What Ellen DeGeneres’ critics get totally wrong


Editor’s Note: LZ Granderson is a journalist and political analyst. He was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and the Hechinger Institute at Columbia University. He is the sports and culture columnist for the Los Angeles Times and co-host of ESPN LA 710’s “Mornings With Keyshawn, LZ and Travis.” Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @lzgranderson. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View […]

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To live with anger is to live powerless. That's not to say the oppressed should never be angered by the actions of their oppressor. Only that anger can spark a movement but it should not order its steps. Not if the goal of the movement is peace. To those who believe DeGeneres' actions were some sort of betrayal, I ask what significant civil rights movement occurred without support from those on the "other side?" Would women have gained the right to vote without men in Congress supporting the 19th Amendment? Of course not. Tweets can inform, protests garner attention, but changing hearts and minds requires genuine human interaction. Like the kind captured in a photograph in which DeGeneres and Bush dared to sit next to each other and share a laugh. The two may still be on opposite sides when it comes to LGBTQ issues or any one of the litany of issues Bush decided as President during his eight years in the White House. They may be on the same side in terms of enjoying their status as one-percenters. Who knows? But clearly, they found common ground in treating each other with respect. And for the life of me, I can see no harm in that. Besides, as former Congressman Barney Frank likes to say, "if you're not at the table, you're on the menu." Where some saw a sell-out in Ellen DeGeneres last Sunday, I saw a woman who once lost everything as an appetizer and who fought and clawed her way back to owning the restaurant. —passages from my latest for @cnn

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