RE: future President?

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 12:46:32 MDT

Brian D Williams wrote,
> [stuff snipped]

You seem to have missed my original point. Heston's speech clearly does not
say the things I list. It seems to imply these things by references to
certain words or by listing certain groups or by describing unspecified
actions to be taken in the future. I acknowledged in my very first post
that I couldn't *prove* these things by his words. I felt that his words
may evoke additional ideas in the audience that were not specifically

I can concede that this speech might have been intended to be against
political correctness and not imply any negativity toward blacks, women,
gays and other minorities. I also can concede that this was given to a
group of predominately rich white males and spoke to their point of view,
and probably wasn't intended to be addressed to other groups.

But, can you concede that all of his examples of bad situations and good
situations were not evenly distributed among minority groups? Maybe that is
just a side-effect of how political correctness works, but all his "bad"
examples were about blacks, gays, feminists, transsexuals, transvestites,
people with AIDS, liberals, etc., while all of his "good" examples were
about white pride, gun-owners, conservatives, NRA members, etc. Although he
may see all ethnic groups as equally good, his examples only showed one
group as good whereas all the others were shown as bad. Even if this was
not intended, can you see where an implication might be derived from this?

> Laws which
> seek to hire gays to achieve some sort of arbitrarily defined
> multiculturality are also special treatment.

Please. I will send you $100 if you can show me an actual enacted law that
mandates quotas for hiring gays. I think this is just a straw-man argument.
(Not invented by you.) I'm sure you heard about this from a friend of a
friend, but I think this is just another urban legend.

> I support equal rights for gay/lesbians on marriage, cohabitation,
> insurance, joint tax returns, inheriting property, joint ownership
> of property etc, but not special treatment.

I agree totally. I wish Heston had said this as clearly. He didn't mention
giving gays any of these equal rights. He only mentioned blocking
unspecified special treatment. It is not clear from his speech if he
supports any of these equal rights you list above.

> Your right, he did not specifically say that patients had a right
> to know, he said that a law which allowed dentists to conceal the
> fact that they were HIV-positive was wrong.
> The opposite of conceal is to reveal.

This is the exact parallel that he uses in all his statements. I am
surprised that you see it here, but not elsewhere. He gives an example of
something that is "bad". It is up to the audience to interpret what would
be good. As you point out, they will usually interpret the opposite event
to be "good" because "good" is the opposite of "bad".

I fear that people will follow this same pattern when interpreting his other
examples. When he says gays shouldn't be given more rights, someone might
decide that they should be given less rights. When he says whites need more
pride, someone might decide that blacks need less pride. When he says
liberals shouldn't teach liberal propaganda in school, someone might decide
that conservatives should teach conservative propaganda instead.

> Busted! He was not giving a speech to the NRA, but to the Harvard
> law school forum.

Agreed. I referenced the wrong group here. It was not germane to my point.

> At no point does he argue against free speech for certain songs,
> teachers, or entertainers.

Perhaps, but his clearly brags about getting Ice-T's contract canceled
because of the bad lyrics. Someone could easily think that improper speech
should be stopped.

> >>> When he says you can accept but not celebrate homosexuality
> >>> without being a homophobe, he implies that we can accept that
> >>> it exists but we don't have to like it or even cooperate with
> >>> it.
> >
> >> He didn't say the second part but in this case I think that's
> >> a pretty good implication based on the facts.
> >Again, he didn't say it, but it sure is implied. Why did you feel
> >compelled to agree that it's a pretty good implication based on
> >the facts?
> Because he clearly said it? "We don't have to like it or even
> cooperate with it".
> "We" he has included himself.

You are inadvertently proving my point again. Heston did not clearly say
this. The words you are insisting are a quote from Heston are actually my
words of what I thought he was implying. If you read the original speech,
he doesn't say anything about not liking or cooperating with homosexuality.
I just said that some people might think this was implied. You apparently
got confused with this same implication when you strongly asserted that
Heston clearly said it. I think the implication would be clear in some
people's minds. This is the exact kind of "implied" material that concerns

> Are you saying there is a secret society of racists amongst the
> members of the Harvard Law School Forum? This is where he gave this
> speech.

No. But there does seem to be an unspecified agenda among these
predominately rich white males that is causing them to prepare to fight a
culture war over differences in race (whatever that means).

> So you do think there is a secret racist society at Harvard? ( ;)

I wouldn't call them secret, because they are well known. I wouldn't call
them racist, because people here dispute what the word means. I do question
the race-friendliness of a group of rich white males with white pride who
refuse to call African-Americans anything but "negros" and are preparing for
a cultural war over racial differences. But you can use any term for this
that you see fit.

> But Harvey he WAS! He was arguing for the right of free speech, and
> against political correctness.

I will even concede that he was arguing against political correctness. But
I don't think he was arguing for blacks, gays and the like. All his
references to these other groups were in terms of how they are unfair or
doing something wrong. All his examples of white males were of how they
should have more pride, stand up for their rights, and get more freedom.
Even if they were all accurate examples, there was a pattern where only
white males were good and all other groups were dishonest, unfair or out of
control. At best, this was a defense of white males against attacks from
these other groups. I do not see it as a fight for the equal rights of
these other groups.

> I understand that you don't see this as inclusive, it probably was
> not intended that way, he was arguing that political correctness
> is wrong, that advocates of free speech need to take a tough stand,
> and his speech was a shot across the bow of those we fight.

This I agree with totally. There is racial discrimination in all
directions. There is sexual prejudice and unfairness to all genders and
orientations. I even agree with everything you claim the speech said. I
was worried over possible implications that were not quite said, but
possibly alluded to. If these implications were there, I think you would
condemn them as I have.

So on basics, I think we agree. On this specific, we do not agree on how
conservative or how liberal or exactly where Heston stands, or more
specifically exactly what this speech was intended to accomplish. I still
fear the rhetoric calling for a cultural war over race, gender or sexual
orientation, but on equal rights for all I think we agree.

Perhaps we can agree that the terminology relating to race, gender and
sexual orientation have been so politicized and distorted that we may not be
reading the same meaning when we reach the same words. I'm not sure what
more can be gained by discussing Heston's individual speech. I am more
heartened by the fact that we seem to agree on equal rights for all, and no
special rights for some.

Harvey Newstrom <> <>

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