. "We will turn their bigotry, along with the President's, into love." Everything raised will benefit benefit refugees through the International Rescue Committee.
All of which is beautiful and inspiring—and could be the basis of a new Harold and Kumar movie, right?