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December 8 2017

What Paris Hilton Could Teach Chelsea Handler About Grace in Crisis

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Paris Hilton can teach fellow celebrity Chelsea Handler -and other celebrities who use disasters to score political points- what humanity looks like in crisis. Just look at their responses to the raging California wildfires.

As the fast-moving wildfires burn a path of destruction through Southern California, celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Handler, and Ariana Grande joined other families in evacuating their homes. The pictures of the fires are stunning and terrifying. The devastation left in their wake is heart-breaking.

Celebrities are taking to social media to draw attention to the fires and to let their fans know they are okay. It’s too bad that Chelsea Handler is using the fires to bash President Trump. She tweeted on Wednesday:

@chelseahandler: Just evacuated my house. It’s like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively. Stay safe everyone. Dark times.

Twitter took note and lashed back for her partisanship in crisis:

“Your house is literally burning down, along with many people’s homes. People’s lives are (at) stake, and you make your tweet about Donald Trump…I feel bad for you. It’s really sad. I hope everyone stays safe during the LA fires,” another social media user tweeted.

“Even in times of tragedy and loss, Chelsea Handler has time to continue her anti-Trump agenda. Beyond pathetic,” another person tweeted.

Let’s compare Handler’s response with Paris Hilton who tweeted the same day:

@ParisHilton: This wildfire in LA is terrifying! [crying emoji] My house is now being evacuated to get all of my pets out of there safely. Thank you to all the firefighters who are risking their lives to save ours. You are true heroes! [praying hands emoji]

Both women are facing the devastating prospect of losing their homes. However, while Handler focused on politics, Hilton focused on gratefulness.

No one should tell Handler what to say in a moment of crisis. However, it’s in these moments that the heart of a person is revealed.

She blames the president for the fire which is not just preposterous, but minimizes the seriousness of the situation and the hardship of her neighbors. Is this really the time to be political?

Contrast that with Hilton who thanked the firefighters who are putting their lives on the line to protect the people and property of Southern California.

In our hyper-politicized world, not a day passes without partisans turning the pain of Americans into a reason to criticize one side over another or to bash the Trump administration. Policy debates are welcome, but there are moments to move beyond politics and think about people.

Celebrities wield influence. They can use it to uplift or tear down their community and country.

Kuddos to Hilton for highlighting the self-sacrifice of others rather than the bitterness of the anti-Trump agenda.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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