Actor Kal Penn raises $400K for refugees ‘in the name of the dude who said I don’t belong in America’

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jan 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-29 20:17:20-05

Protests and legal battles have erupted in the United States this weekend after President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning people from seven nations from entering the country, and some are reacting by raising money to help refugees.

Actor Kal Penn, best-known for his role in “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”, started a fundraising effort on behalf of Syrian refugees after someone made a hateful comment toward him online.

The message read in part, “…because you don’t belong in this country you F—– joke.”

Penn responded by creating a Crowdrise campaign, and he made it clear in the name it was a response to the hatred: “Donating to Syrian refugees in the name of the dude who said I don’t belong in America.”

According to Crowdrise, the campaign has raised more than $400,000 as of Sunday evening.

Penn updated the campaign with a thank you message several hours after it began. The message addressed to “Beautiful people” begins:

“You just raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for refugees in less than 24 hours! 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. Thank you! The donor page remains open, so keep it up!”

Penn encouraged people to call their lawmakers to express their opinion and he also urged people to donate and support organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union.