The talk show host released a video in response to the uproar on Twitter — but I'm not convinced with her explanation.
Over the weekend, "gay Hollywood liberal" talk show host Ellen DeGeneres attended a football game (Dallas Cowboys against the Green Bay Packers, if you were wondering) and was spotted sitting next to former Republican President George W. Bush. Of course, Twitter got its panties in a bunch over the unlikely predicament, with individuals taking to the social media platform in order to voice their criticism. In response, Ellen decided to talk about what happened at the game on The Ellen Show, claiming that she thinks it's important to be friends with everyone — even if you don't agree with them. "When I say be kind to one another, I don't mean only the people that think the same way that you do," she affirmed. Well, Ellen, wasn't it you who said you would never invite sitting United States President Donald Trump on your show for, hmm, exactly the same reasons? Your reply, while well-intentioned, totally missed the marked — and here's why.
It's one thing to be friends with people you disagree with. I mean, my best friend's favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla, the most basic bitch flavor out there. But I (and my chocolate chip-loving butt) still get along with her. My boyfriend thinks it's okay to wet his toothbrush before he squeezes the toothpaste onto it. I know, I know, what a monster, but I still love that dude. What I'm trying to say is, these are the kinds of differences that shouldn't matter when it comes to forming friendships. Actively committing genocide and initiating a damaging proxy war that results in the deaths of thousands of individuals? Yeah, not so much.
Ultimately, there's a fundamental distinction between opinions — you know, those harmless things about whether pineapple belongs on pizza or if it's acceptable to drink iced coffee when it's like, the Arctic Pole out there — and maintaining a flawed system of oppression and exploitation. If your "opinions" are based on the subjugation of communities, especially minority communities that have remained, for a large part of history, voiceless, those aren't opinions, they're all those "isms"(racism, sexism, classism) that we don't let affect profitable connections. And that's privilege. That's ignorance. That's power.
Privilege is Ellen DeGeneres explaining her friendship with George Bush by saying "just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be friends with them," as if what they disagree about is who was best dressed at the Emmys or what the best mayo is— noah michelson (@noahmichelson) October 8, 2019
When you sit next to a man who used his State of the Union address to call for a constitutional ban on LGBTQ+ marriages, his executive power to cause thousands of military and veteran deaths in a pointless war, and his political influence to target and demonize people of color and Muslim faith, you send out a clear message: you don't care about the very people you claimed to want to protect. As a flagbearer of and pioneer for minority rights, especially LGBTQ+ rights, you've let us down, Ellen. Your decision to sit with Bush and your response thereafter showed us that rich people (you know, those liberal Hollywood types) value class solidarity above all else. This isn't about "reaching across the aisle" and maintaining friendships, it's about the values you uphold. If you're willing to sell out your principles in order to stay friends with a warmonger, that's on you. I just hope you'll ask Bush one question for me: was he kind to the people in Iraq, like you ask us to be?
Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece. All views represented belong solely to the author and do not reflect the opinions of Upworthy.