Ellen owes the Dixie Chicks an apology

Source: Facebook

While I’m not particularly surprised that Ellen Degeneres continues to lose touch with the experience of typical queer folks, I was dismayed by her comments defending her friendship with former President George W Bush.

“We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different … but just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” she continued.

“When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter.”

Doesn’t matter? It might not matter if you are a very rich famous person, but the admonishment reverberates with clueless privilege given how fucking much we have to worry about AND how much of that is directly tied to the George W Bush administration.

DeGeneres is “kind to everyone” because she wants everyone on her show. Little encounters, like the friend date in Texas, help her establish some cross-cultural appeal. Maybe next time a young yodeler goes viral in the heartland, his conservative mother will be more inclined to let him jet out to California to appear on TV. Maybe next time Bush himself goes viral for those creepy dog paintings he does, he’ll show his face, too.

So-called kindness is an excellent lodestar more generally when your goal is to be popular. The most powerful people have the most capacity to do very bad things on a very big scale — so you’re bound to encounter some real horror shows the moment you start moving in privileged circles. Start insulting them for it, and there goes your invitation. Cancel no one, lest someone cancel you.

I agree that Ellen should have just said nothing or explained that she was invited to the game and leave it at that. But she’s reached a level of privilege where she doesn’t want to be doubted or challenged or questioned by her fans.

Let’s be honest, if Ellen was actually living her peak kind self, she would not be sitting on $450 million in net assets. Giving away checks and presents on TV does not offset hoarding that absurb amount of resources that could clearly be used to imbue more kindness into the world, with or without the tv accolades.

I’m not saying she didn’t earn the money (unlike W), but her position of radical kindness makes it sort of a big red flag that she’s KEEPING the money. Why not have a perfectly upscale life and be an even more kind person with ther rest instead of lecturing those of us hurt by the Bush Administration?

Ellen will always be a lesbian icon, but her ascent into the 1% has deluded her into thinking that her role is to tell us how to behave rather then model the behavior she values.

Can’t bring myself to do what it is
You think I should, what it is you think I should