So, anyway, I read this post on Facebook last night, and I thought I would post my own thoughts about it. I’ve never heard of this lady, nor of her site, MomBabble.com. Apparently, at least 219,941 people have heard of her, and “like” her.
The link to the post is here:
It’s a long one. She touches on two events that happened last week, that slung the Twitterverse into a tailspin. My focus here, is only on the part about Ellen sitting with George Bush at a football game. I cannot begin to touch on Brandt Jean’s act of forgiveness because to quote Ms. Backstrom’s post, “Because, my God, Brandt Jean. He broke my brain this week with an act of grace so powerful that I still cannot fathom the richness of his faith or the strong places in his soul from which he discovered such forgiveness.”
I viscerally felt every damned word of her post, especially this:
On Ellen: “It’s a testament to her ability to forgive and her ability to be gracious—and sadly, to the fact that LGBTQ persons often have to choose to live alongside and even LOVE people who, in many ways, treat them as less than human.”
My Gods, did I feel that. I felt it 100%. People shouldn’t have to. They shouldn’t. Not at all. Most of us are sick of having to. I know I am.
In a perfect world, we should not, would not, have to do so.
Still, with that being said, I suppose that I am just one wholly naïve, weak and simple minded, unwoke and pedestrian, old dyke. Because I still do not agree with the outright rage and hostility about Ellen and GW, coming from “my people”. From “my side”. From “my tribe”.
I hated GW back in ’03-’04. Or, at least I thought I did. But, then two things happened during January of 2017, that made me understand what President Obama once said about Bush being a good man, but that they “just had a different idea about how the government should be run”.
January of 2017 brought a lot of new into my life. During that month, I went against my grain and bought GW’s book, Decision Points. I read it. I enjoyed it. I really liked the book. I enjoyed getting a feel for Bush, who he is as a person, why he feels what he feels, and made the decisions he made during those eight years. I came away with an understanding of that entire b.s. game that they (the GOP) were playing back in ’03-’04. I still don’t like it, but I understand.
I Hate it. I now understand the angles at play. And I hate politics even more so.
I also believe that they landed squarely on the wrong side of history with that debacle. They hedged their bets on the evangelicals, trying to appease them with a trite definition, while throwing the actual legal authority back to individual states to decide “what to do about gay marriage”. To me, that answer remains the same fifteen years later: Just don’t get one, if you don’t like them. You wouldn’t buy a New York strip, if you hated the taste of them.
Looking back, it backfired, and Bush admitted as much in the book. For the record, he never opposed civil unions, and was always 100% in support of those unions carrying the same rights and protections that a “church marriage” provided. His daughters and his wife held an enormous amount of influence over him and his thoughts and opinions on social issues. Hence, the support for CUs and CUs providing the same legal protections as marriages. Laura and the girls still do have great influence over him. Thankfully. He still has a long way to go, in my opinion, in allowing his beliefs to evolve.
I also gleaned from Decision Points, that George W. Bush is not a man who makes impulsive decisions. He doesn’t make decisions without a lot of thought, meditation, and prayer (which is very important to him). He also consults with his wife, his girls, and he consulted with his parents. He likes to learn and get deep down into the weeds of things. He likes to try and understand where other people are coming from. Even when he wholeheartedly disagrees with them. Even when his final decision disagrees.
President George W. Bush made decisions that I wholeheartedly disagree with. On many issues, not just the ones he made about “us”.
But I know now, that I didn’t hate George W. Bush. I now know what hatred for a President feels like, and it wasn’t that. Not even remotely close. January 2017 brought a lot of understanding, wisdom, and knowledge to my life. Along with plenty of “WTF”.
GW has a lot of learning and evolving left to accomplish, in my opinion. And he’ll get there. I believe he will. Hell, he voted for a DEM in 2016.
Then he sat with Ellen at a football game. And she sat with him. Regardless of their past opposition to each other’s existence.
The people on “his side” haven’t said much about his choice to sit with her. But, my Gods ours have lost their collective minds over it. My left side peeps have snapped. Turned loose the social media rants, tirades, and fits. Over a grown ass woman’s choice of what to do with her body. Oh, the irony.
But, yeah. Mary Katherine Backstrom is 100% on point. People, specifically minorities and other marginalized groups, shouldn’t have to continue to bend over and give in.
They shouldn’t. Not at all.
In a perfect world, we should not, would not, have to do so.
But this world is not yet ideal. Our lives are not. Both are still messy and unkempt. Both need work. Most of us spend our days working to be better, do better. To make the world better.
I am concerned for my tribe. Not because of what the other side may do to us, but for what we do to ourselves. For the proverbial walls we are building around us.
For a group of people that spend so much time fighting for inclusiveness, for equality, for the right to choose, and for people’s right to not be defined in binary terms, we sure as fuck operate in very binary terms when it suits us. And we clearly don’t hate all walls.
But, alas, I suppose people have the right operate and feel that way, if they wish. They’re free to do so.
Just like Ellen DeGeneres has the right to sit next to whoever the fuck she wants to at a football game.