- A GoFundMe campaign to buy “ladders to get over Trump’s wall” was created in response to a viral GoFundMe campaign that aims to raise $US5 billion to pay for the border wall.
- Though the “ladders” GoFundMe campaign started as a joke, supporters have pitched in more than $US20,000 since its creation Wednesday night.
- The new GoFundMe campaign won’t actually spend any funds raised on ladders but instead will donate it to RAICES, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.
On Wednesday night, after coming across the news of a viral GoFundMe campaign that is attempting to raise $US5 billion to pay for a border wall, the Twitter account @HoarseWisperer made a joke:
“Should we crowdsource money for ladders just to troll them?”
The MAGA dumdums are crowdsourcing money for the wall.
Should we crowdsource money for ladders just to troll them?
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) December 20, 2018
Charlotte Clymer, a US Army veteran and communications specialist from Texas, saw the tweet and made it a reality.
“I was really stunned when I heard of the border wall GoFundMe,” she told INSIDER. “More than being angry, I was sad at the blatant racism of donating money to a wall that will not be built, a wall that won’t work.”
And though the joke was that the campaign will use any money raised to buy ladders for immigrants, the funds will actually be donated to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrants.
“I’ve really been happy with how this has generated conversation on just the absurdity of the wall in general,” Clymer said. “Undocumented folks are not bringing crime or drug smuggling or any of this job-stealing nonsense to our country.”
On Twitter, users picked up on the new fundraiser quite quickly.
The funniest thing I've found so far while researching this whole #GoFundTheWall thing, has been coming across a competing GoFundMe that is raising funds for ladders to climb over the wall. What is life? ???????????? pic.twitter.com/0zcxn1IcKs
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) December 20, 2018
The fundraiser, Clymer said, will stay open “for a few weeks if there’s this continuous rate of donations.” She said she is working with RAICES to hand over control of the GoFundMe page to them. The gofundthewall.net address was also bought on behalf of RAICES. Visitors to that website are sent to RAICES’ actual website, where they can donate or find out more about what the nonprofit does.
As of Thursday, Clymer’s GoFundMe page had already received more than $US20,000 in donations from nearly 900 people. Clymer said she has been “blown away” by the support the fundraiser has gotten. Most of the feedback is positive, she said, though she has seen some negative backlash from supporters of the wall. GoFundMe, she said, shut down the comments section on the page.
Clymer said she hasn’t heard from the creator of the other GoFundMe campaign, Brian Kolfage, who is also a veteran.
“I have never spoken with him,” she said. “I’m also a military veteran, and it really, really bothers me when military service is used as a cudgel against vulnerable people. That’s not what we stand for.”
Other GoFundMe campaigners had ideas similar to Clymer’s. Luke O’Neil, a journalist in Massachusetts, started a fundraiser on the platform to “build a giant escalator over the wall.”
“The wall is never going to be built but just in case it is we will build a series of giant escalators that are spaced out a half mile along the wall on either side,” O’Neil wrote on his fundraiser’s page. “If that doesn’t happen we’ll just give the money to people who care about the well being of human beings no matter where they’re from.”
“The escalators are a metaphor please do not come and investigate me ICE or whoever I’m not really going to build a series of giant escalators,” O’Neil added.
The money raised in that GoFundMe campaign will also be donated to RAICES.
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