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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BEG: No Ellen, I cannot accept everyone

Ellen responded to public scrutiny about her friendship with Bush. Photo via Instagram.

This month, a photo of Ellen DeGeneres sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game gained quite a bit of backlash. People questioned why a liberal lesbian was sitting next to a highly conservative Republican. Ellen explained on her show the next week how she was friends with Bush despite holding opposite opinions.

She said how it is “okay” that people are different, and emphasized the importance of being kind to everyone no matter what they believe. Several other celebrities applauded her words in the comments section of her Instagram post.

People should show kindness to others, but it is often difficult for them when their viewpoints do not align.

Bush began a war with Iraq with little concrete evidence as to why he was doing it. Bush was a war criminal, and I cannot just brush that aside as a different ideology and accept him as a morally upright human being.

When Bush is compared to President Donald Trump, the American public places him on a pedestal. Instead of the war criminal, he is a cute, wholesome grandfather of the American people. In reality, the U.S. is choosing to forget about the fatal catastrophes and crimes against humanity that the former president contributed to during his time in office.

The former president cut taxes on the rich in 2001, which fueled income inequality. Under his tax plan, those in the top 0.1% witnessed a decrease in tax payments, allowing the rich to get richer and causing the poor to get poorer.

In 2004, Bush outright called for a ban on same-sex marriages and supported a constitutional amendment that restricted marriage between two people of the same sex.

Bush allowed for and encouraged torturing prisoners when he authorized the CIA to set up a secret detention program outside the reach of American law in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also made the decision to invade Afghanistan where U.S. troops remain as of 2018.

Among Bush’s decisions as president, the worst executive action was initiating the inhumane Iraq War in 2003. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died during the war, and deaths continue to occur due to the long-term effects in Iraq. The exact number of fatalities is still unknown, but studies remained until 2018 recorded 655,000 people killed as a result of America’s invasion in Iraq.

The Iraq War cost the U.S. more than $2 trillion and created complete instability in the Middle East that continues to hurt the people and their countries.

Instead of Bush’s intention to combat the future terrorism post- 9/11, the war led to the rise of terrorist groups that are global threats. There was no connection found between Iraq and 9/11 or al-Qaeda, yet Bush still called for this cold-blooded and heartless war.

It is not acceptable for Ellen to be friends with Bush when this is the reality of his presidential legacy. She, as a white woman, is much more privileged than other minorities in this country.

It is easier for a white woman of her status to rise above differences. Arabs, Iraqis, Muslims, the less fortunate and others cannot overlook what Bush did to their people as easily as Ellen.

It is one thing to have a political conversation with someone who disagrees with you. It is another to enjoy the company of someone at a football game with no regard for their actions.

Progress cannot be made if we do not have conversations with people who think in a different way, but that is not to say we should watch football games with them and ignore the result of their beliefs and actions. Minorities cannot afford to adopt Ellen’s apathetic attitude, and others should not uphold it.

The harm and pain that results from ideologies like Bush’s must be exposed. These widely-accepted kinds of irrational decisions and beliefs must be called out. The harm and pain that result from their ideology must be exposed. Only then can there be a greater understanding and empathy for others.

Bush made many unjustifiable decisions that caused the torture and death of many innocent people. We cannot just forget who he is just because the current state of our country might seem worse than what it was before. Bush is still responsible for the deaths of thousands of individuals, so matter what year it is.

Ellen chooses to not allow Trump on her show because “she is against what he stands for.” Is she not also against Bush’s unjustifiable, monstrous behavior as president and the values he showcased throughout his term?

Bush killed people. He brought about severe suffering throughout the world. Those actions cannot be forgiven or forgotten.

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About the Contributor
Aminah Beg
Aminah Beg is the assistant opinions editor for the Marquette Wire. She is a sophomore from Naperville, Illinois who is majoring in Public Relations and Cognitive Science.

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  • R

    richard loftusOct 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Ah, intolerance in full bloom. If you don’t speak with those with whom you disagree how can change minds. Those who would ostracize people they disagree with are missing quite a lot. Mostly an education because they are afraid to engage and have to explain their views with facts and defend them.

  • A

    AnonymousOct 28, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    The “if you don’t think or believe my way, I can’t like you ” mentality is something that is plaguing our society. You just played to that ideology. It is also the same ideology that Ellen fought against. She, along with many in the LGBTQ community, were able to make conservatives AND liberals (yes there were liberals who also didn’t support same sex marriage i.e. type in Hilary Clinton in the 1990s) come around and begin to support LGBTQ rights. This article takes a lot of leaps on Bush and provides very little source material. It also sounds like it is from an indoctrinated college student. Fact check: it is. Thank god (whichever one you believe in) that it is opinionated.

  • A

    Aly VTOct 25, 2019 at 9:35 am

    This is a great piece, I love the fresh perspective often neglected at Marquette!

  • F

    FarheenOct 23, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    I really appreciate the fresh perspective and in-depth reporting. Originally, I did feel that everyone should cross their personal boundaries and allow for civil discourse in all cases and with everyone. We won’t be able to solve global issues sitting in our silos. However, Ellen wasn’t having political or formal discussions with the former superpower leader. She was in a social privileged gathering by choice and without a specific purpose. It was a lost opportunity.

  • R

    Rick S.Oct 22, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Aaaaanddd… The brainwashing is complete. Carry on.