Wednesday 1 July 2015

Quoting Charlton Heston (who quotes Thomas Jefferson)

"All men are created equal" was first used by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. Jefferson may have borrowed this "immortal declaration" by his Italian friend and neighbour Philip Mazzei (via).
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. United States Declaration of Independence, part of the second paragraph

As many members of the Congress, including Jefferson, owned humans, i.e., slaves, the wording was criticised and the passage critical of slave trade was deleted.
If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves. Thomas Day (abolitionist), 1776

Charlton Heston (1923-2008) is associated with Ben Hur, Planet of the Apes, opposition to the Vietnam War when he was younger, with Ronald Reagon and the National Rifle Association when he was older.The latter left an extremely bitter aftertaste and overshadowed his participation in the civil rights movement during the 1960s. In 1963, for instance, Charlton Heston took part in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (via).

"Two years ago I picketed some restaurants in Oklahoma but with one exception up until very recently like most Americans I expressed my support of civil rights largely by talking about it at cocktail parties, I'm afraid. But again, like most ... many ... Americans this summer I could no longer pay only lip service to a cause that was so urgently right in a time that is so urgently now."
Charlton Heston

"(...) he fought for what he valued (...) it didn’t matter whether it was hard, incovenient or unpopular. Charlton Heston always followed his true moral star, his passionate belief that all men are created equal, that our liberty is precious and our God given rights are worth defending.”
Vaughn about Heston

photographs (picketing a whites-only restaurant in Oklahoma in 1961)  via and via and via and via and via