Politician pays off medical bills of man who racially targeted him

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan
Online hatred and bigotry continues to rise every day, spreading more virulently than the novel coronavirus while sadly having no possibility of a cure till date. And while there may not be a vaccine for the wholesale bigotry one witnesses, a little kindness can go a long way as a local politician showed.


Attorney Qasim Rashid is a Democrat running for U.S. Representative in the first district of Virginia. He had been on the receiving end of several anti-Muslim racist messages from 66 year old Oz Dillon, a conservative. Not a stranger to online hate, Qasim could have simply ignored the tweeter, muted or blocked him. Instead he chose a different path.

Going through his Twitter profile, Qasim realized that Oz was struggling to bill his bills after his wife suffered a pulmonary embolism. The medical bills had wiped out the family's retirement fund, leaving Oz struggling with a small income, higher insurance rates and a house that was not handicap accessible for his wife.

Seeing this, Qasim Rashid donated to Dillon's GoFundMe campaign online and shared the link on his timeline, asking his followers and voters to kindly do the same. Qasim's gesture and the outpouring of not just money but love that Dillon received left even the hard right wing voter stunned. Oz Dillion went on to publicly apologize for his insults and thanked Qasim for  his kindness.

"Mr. Rashid, You humble me sir, with your graciousness, and surprisingly kind words. You cannot imagine how uplifting it is, to see gifts such as yours starting to come in! Given how I have misspoken about you in posts on Facebook, I am truly shocked, that you have shared my wife and my plight with your supporters. I must now reassess my opinion about you, and your platform, come November.”

“An amazing week of eye- and heart-opening enlightenment, that I used to always have before 9/11. Qasim Rashid, who I had previously opposed politically just because of the word Muslim, has opened my eyes that there are GOOD people in all walks of life."
- Oz Dillon

two men standing together

Qasim's gesture helped Dillon raise more than $20,000 for his family. The two have since met in real life too, with the aim of starting a real-life friendship. Oz still will not vote for Qasim though... and that's okay for the Democrat, both insisting that the important thing is for the community to return to civility. 

Heroes of Kindness:

Since 2017, every year, I take up the #BlogchatterA2Z & #AtoZChallenge and focus on showcasing lovely real-life heroes from around the worldThe aim is to remind you that there is still plenty of good human beings all around you... to inspire you to smile once more.
You can follow my 2020 Edition of Heroes of Kindness here.

Want more stories of compassion? I have Hundreds of 'Heroes of Kindness' to brighten your day here:

2017 edition (Articles - 40, Heroes - 67)
2018 edition (Articles - 34, Heroes - 52)
2019 edition (Articles - 31, Heroes - 42)

Heroes of Kindness - Indian edition
Heroes of Kindness - My Interviews


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Let me know what you think.

  1. The perfect response! Enjoyed this story and life lesson

  2. I think this was also a diplomatic masterstroke apart from kindness.

  3. One does not remove hatred with hatred only with love. This a great example of that.

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  4. This is a lovely story that warmed the cockles of my heart. Much needed in this time. Thanks doc for this today.

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