It has only taken two weeks for the Taliban to regain control of Afghanistan. The nation’s military put up virtually no resistance and it’s leaders fled at the first sign of danger, leaving behind a country with an uncertain future. We watched in horror as swathes of Afghan people desperately tried to hang on to a U.S. military plane leaving Kabul.
The world has responded slowly to the situation in Afghanistan, prompting individuals like Tommy Marcus to step up and help the vulnerable. Tommy’s GoFundMe campaign for Afghanistan has raised over $5.7 million, and that number continues to rise by the day.
Tommy plans to aid in the rescue of people targeted by the Taliban
As the Taliban wave swept across Afghanistan, Tommy became a credible news source, informing people of the situation on the ground. Behind the scenes, Tommy had started planning for a fundraiser for the Afghan people.
After clearing all the hurdles, Tommy posted the GoFundMe link. The donations surpassed the initial $550,000 in a couple of hours, forcing Tommy to increase the target. Overnight, donations had surpassed $2 million.
The fund’s goal is the facilitate the rescue of high-value Taliban targets. The description reads:
“The individuals in question are high-value targets – Afghan men and women who have worked as human rights lawyers, champions of Women’s and LGBTQ rights, journalists, government liaisons, artists and interpreters – all of whom are at imminent risk of being executed by the Taliban, along with their families. We will be taking full family units.”
$550,000 would have been enough to fuel two planes, each with a capacity of 300+ people into and out of Kabul. As more people contribute, Tommy will manage to get more people out of Afghanistan. He wrote on Twitter:
“The amount of impact this is going to have and lives it will save is so mesmerizing that no words I can put to this tweet will do it justice. We are making sure that everyone we know is accounted for and have proper names, identification, and access to the airport. We’re working with multiple groups to make sure those folks are vetted and sponsored.”
Marcus is working with military veterans, humanitarian aid groups, and non-profits to save as many people as possible. You can assist his efforts by contributing to the GoFundMe campaign.
Marcus’ purpose for setting up a meme page was to entertain people, but he soon became a source of political information
Marcus created the Quentin Quarantino Instagram page shortly after the New York quarantine was announced. He purposed to entertain people for the two weeks they would be stuck at home.
As the pandemic raged in America, Covid-19 became a political issue, offering Tammy the perfect subject to launch his meme-inspired political career. Marcus had always wanted to create a political account, but the corporate sponsors behind his previous page (Unhinged) prevented him from doing so.
The government’s poor handling of the pandemic inspired him to speak out. He and some of his family members had suffered from Covid, and he’d tragically lost a friend to the disease. Tommy decided to call out the lies, but rather than use long-winded Instagram captions, he resorted to funny, hard-hitting memes. He told Contra Post:
“I’ve tried to keep people happy. People send me death threats and I turn it into a meme. I think that’s kind of the sweet spot I hit. I’ve gotten hundreds of messages over the course the pandemic: ‘I didn’t realize this or that,’ or ‘You really made me realize what’s going on.’ I’ve gotten some messages like, ‘I used to be a Republican and you’ve kind of converted me.’”
Quentin Quarantino served as an oasis of truth in an internet desert of misinformation. Marcus exposed every lie he saw via a funny meme. Some loved it, others hated it, but his following grew nonetheless.
Marcus insists that he isn’t an all-knowing man, but he won’t sit back and watch people consume misleading information. Tommy added:
“I’m just a human presence who is fed up with bullshit. I don’t pretend to be some all-knowing figure. Quentin Quarantino stopped being an alias a long time ago and is literally just becoming me. I started being comfortable with showing my identity. That’s all because of the followers and the positive feedback. It proves to me that I’m doing something right.”
Marcus plans to do more for society by organizing more fundraisers
Marcus doesn’t do brand advertisements; he makes money by selling politically motivated merch. He donates 20% of his income to charities, including Planned Parenthood and Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight.
“I think I’ve found a good balance of keeping my page clean from ads, paying rent, and seeing money go to good places,” he said.
Tommy has proven to be something of a fundraising guru. He raised over $1.2 million for Planned Parenthood and is behind the millions raised for Afghanistan. He credits his success to the connection he’s created with fans through memes.
Marcus told Yahoo! life: “I have built a really emotional bond with my audience over the past year and a half, and it was only natural to step in and help.”
Tommy plans to keep making a positive impact in the world. At the moment, all his focus is on the Afghan rescue. “This Afghanistan effort is not going to be over for a while – we are aiming to save everyone we possibly can,” he told Yahoo! life.
In terms of personal life, Tommy has his eye set on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Marcus has publicized his crush on the firebrand politician, and despite knowing that she has a boyfriend, Tommy hopes to be in her life somehow. He told Contra Post:
“I really respect AOC for the way she fights the battles online and just does politics in a nonconventional way. She’s just awesome in every way. I do have a crush on her, but I’d also be her friend. Or her VP. Whatever she wants.”