George Clooney has been quietly housing a Yazidi refugee
Whenever celebrities get vocal about a cause, people are quick to point out their hypocrisy. Particularly when it comes to immigrants and refugees, wealthy movie stars who advocate for limitless immigration are accused of not putting their money where their mouth is, leaving common people to deal with housing and employment issues while they skate by unaffected.
These people certainly have a point. Immigrants will ultimately bolster a Western country's economy and ageing population, but how exactly are they supposed to compete for housing, or jobs? Won't citizens be pushed out of their already tepid standing in society?
Well, when it comes to refugees, George Clooney has decided to take matters into his own hands. In The Hollywood Reporter, the veteran actor revealed that he and his wife Amal have been allowing a Yazidi refugee to stay in one of their homes, in Augusta, Kentucky.
The Yazidi are a Kurdish ethnic and religious minority in Iraq, and ISIS in particular is hunting them down. ISIS, in its fanatical approach to Islam, considers the Yazidi to be devil-worshippers because they believe that the Luciferic fallen angel figure of Islam and Christianity has been redeemed and returned to Heaven, not been cast into Hell. They're considered infidels by Al-Qaeda, and faced several genocidal attacks throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
Clooney did not give out any personal information about the particular refugee he was hosting, but described how he got there.
"He was on this bus to Mosul, and ISIS shot the two bus drivers and said, 'Anybody who wants to go to college, we will shoot them.'"
It's a common feature of totalitarian ideologies, from the old Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, to ISIS in the Middle East: education is vilified.
"He survived and came to America. He got through all the checks, and once he got through those, it was like, 'Listen, we got your back. You want to get an education? You want to move your life forward? This is something that we can do.' "
Clooney says the man is now a student at the University of Chicago. We're not entirely sure how he commutes from Kentucky to Chicago, but hey, I'm sure Clooney has a lot of houses for him to stay at around the city.
Clooney has been known for his philanthropy, and plans to give one million dollars to the Southern Poverty Law Center this year. Between raising money for Darfur and environmentalist causes, he certainly tries to do some good, along with his wife Amal, who is a human rights lawyer and has even worked for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
If you have several houses and hundreds of millions of dollars, why not use them to do what you think is right? After all, you don't need higher taxes to start giving away some of your own money, and you don't need to wait for the government to start housing refugees if you've got empty homes.
In related news, it seems that Cher may also be providing comfort for some other people who need a place to stay - immigrants. At least, if Twitter can rid itself of collective amnesia long enough to hold her to it:
Let's hope she follows through! If Hollywood actually uses its money to house and help those they sympathise with, then they'll at least be active in their beliefs.