Things That Matter

Ellen DeGeneres Defends Her Friendship With George W Bush, Faces Backlash

TV cameras captured a moment at the Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game, of comedian Ellen DeGeneres sitting next to former President George W. Bush. After footage of the pair exchanging laughs went viral online, users were quick to point out that they didn’t get the joke.

Soon enough, the unlikely pair’s interaction sparked discussion online about tolerance and why DeGeneres no longer seems to be rooting for the home team.

On Sunday, DeGeneres and the former president were seen seated side by side with their wives a private suite and the clip quickly went viral.

At first glance, the interaction might seem… unlikely? After all, DeGeneres is an out and proud married gay liberal who in 2008 married her now-wife Portia de Rossi after the overturn of the same-sex marriage ban in California. Just four years before, during his 2004 reelection campaign, Bush ran on a platform that upheld anti-LGBTQ+ policies and called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage in the United States.

After users on Twitter were quick to lambast her for spending time with Bush, DeGeneres defended herself and Bush with an argument that truly oversimplified the situation.

“Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?” DeGeneres replied during the opening monologue of her CBS’ series “Ellen DeGeneres Show.

She went on to say, “Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush… In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different, and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK.”

But what DeGeneres forgets is that few people are aware that people of two different mindsets can be friends. We ALL have family members and friends who hold different beliefs. This year, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables across the country will likely, yet again, see more heated debates and arguments about today’s dividing politics with points being made from across both aisles.

Her comments brush over the optics of her interactions. DeGeneres, the most powerful out Lesbian in the country, was seen cozying up to a man who led a staunch effort against gay rights during his time as one of the world’s most powerful leaders and who dragged the U.S. into a war with Iraq and Afghanistan under the belief that they possessed weapons of mass destruction, which was ultimately refuted. The human cost of his “War On Terror” resulted in the deaths of nearly 250,000 citizens in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and his administration approved the torture of hundreds of others. Moreover, he ignored and lacked compassion for the largely Black community of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina when they sorely needed his support. Approved the detainment of over 750 Muslim-Americans after 9/11.

Today, he can be thanked for his contributions to the seating of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during a time in which numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations were brought forward.

DeGeneres’s relationship with Bush might seem generous and tolerant at first glance but dive deeper and you’ll find that it also forgets the various impacts of an extremely powerful person.

Bush’s legacy has been marked by abuse of power and complete incompetence. He was not and is not the uncle at Thanksgiving who spouts off unforgivable racial, anti-LGBT, or misogynist jokes at dinner. He was and is a powerful man who changed the course of our country’s history and those of many others, affected the lives of innocent people, while also simultaneously taking hundreds of those lives away.

DeGeneres is snide and ignorant with her responses to these aspects that not only amount to his character but also our future. After all, as a former president of the United States, Bush remains extremely powerful and further influencing the lives of others as he did recently with his support of Brett Kavanaugh.

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Trump Supporters Who Stormed The U.S. Capitol Are Learning That Their Actions Have Consequences

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Trump Supporters Who Stormed The U.S. Capitol Are Learning That Their Actions Have Consequences

Robert Nickelsberg / Getty

Yes, it’s true: 2020 set the bar low but 2021 has proven quickly that it will also have no chill.

Last week marked the first week back to WFH offices in the new year for quite a few people. And though so many of us expected that the break would bring a relaxed mood for even just a little bit, Republicans ruined the tone and extremists came out guns blazing. Literally. Last week, Trump supporters infiltrated the U.S. state Capitol in a coup and now many of them are paying the price.

For his part in the insurrection, Donald Trump no longer has access to social media, and those who stormed the capitol well… they’re facing arrests.

Capitol rioters are learning that their actions have consequences.

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According to reports, twenty federal criminal defendants related to the deadly pro-Trump riot at the US Capitol “have been rounded up across the country since the insurrection, with the allegations showing the danger of the mob.”

One of the federal defendants, Jacob Chansley, who stormed the Capitol building while wearing a bearskin headdress, face paint, and horns was arrested last week. According to court documents, he told the FBI he came to Washington “as a part of a group effort, with other ‘patriots’ from Arizona, at the request of the President that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021.”

It’s important to note here while the Capitol riot resulted in the arrests of several people, “the charges filed so far have dealt with issues such as trespassing, disorderly contact, and weapon possession, not terrorism” according to Snopes. “While officials have opened domestic terrorism investigations, the FBI has not made any announcements designating everyone in attendance at the rally as a terrorist.”

This means that despite current trending Twitter hashtags, many of those who took part in the coup are not being kicked off of lights as they attempt to fly back home. As Snopes notes the people in these videos have not been added to no-fly lists.

On Sunday, Jan. 10 a video claimed to show a person discovering that they had been placed on the no-fly list for participating in a pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol went viral. In the video, the man could be heard saying: “This is what they do to us. They kicked me off the plane. They called me a f*cking terrorist, and they f*ckin’ want to ruin my life!”

The video does show a person being kicked off of a flight, but it doesn’t seem that they were added to a “no-fly list” which is managed by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center and prohibits terrorists from boarding commercial aircraft. Instead, it seems the footage shows anti-maskers being escorted off of planes for refusing to wear their masks.

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Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

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Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

VALERIE MACON / AFP via Getty Images

A pro-Trump mob stormed Capitol Hill Jan. 6 following months of President Donald Trump and his allies attacking the 2020 elections. Selena Gomez, like most Americans horrified by the attack, spoke out on social media about what happened. She made it clear that part of this falls on tech companies and social media companies.

Selena Gomez called out social media and tech companies for enabling hateful rhetoric.

President Donald Trump and his supporters have used social media to spread misinformation since he was elected in 2016. Americans have watched as President Trump used Twitter to spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories. There have been so many debunked claims that President Trump and his allies have spread with no consequence.

Recently, Twitter started to flag some of President Trump’s tweets as disputed or misleading. It was the first time a social media platform did something that checked President Trump and his rhetoric.

People quickly came to Gomez’s side to uplift her statement.

President Trump has a long history of hateful and dangerous rhetoric on social media. He has misled her supporters with false statements and has incited violence. The president has defended white supremacists on multiple occasions and even retweeted a video of a man shouting white power.

Social media platforms are finally muzzling President Trump with bans and suspensions.

Twitter has put the president on a temporary suspension after he incited the crowd that breached Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg enhanced the original 24-hour ban to a indefinite ban that will last at least until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. However, people think it is a little too late for these actions.

“Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms,” Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said in a statement. “As I have continually said, these platforms have served as core organizing infrastructure for violent, far right groups and militia movements for several years now – helping them to recruit, organize, coordinate and in many cases (particularly with respect to YouTube) generate profits from their violent, extremist content.”

What happened Jan. 6 at the nation’s Capitol was avoidable, but it’s clear who incited this violence.

Congress has officially certified President-elect Biden’s win. What should have been a quick process to certify an election turned into a horrifying scene. It is a day that will always define President Trump’s legacy.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

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