The IReallyDoCare.com website is raising money to support children at the border.
While the world debates the meaning of first lady Melania Trump’s “I really don’t care, do u?” jacket, Chicago writer Parker Molloy is seizing on the uproar to raise money for groups that help immigrant families detained at the southern border.
“Since Melania Trump’s jacket said ‘I really don’t care’ … I set up http://ireallydocare.com.”
The site takes you to a donation page for Al Otro Lado, which serves indigent deportees, migrants and refugees in Tijuana and Los Angeles, The Florence Project, which provides legal and social services to detained immigrants in Arizona, and the Chicago-based Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, which advocates for unaccompanied immigrant children.
“When the story about Melania’s jacket broke, my first reaction was to retreat into my own little shell of cynicism, making mock-ups of other slogans that probably would have been slightly less tone deaf than ‘I really don’t care,’ ” Molloy, a senior staff writer at Upworthy, told me Thursday night. “ ‘Let them eat cake,’ ‘Michelle Obama’s speech,’ and, of course, ‘Be Best.’ It was fun and cathartic. But it wasn’t exactly helping anyone or anything, aside from giving a few people on Twitter some quick laughs. As I sat at my computer, about to close out of Photoshop, it hit me.”
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While she had people’s attention, she could point them to efforts begun by Amanda Litman, co-founder of the organization Run For Something. Litman had set up a web page in May, hosted by online fundraising site ActBlue, to donate to multiple immigration-minded groups all at once. Molloy had been donating and posting links to Litman’s page on her Twitter profile throughout the past week.
“I checked to see if IReallyDoCare.com was available, and as luck would have it, it was,” Molloy said. “I bought the domain name and set it up to forward to Amanda’s fundraiser. It was short, it was easy to remember, and it was certainly topical. I tweeted the link out, and within just a few hours it had been retweeted tens of thousands of times and seen by millions of people.”
Litman’s campaign had raised a little more than $2 million before Molloy’s tweet.
“Amanda tells me that it’s currently at $2.8 million,” Molloy said. “I don’t know what, if any, effect my tweet and domain name had on these past few hours’ donations. Honestly, it’s not important to me, either. This is Amanda’s campaign, I just wanted to help share it.”
If a jacket helps her do that, so be it.
“The jacket was tone deaf, but in the larger scheme of things, it’s not important,” Molloy said. “The best thing to come out of it, at least to me, was this counterslogan ‘I really do care.’ I think it’s great because it’s a direct rebuke of the most dangerous thing any of us will face during the Trump administration: apathy.
“We need to embrace empathy, to care about something beyond ourselves. Vulnerable populations — such as undocumented immigrants, but also people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and so on — are going to rely heavily on the rest of us to help weather this storm. ‘I really do care’ is a promise to ourselves and to others.”