This is a message from Charlton Heston from the Great Beyond. Since I have passed on and begun to look down upon the planet from up here on high I have seen many recent changes and developments. Two recent events have caught my eye, and I reflect on them here for you briefly.
On June 28th West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd passed. Mr. Byrd has been known for many, many years as a (former) member of the Klu Klux Klan and a staunch support of this ideology of hate and separatism. He at no time proposed to change and build bridges for a better, stronger, more peaceful America. I marched with Dr. King and spoke often and loud throughout the Civil Rights Movement. Senator Byrd spoke also, in sharp contrast against our struggle. I only wish he had found the light and worked for it prior to his demise. It is not a tragedy that he fell, for we all must fall. It is a tragedy that he did not walk for righteousness while he was standing.
Fellow Oscar winner, Mel Gibson, also made the news recently. Mr. Gibson voiced some terrible and repulsive words on a taped phone call to his former girlfriend,(who he started a relationship with before his first marriage was over). Mr. Gibson was still trying to rebuild his stalled career after a drunken scene two years ago where he voiced anti-Semitic remarks. Mr. Gibson first found real resistance in his profession after he released his film “The Passion of the Christ” which was a film documenting the struggles of the last day of Christ – the Easter story. So, after Gibson won 2 Oscars for Braveheart he has: created a very well done film of the Easter story, gotten drunk and insulted the Jewish people with slurs, divorced his wife and broken up his home, started a new family and broken up that family, and used more slurs insulting a minority race. He is his own worst enemy and has lost much more than he has gained. I can tell you at the end of the day: The home you return to dictates the happiness or the emptiness you feel as a man, which is heavier than that of a film maker, or money maker.
Both of these men have achieved fame, fortune, and status. Mr. Byrd was given a pass time and again for over 30 years and hailed as a policy maker for the citizenry. He held a position of power and esteem over the tax payers. Mr. Gibson had to earn his money with audience approval with each film offering. Both men made errors of judgment in words and deeds. Byrd was rewarded by the media while Gibson held to task in the press. Individually we can chose to NOT buy a ticket to see Mr. Gibson’s projects, and we can chose to NOT vote for Mr. Byrd. However, it seems as a group of Americans, so far we have only chosen to do the former. Do not both deserve scorn and disapproval?
Specifically what bothers me here is that I was a lightning rod for criticism as a Conservative in Hollywood. Roles were not offered to me and harsh words were spoken. As a sort of minority in Hollywood, Conservatives have a higher standard to meet. For every thirty Charlie Sheen and Tom Sizemore scandals that make headlines, Conservatives are the ones who lose credibility with one Mel Gibson train wreck. Jimmy Stewart and I are gone and if Mr. Gibson is not carrying our torch well, who will?
Happy Fourth of July America! I will continue to watch on from here and keep you all in my prayers.