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    Thread: Think

    1. #1
      Strateg0s's Avatar
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      Speech by Charlton Heston at Harvard

      Editor's Note: Charlton Heston addressed
      the topic 'Winning the Cultural War' at the
      Harvard Law School Forum, February 16,
      1999. Here is the text of that speech:

      I remember my son when he was 5, explaining
      to his kindergarten class what his father
      did for a living. "My Daddy," he said,
      "pretends to be people." There have been
      quite a few of them. Prophets from the Old
      and New Testaments, a couple of Christian
      saints, generals of various nationalities
      and different centuries, several kings,
      three American presidents, a French
      cardinal and two geniuses, including
      Michelangelo.

      If you want the ceiling re-painted I'll do
      my best. There always seem to be a lot of
      different fellows up here. I'm never sure
      which one of them gets to talk. Right now,
      I guess I'm the guy.

      As I pondered our visit tonight it struck
      me: if my Creator gave me the gift to
      connect you with the hearts and minds of
      those great men, then I want to use that
      same gift now to re-connect you with your
      own sense of liberty ... your own freedom
      of thought ... your own compass for what is
      right.

      Dedicating the memorial at Gettysburg,
      Abraham Lincoln said of America, "We are
      now engaged in a great Civil War, testing
      whether this nation or any nation so
      conceived and so dedicated can long
      endure."

      Those words are true again. I believe that
      we are again engaged in a great civil war,
      a cultural war that's about to hijack your
      birthright to think and say what resides in
      your heart. I fear you no longer trust the
      pulsing lifeblood of liberty inside you ...
      the stuff that made this country rise from
      wilderness into the miracle that it is. Let
      me back up. About a year ago I became
      president of the National Rifle
      Association, which protects the right to
      keep and bear arms. I ran for office, I was
      elected, and now I serve ... I serve as a
      moving target for the media who've called
      me everything from "ridiculous" and "duped"
      to a "brain-injured, senile, crazy old
      man." I know ... I'm pretty old ... but I
      sure thank the Lord ain't senile. As I have
      stood in the crosshairs of those who target
      Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized
      that firearms are not the only issue. No,
      it's much, much bigger than that. I've come
      to understand that a cultural war is raging
      across our land, in which, with Orwellian
      fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and
      speech are mandated.

      For example, I marched for civil rights
      with Dr. King in 1963 -- long before
      Hollywood found it fashionable. But when I
      told an audience last year that white pride
      is just as valid as black pride or red
      pride or anyone else's pride, they called
      me a racist.

      I've worked with brilliantly talented
      homosexuals all my life. But when I told an
      audience that gay rights should extend no
      further than your rights or my rights, I
      was called a homophobe.

      I served in World War II against the Axis
      powers. But during a speech, when I drew an
      analogy between singling out innocent Jews
      and singling out innocent gun owners, I was
      called an anti-Semite.

      Everyone I know knows I would never raise a
      closed fist against my country. But when I
      asked an audience to oppose this cultural
      persecution, I was compared to Timothy
      McVeigh.

      * From Time magazine to friends and
      colleagues, they're essentially saying,
      "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind. You
      are using language not authorized for
      public consumption!"

      But I am not afraid. If Americans believed
      in political correctness, we'd still be
      King George's boys-subjects bound to the
      British crown.

      In his book, "The End of Sanity," Martin
      Gross writes that "blatantly irrational
      behavior is rapidly being established as
      the norm in almost every area of human
      endeavor. There seem to be new customs, new
      rules, new anti-intellectual theories
      regularly foisted on us from every
      direction. Underneath, the nation is
      roiling. Americans know something, without
      a name is undermining the nation, turning
      the mind mushy when it comes to separating
      truth from falsehood and right from wrong.
      And they don't like it."

      Let me read a few examples. At Antioch
      college in Ohio, young men seeking intimacy
      with a coed must get verbal permission at
      each step of the process from kissing to
      petting to final copulation ... all clearly
      spelled out in a printed college directive.

      In New Jersey, despite the death of several
      patients nationwide who had been infected
      by dentists who had concealed their AIDS
      --- the state commissioner announced that
      health providers who are HIV-positive need
      not. .. need not ... tell their patients
      that they are infected.

      At William and Mary, students tried to
      change the name of the school team "The
      Tribe" because it was supposedly insulting
      to local Indians, only to learn that
      authentic Virginia chiefs truly like the
      name.

      In San Francisco, city fathers passed an
      ordinance protecting the rights of
      transvestites to cross-dress on the job,
      and for transsexuals to have separate
      toilet facilities while undergoing sex
      change surgery.

      In New York City, kids who don't speak a
      word of Spanish have been placed in
      bilingual classes to learn their three R's
      in Spanish solely because their last names
      sound Hispanic.

      At the University of Pennsylvania, in a
      state where thousands died at Gettysburg
      opposing slavery, the president of that
      college officially set up segregated
      dormitory space for black students.

      Yeah, I know ... that's out of bounds now.
      Dr. King said "Negroes." Jimmy Baldwin and
      most of us on the March said "black." But
      it's a no-no now.

      For me, hyphenated identities are awkward
      ... particularly "Native-American." I'm a
      Native American, for God's sake. I also
      happen to be a blood-initiated brother of
      the Miniconjou Sioux. On my wife's side, my
      grandson is a 13th-generation Native
      American ... with a capital letter on
      "American."

      Finally, just last month ... David Howard,
      head of the Washington D.C. Office of
      Public Advocate, used the word "niggardly"
      while talking to colleagues about budgetary
      matters. Of course, 'niggardly' means
      stingy or scanty. But within days Howard
      was forced to publicly apologize and
      resign.

      As columnist Tony Snow wrote: "David Howard
      got fired because some people in public
      employ were morons who (a) didn't know the
      meaning of 'niggardly,' (b) didn't know how
      to use a dictionary to discover the
      meaning, and (c) actually demanded that he
      apologize for their ignorance."

      What does all of this mean? It means that
      telling us what to think has evolved into
      telling us what to say, so telling us what
      to do can't be far behind. Before you claim
      to be a champion of free thought, tell me:
      Why did political correctness originate on
      America's campuses? And why do you continue
      to tolerate it? Why do you, who're supposed
      to debate ideas, surrender to their
      suppression?

      Let's be honest. Who here thinks your
      professors can say what they really
      believe? It scares me to death, and should
      scare you too, that the superstition of
      political correctness rules the halls of
      reason.

      You are the best and the brightest. You,
      here in the fertile cradle of American
      academia, here in the castle of learning on
      the Charles River, you are the cream. But I
      submit that you, and your counterparts
      across the land, are the most socially
      conformed and politically silenced
      generation since Concord Bridge.

      And as long as you validate that ... and
      abide it ... you are-by your grandfathers'
      standards-cowards. Here's another example.
      Right now at more than one major
      university, Second Amendment scholars and
      researchers are being told to shut up about
      their findings or they'll lose their jobs.
      Why? Because their research findings would
      undermine big-city mayor's pending lawsuits
      that seek to extort hundreds of millions of
      dollars from firearm manufacturers.

      I don't care what you think about guns. But
      if you are not shocked at that, I am
      shocked at you. Who will guard the raw
      material of unfettered ideas, if not you?
      Who will defend the core value of academia,
      if you supposed soldiers of free thought
      and expression lay down your arms and
      plead, "Don't shoot me."

      If you talk about race, it does not make
      you a racist. If you see distinctions
      between the genders, it does not make you a
      sexist. If you think critically about a
      denomination, it does not make you
      anti-religion. If you accept but don't
      celebrate homosexuality, it does not make
      you a homophobe.

      Don't let America's universities continue
      to serve as incubators for this rampant
      epidemic of new McCarthyism. But what can
      you do? How can anyone prevail against such
      pervasive social subjugation?

      The answer's been here all along. I learned
      it 36 years ago, on the steps of the
      Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.,
      standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and
      two hundred thousand people.

      You simply ... disobey. Peaceably, yes.
      Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently,
      absolutely. But when told how to think or
      what to say or how to behave, we don't. We
      disobey social protocol that stifles and
      stigmatizes personal freedom.

      I learned the awesome power of disobedience
      from Dr. King ... who learned it from
      Gandhi, and Thoreau and Jesus and every
      other great man who led those in the right
      against those with the might.

      Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate
      kinship with that Disobedient spirit that
      tossed tea into Boston Harbor, that sent
      Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the
      back of the bus, that protested a war in
      Vietnam.

      In that same spirit, I am asking you to
      disavow cultural correctness with massive
      disobedience of rogue authority, social
      directives and onerous law that weaken
      personal freedom.

      But be careful ... it hurts. Disobedience
      demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr.
      King stood on lots of balconies. You must
      be willing to be humiliated ... to endure
      the modern-day equivalent of the police
      dogs at Montgomery and the water Cannons at
      Selma. You must be willing to experience
      discomfort. I'm not Complaining, but my own
      decades of social activism have taken their
      toll on me. Let me tell you a story.

      A few years back I heard about a rapper
      named Ice-T who was selling a CD called
      "Cop Killer" celebrating ambushing and
      murdering police officers. It was being
      marketed by none other than Time/Warner,
      the biggest entertainment conglomerate in
      the world. Police across the country were
      outraged. Rightfully so-at least one had
      been murdered. But Time/Warner was
      stonewalling because the CD was a cash cow
      for them, and the media were tiptoeing
      around it because the rapper was black. I
      heard Time/Warner had a stockholders
      meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills. I owned
      some shares at the time, so I decided to
      attend.

      What I did there was against the advice of
      my family and colleagues. I asked for the
      floor. To a hushed room of a thousand
      average American stockholders, I simply
      read the full lyrics of "Cop Killer" --
      every vicious, vulgar, instructional word.

      "I GOT MY 12 GAUGE SAWED OFF
      I GOT MY HEADLIGHTS TURNED OFF
      I'm ABOUT TO BUST SOME SHOTS OFF
      I'm ABOUT TO DUST SOME COPS OFF..."

      It got worse, a lot worse. I won't read the
      rest of it to you. But trust me, the room
      was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched
      faces. The Time/Warner executives squirmed
      in their chairs and stared at their shoes.
      They hated me for that. Then I delivered
      another volley of sick lyric brimming with
      racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about
      sodomizing two 12-year old nieces of Al and
      Tipper Gore. "SHE PUSHED HER BUTT AGAINST
      MY ...."

      Well, I won't do to you here what I did to
      them. Let's just say I left the room in
      echoing silence. When I read the lyrics to
      the waiting press corps, one of them said
      "We can't print that." "I know," I replied,
      "but Time/Warners selling it."

      Two months later, Time/Warner terminated
      Ice-T's contract. I'll never be offered
      another film by Warners, or get a good
      review from Time magazine. But disobedience
      means you must be willing to act, not just
      talk.

      When a mugger sues his elderly victim for
      defending herself ... jam the switchboard
      of the district attorney's office. When
      your university is pressured to lower
      standards until 80 percent of the students
      graduate with honors ... choke the halls of
      the board of regents. When an 8-year-old
      boy pecks a girl's cheek on the playground
      and gets hauled into court for sexual
      harassment ... march on that school and
      block its doorways. When someone you
      elected is seduced by political power and
      betrays you ... petition them, oust them,
      banish them. When Time magazine's cover
      portrays millennium nuts as deranged, crazy
      Christians holding a cross as it did last
      month ... boycott their magazine and the
      products it advertises.

      So that this nation may long endure, I urge
      you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of
      the great disobediences of history that
      freed exiles, founded religions, defeated
      tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an
      aroused rabble in arms and a few great men,
      by God's grace, built this country.

      If Dr. King were here, I think he would
      agree.

      Thank you.
      Good sense is the best distributed thing in the world: for everyone thinks himself so well endowed with it that even those who are the hardest to please in everything else do not usually desire more of it than they possess.

    2. #2
      tekki9's Avatar
      tekki9 is offline Member
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      Great F'n speech - - GBA -

    3. #3
      thundergod is offline V.I.P
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      read this before and I still think it is just an awesome speech.

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