Image courtesy of Michael Rozman/Warner Bros

Why It Matters That Ellen DeGeneres Hangs With George W. Bush

Ezinne Ukoha
8 min readOct 16, 2019


Let’s just get to it!

The main reason why we can’t easily brush off the declaration by Ellen DeGeneres that she’s quite friendly with George W. Bush, is due to the pass transgressions of the former president when you recall Hurricane Katrina and the poor response that gave the world a wide-eyed view of America’s worst kept secret.

We recall the memorable moment when Kanye West boldly and painfully uttered the phrase of our lifetime: “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People,” and how those weighty words symbolized the deadly negligence of the federal government, and the agencies that were supposed to swoop in with the sense of urgency that would’ve replicated the lifesaving efforts directed to havens like Palm Beach, Florida.

The year was 2005, and I was in LA, trying to carve out the TV career that went nowhere when I was stopped in my tracks by the graphic display of Black people taking cover on rooftops as the flood waters below from the broken Levees, overtook New Orleans with the fury that assaulted the city of historical gems.

I had spent my entire childhood rocking to the anthem of my starry-eyed parents who birthed their children in the Land of Oz, with the shared pact that my siblings and I would be raised in the “shithole” of our ancestors with the option to escape the military coups and military-style boarding schools once we were college-aged.

My well-meaning mother and father were overwhelmed by the reception from White allies who did their utmost best to magnify the still-growing resentment between Black Americans and the brothers and sisters who were also displaced by the criminality of White supremacy.

Maybe the violation of body and soul allows for the openness that can’t be taught or forced down the tubes of discontent because I was a child of the earth before I knew what that meant. I understood that shit happens without consent, and for those who are penalized for owning their primal creed, there’s the mandate to stay above water, even when the currents of discord beckon.

The Black population of Louisiana were left to sink or swim, and that was beyond the definition of inhumane. I still recall how paralyzed I was by the harrowing images of…