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article imageOp-Ed: The Ellen DeGeneres, JCPenney affair shows world's getting better

By Marcus Hondro     Feb 11, 2012 in Entertainment
Here's the deal in a nutshell: JCPenney recently announced the hiring of popular talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. Nothing unusual there, companies often hire spokespersons.
Or nothing unusual unless you'd consider it different because DeGeneres is a lesbian. If so that is only because gays and lesbians have for centuries not been given equal opportunities on our planet. So hiring her in such a high-profile role is different because historically companies, even were they not homophobic, were afraid to lose customers who may have been, well, unkind and small-minded.
But other than that, routine. DeGeneres is not just a celebrity, she is an unarguably outstanding human being, extremely intelligent, loads of integrity and a proverbial heart of gold. So she's smart, trustworthy and honest and she cares about people. Perfect choice.
One Million Mean Moms
But then enter One Million Moms, an organization that,well, that has a lot of unkind, small-minded and not-too-bright mean folk in it. Presumably they're Moms, but we can be certain they do not speak for the vast majority of Moms in North America, or anywhere (they actually have only about 40,000 members). They said nasty things about Ellen because of her sexual orientation and demanded JCPenney reverse its decision.
One Million (Mean) Moms adding their opinion into the fray was a wonderful thing because it gives us the chance to see how much our world is changing. JCPenney could have been cowed and dropped DeGeneres, that sort of thing has occurred with great frequency, but instead they confirmed DeGeneres, and CEO Ron Johnson did it in no uncertain terms.
“We stand squarely behind Ellen as our spokesperson and that's a great thing, because she shares the same values that we do in our company,” Johnson said. “We think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share.” The CEO went on to say that DeGeneres is "a very honest, straightforward person with extraordinary values."
More than one million Moms, and Dads
But that wasn't all. Conservative TV talk show host, Bill O'Reilly, from Fox News, the place Sarah Palin often works, supported DeGeneres. And Moms supported her, not just by watching her heart-warming talk show, but by joining with others to create a Facebook group called '1 Million People who Support Ellen for J.C. Penney.' Within two days that group had over twice the supporters One Million Moms has.
Events such as this help us to see - help others on the cusp to see - there is no need to be small and afraid. They help people who normally would listen to a Sarah Palin's prejudiced opinionating instead get to see a Bill O'Reilly embrace the change in the world and show his humanity, allowing them to connect to the notion of doing the same thing.
None of these good things would have happened were it not for One Million Unenlightened Moms, without them we would not have gotten to see and experience how much for the better the world really can, and does, change. And how much for the better it has changed.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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