To Thwart a Crowdfunded Wall, He's Now Crowdfunding "Giant Escalators"

Where there's a will, there's a way. And where there's a wall, there's a...n escalator.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And where there’s a wall, there’s a…n escalator.

In response to a viral fundraising campaign trying to raise $1 billion to fund the Trump administration’s “big, beautiful wall” along the United States-Mexico border, several rival GoFundMe campaigns have begun making the social media rounds as well. One of the efforts, started by Luke O’Neil, a Boston-based writer, proposes a particularly clear-cut solution for those interested in combatting President Donald Trump’s proposed plan: escalators. A lot of ‘em. Big ones. That go right over that as-yet-unbuilt wall. O’Neil tells Inverse he owes that “200 million dollar” idea to Twitter.

“Your brain is wired to think of the stupidest and most obvious way to push back against what’s clearly a ridiculous and almost tragic ‘racism wall,’” O’Neil, who runs the weekly newsletter Hell World, says.

To be clear: O’Neil’s campaign, which launched earlier today via a Twitter announcement, is not actually raising money for giant desert escalators. After some deliberation, it morphed into an effort to raise money for Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas-based non-profit that provides legal services to immigrant populations.

“The escalators are a metaphor please do not come and investigate me ICE or whoever,” O’Neil’s page now reads. “I’m not really going to build a series of giant escalators.”

Nor is O’Neil the first to counter the hyper-serious, pro-Wall contingent’s almost determination with sarcasm. At least one other campaign launched over the last few days, promoting “ladders” as a possible solution, while also, in fact, raising funds for RAICES. Started by veteran Charlotte Clymer and inspired by a tweet from @HoarseWhisperer, the “Ladders to Get Over Trump’s Wall” campaign has raised over $37,000. O’Neil’s, since earlier today, has collected nearly $700.

These funds raised so far, while impressive, do pale in comparison to the more than $8 million garnered in four days by the actual We The People Will Fund The Wall campaign, started by veteran Brian Kolfage. “If we can fund a large portion of this wall, it will [sic] jumpstart things and will be less money Trump has to secure from our politicians,” reads Kolfage’s GoFundMe summary. Thus far, more than 135,00 people have contributed.

O’Neil, for one, is hardly surprised at the monumental success of the pro-wall fundraising effort.

“Of course it’s going to raise a lot of money. Of course people are going to get behind this,” said O’Neil. “It’s impossible to parody.”

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