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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Mariah Carey Got Her First Dose Of The Vaccine And Made It Into An Iconic Moment

Entertainment

Mariah Carey Got Her First Dose Of The Vaccine And Made It Into An Iconic Moment

Vaccines are rolling out across the country. People are getting their shots so life can finally start getting back to normal after a year of quarantining and social distancing. Mariah Carey let her fans join on her first shot and it became iconic.

Mariah Carey got her first shot of the vaccine and hit that whistle note.

More and more Americans are finally getting vaccinated to get the world back to normal. More than 160 million vaccines have been given in the U.S. and people are starting to see the results. Life is slowly getting back to normal for families who haven’t seen each other in years.

The singer was “excited and nervous a little bit” about getting the vaccine. Her demeanor showed just how impactful it is for people to do their part to get us back to normal.

True to form, Carey was in her camera-ready pose when she was getting ready.

People receiving the vaccine are told to keep their arm relaxed but Carey clearly isn’t made for that. How do you just turn off your star charisma?

It’s important to keep your arm relaxed while you are getting your vaccination to save you from the pain. If your arm is tense or in an awkward position, it is more likely to move during the jab, which can be painful. Listen to your nurses.

Some people are very curious how someone so young got the vaccine.

President Joe Biden announced that all states must make vaccine eligibility open to all adults by April 19. Some states are allowing people as young as 16 to get vaccinated. This is an accelerated deadline from the previously called for May 1. President Biden has worked hard to push the vaccination rate up and he has delivered on his promises for various vaccination deadlines.

People want to know if the vocal skills are a side effect of the vaccine.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories circulating about the vaccine. Some people believe that Bill Gates is microchipping them using the vaccine. It is a conspiracy that persists despite people definitively debunking the theory.

Congratulations, Mariah!

The world is eager to get back to normal and the vaccination rollout across the world is going to get us there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is slowly releasing new guidelines about what fully vaccinated people are able to do.

For example, it is safe for fully vaccinated people to gather in small groups indoors without masks and social distancing. Fully vaccinated people can also fly on airplanes without much risk because of the effectiveness of the vaccine.

READ: This Is How Cuba Is Developing Its Own COVID Vaccine When It Can Barely Get Daily Necessities To The Island

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Family Finds Peace After Body Of Pregnant Latina Teenager Missing Since 1976 Is Identified

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Family Finds Peace After Body Of Pregnant Latina Teenager Missing Since 1976 Is Identified

In 2017, Congressional Black Caucus lawmakers approached then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey with a letter asking them to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly, or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.” Their letter noted that often times when children of color go missing, authorities often jump to the conclusion that they are runaways instead of potential victims of abduction.

Fortunately, despite the lack of attention towards finding and recovering victims of color, namely black and Latina girls, the family of Evelyn Colon is finding some peace.

Evelyn Colon was living in Jersey City, New Jersey when she went missing in 1976 at the age of fifteen.

At the time of her disappearance, Colon was living with her family of five and had become pregnant by her 19-year-old boyfriend, Luis Sierra.

“Back then, things were a little different,” Miriam Colon-Veltman, Evelyn’s niece explained in a recent interview with CNN. “It was a different culture, a different time, in the 70s. You get your girlfriend pregnant, you move out, and that’s how it is.”

According to Colon-Veltman Evelyn and her boyfriend moved into an apartment together. Colon’s mother would stay in touch with the two, checking in to make sure that they were okay until one day when she went to the apartment to visit. After knocking on the door she quickly realized no one was going to answer the door.

“She just left,” Colon-Veltman explained. “People around the neighborhood, they said, ‘Oh, they moved away.’ So that’s the story that we grew up learning.”

According to family members of Evelyn, they eventually received a letter from Sierra later. He explained that while things were fine, Evelyn didn’t want to be in contact with her family.

“They always felt she left with him to start her new life with him and she just wanted to stay away,” Evelyn’s nephew, Luis Colon Jr. explained before revealing that the family never heard from her again.

The family didn’t know that Evelyn was dead. Pennsylvania State Police found her body in 1976 but had not identified it until 45 years later.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the circumstanes of her death were brutal. Her dismembered body was discovered in three separate suitcases on the banks of the Lehigh River tossed beneath a bridge of Interstate 80 in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. The discovery happened on December 20, 1976.

At the time, Evelyn was in her third trimester of pregnancy. Her fetus, a girl, was removed from her body and discovered in one of the suitcases.

Colon was given the name “Beth Doe.” They did not know her name until this week.

In a statement to CNN, “Pennsylvania State Police said that it had both confirmed the identity of the remains as Evelyn Colon and her fetus, and arrested a suspect: Luis Sierra, Colon’s boyfriend.” According to CNN, Sierra, now 63, was arrested and “charged with one count of criminal homicide in Ozone Park, New York on March 31, where he is awaiting extradition, the statement said. No other details were released.”

Colon Jr. and Colon-Veltman, who are brother and sister, told CNN that Evelyn’s family never considered something terrible could have happened to their aunt.

The Colon’s been under the belief that Evelyn was taking care of her family throughout the years. Still, they worked hard to find her. Colon Jr. said that his father searched for her often. With the rise of Facebook, he hoped to find her. “I would see my grandmother, she would walk around Jersey City and look for her,” he explained. “‘Hey, did you see Evelyn?’ She would think she saw her and tell my other grandmother, ‘Hey, I think I saw Evelyn!’ She would say, ‘I don’t know why, I can’t find her.'”

“I was looking up these people on Facebook, and I went and messaged all these people,” Colon-Veltman told CNN. “I feel like an idiot now, doing that and (I might have been) scared I could’ve tipped somebody off, but even I was looking for her.”

Colon Jr.’s decision to submit his DNA to several genealogy sites and track down his aunt is what ultimately worked.

“About four years ago, I heard about the DNA stuff and I wanted to see hey, this would be an awesome tool if I could connect with family and specifically, connect with my cousin, because I knew she had a kid, or cousins, multiple children, or her,” he explained. “So I got the kits, purchased one for me, for my wife, ordered another one from another website because I felt the more sites I’m on, the more chance that something would come about from that.”

In March Colon Jr. got a match that put the entire puzzle together.

“I get notified that ‘Hey, your DNA was matched to a victim of a homicide,'” Colon Jr. explained. “So we got in touch and they asked me, ‘Do you know anyone in your family?’ and I immediately, once they reached out to me, I knew it was her.”

After 45 years, Pennsylvania State Police identified Beth Doe as Evelyn Colon.

“It was obvious, there was no other person in my family who was missing,” Colon Jr. said. “And that’s when the ball started rolling.”

Colon’s body was buried in White Haven, Pennsylvania, and the community has been tending to her grave ever since.

“We’re so thankful for that community, that Carbon County community, that they loved her, that they cared for her,” Colon-Veltman said. “They treated her like their own, these random people for all these years.”

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