Kal Penn turned online harassment into over $200,000 for a good cause and we’re swooning

Revenge is sweet. Or at least, it can be sometimes. When a Twitter user called out Kal Penn in a racist post, the actor responded by raising a huge amount of money for Syrian refugees — in the name of the harasser. It’s a classy move on Penn’s part. And it sort of reminds us of the time people started making Planned Parenthood donations in Mike Pence’s name. That time, the donations were pretty successful: they raised over $50,000 for PP in the two weeks immediately after the election. But Penn’s fundraising effort seems to have even more momentum. Penn posted the page on Twitter yesterday, and as of Sunday afternoon, the amount totals more than $299,000.

Kal Penn: Total class act

In a tweet posted Saturday evening, Penn writes: “To the dude who said I don’t belong in America, I started a fundraising page for Syrian Refugees in your name.” Penn included a partial screen cap of the harassing tweet, which reads: “you don’t belong in this country you f***ing joke.”

Excuse us while we seethe for just a moment.

Penn’s response is a class act in how to handle a Twitter troll. He doesn’t name, shame or engage. Instead, he uses the incident to create some good. We’re totally impressed, but not at all surprised.

International Rescue Committee

All donations go towards the International Rescue Committee, which looks after refugee families.

Penn set a $250,000 goal for his fundraising page, but exceeded this target in less than 24 hours. Um, can we just take a moment to appreciate how amazing that is? In an update, Penn wrote:

This is such a testament to how proud we are of our beautiful country and how fired up we are to #resist our new president’s dangerous policies with solidarity and love.

He also lists a number of other ways to stay involved, including supporting other organizations, and following reliable sources Penn vouches for himself.

Keep it up, you beautiful people.

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