Once again, America’s bigotry rears its ugly head. This time, an organization called One Million Moms has demanded that J.C. Penny fire their new spokesperson, Ellen DeGeneres. Why? Simply because she is openly gay. Nothing more, nothing less. One Million Moms is outraged that J.C. Penny is “insulting” it’s customers by hiring an open homosexual.
The group states that its goal is to “stand against the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity the entertainment media is throwing at your children." Ellen’s employment at J.C. Penny is exactly the opposite of these things. She has a history of supporting dozens of charities and being an excellent role model in a world of Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohans. I personally cannot fathom how her sexuality could even start to affect her job performance. It should have absolutely no effect on her employment, and claims otherwise simply show how close-minded and hateful some Americans are.
One Million Moms claimed it was because “traditional families” would be turned off from shopping at J.C. Penny because of her sexuality, but even that sort of marketing strategy is a company decision that an activist group shouldn’t raise awareness about.
If this group really wants to protect our children from the media, why aren’t they targeting the body image crisis or actual violence? Instead, they are demanding a person be fired for their sexuality. These mothers are perpetuating hate and prejudice, not protecting their children.
America should be a country of tolerance, where multiple viewpoints and belief systems can coexist peacefully and each is represented fairly in media. One Million Moms’ attempts to pressure J.C. Penny clearly show a censorship that ultimately harms American diversity and tolerance.
Thankfully, J.C. Penny has indicated that they will not be firing Ellen, and I completely support their decision. We shouldn’t accept this kind of bigotry anywhere, and especially not in the workplace.
Ami Ballmer, whose full name is definitely not Amarantha, is a member of the class of 2014 and opinion columnist for The Foothill Dragon Press. An active member of the Speech Team and Bioscience Academy, Ami spends her weekends at tournaments or doing homework. When her classes don’t give her too much work, she prefers to watch ridiculous amounts of Netflix or play Words with Friends. She is an avid "Doctor Who" fan and enjoys knitting, penguins and skirts. Though she cannot stand country music, Ami loves The Shins, Ingrid Michaelson, The Freelance Whales and Radical Face. She has no idea what she wants to do with her life, but likes science and math, and hopes that by the end of high school she’ll have a little more of an idea.