RE: future president?

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 18:47:59 MDT

Mike Lorrey wrote,
> How do you know what Heston thinks his creator is?

I think it is clear from Heston's other discussions that he believes in a
Christian God as creator. I'm not sure this is germane to the discussion.

I have responded to other points similar to yours in other posts, so I'm not
going to respond to every point again. If I miss something important, let
me know.

> Well, why not? US civilization was not predominantly created by the
> minds of africans, chinese, or native americans. Why not give credit
> where credit is due?

I don't think Heston implying that whites deserve more credit for US
civilization than blacks, native Americans, etc. You are reading some
implications even farther than I would have imagined.

> > Hate crime laws are not an example of gay rights. They are racial laws
> > which sometimes include sexual orientation or gender. These laws give
> > sentencing guidelines for criminals not rights to citizens. Gay
> > equal-rights laws would be ones advocating marriage, cohabitation,
> > insurance, joint tax returns, inheriting property, joint ownership of
> > property, etc.
> But they don't generally do this, they set sentencing guidelines for
> those who exercise their own rights to not be forced into accepting
> lifestyles they view as abhorrent. When these include proscriptions
> against using words in speech which gays use as a matter of course in
> their own intra-gay communications, then the line is crossed into
> thought repression, equal protection, and first amendment violations.

That's why I make it clear that hate-crime laws are NOT an example of
equal-rights laws. They do not have the same purpose or effect.

I'm not even going to get into the comparison of gun-owners with Holocaust
victims. I think this is extreme hyperbole. Trying to argue that
gun-owners are victimized as much as Jews is a losing argument in any event.
Even if you're right, it just sounds whiny at best and anti-Semitic at
worst. Why not just say you are unfair victims? Comparisons to the
Holocaust or comparing your opponents to Nazis never enlightens a debate.

> Do you or do you not think that it is right for a person to not know
> when their body tissues are being exposed to an HIV carrier under
> conditions which have been proven to be communicable for the virus?

I do. But this is irrelevant to my point. My point is that this was never
stated by Heston. Everybody keeps jumping on this because Heston implied
his position on this without stating it. This is the perfect example of
what I was trying to point out. He gives an example and leaves it up to the
audience to interpret conclusions from it. You are arguing for your
conclusion, which may be correct. But you are missing the fact that you are
reading your conclusion into his words. Heston never stated this position
explicitly. Likewise, other implications can be read into his other
examples that weren't specifically stated. Some people seem to be insisting
that their interpretations and conclusions from each example are the only
possible ones to derive. I am pointing out that there are no clear
conclusions from his examples, and different audience members with interpret
them differently. Some of those interpretations might be excessively

> Which is more accurate? I mean, if a white fellow who was born in South
> Africa or Rhodesia immigrated to the US, does he or does he not have the
> right to call himself an 'African-American'??? Does he then have the
> right to apply for positions in college and employment that are
> determined by the fact that he is 'African-American', to the exclusion
> of other white fellows who were born here in the US, or who immigrated
> from european nations? If he doesn't have this right, then please
> explain why...

Very good point. Such a person would be an African-American by geographical
origin. This could be confusing. However, African-American as a race
implies descended from original Africans, just as native Americans implies
descended from original Americans. Of course there were earlier and later
peoples in both places, and history and breeding are blurring all such
lines. These definitions all end up meaningless if they are analyzed.

> Since you've decided that 'white' is bad, what about 'european'?

Where did you get the idea that I think "white" is bad?

> Do the Basques or Lithuanians, who have
> little or no common cultural or linguistic connection to other european
> cultures, get excluded or are they the default?

Excluded from what? Default what? I don't know what you are talking about.
I am arguing AGAINST dividing people up by race, gender or sexual

> Apples and oranges, Harvey. He hates rap because rap encourages violence
> against police, against the state, and for war and bigotry against
> whites in general. Rap IS racist, and therefore, should be treated at
> least as much a 'hate crime' as anything said by the KKK. It should not
> be celebrated by popular culture.

All true, but it seems inconsistent to claim the right to talk about
"negros" without being called racist, while then working to stop rap music.
Freedom of speech is freedom to say bad things as well as good. Just as
Heston is describing how political correctness prevents him from saying what
he wants, he turns around and says rap musicians shouldn't say what they

I also think you have an inflated idea of what a hate crime is. Hate crimes
give tougher sentences on criminals who commit violent crimes. They do not
arrest people for mere words or ideas. Even if one disagrees with hate
crime laws, I think you are exaggerating their effect. I will pay $100 if
you show me an actual law that proscribes a punishment for mere speech
without the threat or act of real violence. I think this is another urban

> Discussion and action are completely different things, Harvey.

Agreed. But he has a definite call to action at the end of the speech. He
calls for civil disobedience and for people to "act" when these kinds of
things occur. Now he doesn't specify what exact acts should be taken, but
it is clear that some kind of action is being requested.

> This 'code word' term is one more catch phrase of political correctness
> police doing their typical hate baiting. And why is what he said wrong?
> We are all entitled to our own values, we just are not entitled to act
> on them all. We cannot be compelled to act contrary to our values (with
> a few obvious exceptions required by citizenship).

You miss my point again. I didn't say this viewpoint was bad. My point is
that Heston never made this statement. He gave an example and everybody get
the implication that we don't have to like homosexuality. He never said
this. My point is that if this "implication" is clear from the example
without him saying it, what other examples are clear from the other examples
about blacks, Jews, African-Americans, women, transvestites, transsexuals,
etc.? Do these examples also imply that we don't have to like them or
cooperate with them? This is my point, that the implications being read
into his speech go beyond what the literal words can be shown to say.

> I imagine you mean that 'cream' is one more 'code word' for 'elite white
> people'.

No, but I did assume that Harvard scholars are mostly rich white straight

> No, it's not. It was his money being invested in ICE-T's work, and it
> was his right to express his displeasure at how his money was being
> spent. By expressing his displeasure, he was able to illuminate other
> stockholders as to how their own money was being invested, and they made
> their own decisions. Pop music is not speech, it is commerce.

Why did this example appear in a song about free speech? He clearly was
showing that he would not tolerate this kind of speech as an example of the
kind of free speech he was advocating. What was this whole example about
and why was it in this speech about freedom of speech if he wasn't talking
about freedom of speech?

> He was promoting the fact that most of western civilization was created
> by whites, and white males generally. Emphasizing one does not mean
> being opposed to the other.

Here you go again. Even I never read this much into Heston's position.
Although you disagree with my assessments, in some ways you even go farther
than I do in interpreting Heston's speech. I think your viewpoints validate
some of my claims about what some people might read into this speech. I
think your statement above is exaggerated, but I am sure that you read these
implications into Heston's words. This is exactly the ideas that I was
afraid would be read into this speech.

As with my other post, I will conclude by saying that I think we are agreed
about freedom of speech and equal rights for all. I think we agree that
special privileges for one group is bad. The words surrounding race or
gender politics are so charged that we each can read the same set of words
and interpret them totally differently. I am more encouraged by our
agreements on freedom then our specific differences of opinion on any
particular wording.

Harvey Newstrom <> <>

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