American Resilience

Bill Bailey: Fearless, Hitler Fighting, OG Anti-Fascist

Quentin Tarantino, pay attention.

Maybe it was growing up on the streets of Hoboken, NJ, or it could’ve just been in his DNA, but Bill Bailey was an Irish American who basically wasn’t afraid of anything and he liked getting into good trouble.

Born in 1909, he lived through The Great Depression and both world wars, and as a result developed a belief in communist ideals and a strong anti-fascist streak. To him, when it came to securing freedom and equality for others, no issue was outside his responsibility. A sailor at heart, he was involved in organizing leftist dock unions and waterfront strikes.

He joined the Abraham Lincoln Battalion and volunteered to fight the Hitler-backed nationalist army in Spain. And he tore a Nazi flag down from a German liner that had docked in New York, watched by a crowd of thousands.

Gregarious, flighty, and handsome as hell, he lived it up till the age of 85 when, in ‘95, he finally decided to jet off to another solar system and cause more ruckus.

Thanks for being badass, Bill. You make us all a little more bold.

Kid's toy revolution American Resilience

There’s a Revolution Happening in the Toy World

With the holidays fast approaching, here are a few inclusive gift ideas and a little good cheer to boot.

Toy companies are finally starting to offer more inclusive doll options. People of color and those with disabilities have been historically underrepresented in the toy aisles, so this is a big win for kids.

Studies show that poor representation in a child’s toy selection can lead to a negative psychological impact. Giving kids dolls with varied ethnicities and abilities will likely increase their capacity for empathy in real life. This makes sense.

In a society where people of color and people with varied abilities are often are pushed to the side or left out of the conversation, it’s important to give a shout out to those that are working (and playing) hard to restore balance. Here are a few companies doing great work:

Melanites

This killer new startup – the first-ever line of boy dolls of color – invites all kids in on doll play. Because, honestly, who doesn’t want in on slumber parties and wild adventures in fantasyland with a mini-me. For even more details you can read our story on them.

Toy Like Me

Toy Like Me is an organization advocating for the toy industry to get more woke. They offer resources where you can get bespoke dolls made with, say, the exact birthmarks or prosthetics, that a real kid has.

 

 

Weesie Pals

Weesie pals are customizable stuffed animals with cleft lips or microtia – a congenital deformity where the ear is underdeveloped.

American Girl

Yep, that’s correct. American Girl is on it when it comes to inclusive toys. Their dolls can have crutches, allergy-free lunch sets, mini-hearing aids and pretend diabetes kids.

 

Dominika poses with her American Girl doll
Dominika poses with her American Girl doll, who also has a hearing aid. Photo: Kevin Irvine/NPR

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