, 7 tweets, 2 min read
Some context for Ellen-GWB-gate. In an era when Ellen was doing important work to undercut homophobia, her new friend GWB was stoking it for political advantage. Has GWB acknowledged the real harm that caused LGBTQ Americans?
SCOTUS, on which sit two conservative GWB appointees, is about to make an important ruling that will likely (but hopefully not) negatively impact the lives of LGBTQ Americans. nytimes.com/2019/10/08/us/…
GWB was a key figure in the backlash against the gay liberation movement. He could choose to use his influence (as he did with the Kavanaugh nomination) to repair some of the damage he's done. AFAIK, he has not done that.
Civility and kindness are good things. But so are justice and accountability. GWB could use this occasion to acknowledge the harm he caused, and the continued harm his party looks poised to inflict. Instead, Ellen's kindness works to erase that painful history.
Far too often, civility works as a one-way rather than a two-way street. People in positions of relatively less power are expected to use their kindness to make people in positions of more power feel comfortable.
Had this encounter involved GWB doing something to acknowledge his past incivilities to Ellen and other LGBTQ Americans, then it would be easier for me to see this as a good moment of national healing. As it stands, it just feels like she's giving GWB unearned absolution.
I mean, GWB's entire brand as a politician was acknowledging his past mistakes, his past imperfections, in an effort to try to make himself and the world more right and better. Such a public reckoning by a former president, in this Ellen moment, would have real power.
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