Sunday, April 06, 2008

RIP Charlton Heston

The Omega Man has passed away. He was 84 years old.

One thing which has quite annoyed me about the British media's coverage of his death is the "far right" spin they put on his political activism because of his leadership of the NRA. One BBC commenter called the "cold dead hands" speech the "NRA's chilling motto".

BBC article does mention his support for the civil rights movement back in the '60s but they then make the mistake of saying that he was then "later linked with traditionally conservative causes". Showing their complete lack of recent history, the BBC repeats the lie (again) that conservatives and Republicans are somehow anti-civil rights, when the truth is exactly the opposite.

Three years after Brown, President Eisenhower won passage of his landmark Civil Rights Act of 1957. Republican Senator Everett Dirksen authored and introduced the 1960 Civil Rights Act, and saw it through to passage. Republicans supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act overwhelmingly, and by much higher percentages in both House and Senate than the Democrats. Indeed, the 1964 Civil Rights Act became law only after overcoming a Democrat filibuster.

We could certainly do with more actors like Charlton Heston in Hollywood today- not only because of his talent, screen-presence but for his unfailing support of individual rights.

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