Tim Robbins gave an amazing speech recently to the National Press Club below is a sample.
"I imagined our leaders seizing upon this moment of unity in America, this moment when no one wanted to talk about Democrat versus Republican, white versus black, or any of the other ridiculous divisions that dominate our public discourse. I imagined our leaders going on television telling the citizens that although we all want to be at Ground Zero, we can't, but there is work that is needed to be done all over America. Our help is needed at community centers to tutor children, to teach them to read. Our work is needed at old-age homes to visit the lonely and infirmed; in gutted neighborhoods to rebuild housing and clean up parks, and convert abandoned lots to baseball fields. I imagined leadership that would take this incredible energy, this generosity of spirit and create a new unity in America born out of the chaos and tragedy of 9/11, a new unity that would send a message to terrorists everywhere: If you attack us, we will become stronger, cleaner, better educated, and more unified. You will strengthen our commitment to justice and democracy by your inhumane attacks on us. Like a Phoenix out of the fire, we will be reborn.
And then came the speech: You are either with us or against us. And the bombing began. And the old paradigm was restored as our leader encouraged us to show our patriotism by shopping and by volunteering to join groups that would turn in their neighbor for any suspicious behavior.
In the 19 months since 9-11, we have seen our democracy compromised by fear and hatred. Basic inalienable rights, due process, the sanctity of the home have been quickly compromised in a climate of fear. A unified American public has grown bitterly divided, and a world population that had profound sympathy and support for us has grown contemptuous and distrustful, viewing us as we once viewed the Soviet Union, as a rogue state."
Tim Robbins speaks out on Sept 11th, Bush, etc. | 5 comments | Sign Up
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Our free society is eroding away
Written on 04/19/03 at 16:11:23 PST by LP
Adlai Stevenson once defined a free society as one where "it is safe to be unpopular".
Unfortunately, it is no longer safe to be unpopular. The wingnuts have launched campaigns against Sarandon and Robbins, Garofolo, the Dixie Chicks and others for airing honest and informed viewpoints. A campaign has been launched against Robert Scheer of the LA Times as well. Producer Ed Gerson: fired. Donahue: cancelled. Ordinary citizens have been harassed for wearing antiwar T-shirts in malls.
The climate of fear Robbins alluded to serves no one for whom "free society" means more than just words.
You go, Tim!
Written on 04/22/03 at 04:50:24 PST by CaptianNeatoMan
None of the "patriots" are ever critisized! I mean, if you say, "I love Bush and America! (oxymoron!) Everyone says, "What a true patriot!" But if you say, "Well, I think when everyone hates you, you might want to step back and try and see why..." You get blasted! Fucking hippocrites!!!
Written on 04/22/03 at 08:11:13 PST by CheAvocado
His right to free speech is being infringed! Damn Reagan appointees should do us all a favor and nose dive off the grand canyon.
I love democracy
Written on 06/27/03 at 13:36:34 PST by ccincali
The reason democracy is so great is because we ALL get so say what we want. One thing I do not agree with, however..is that Tim Robbins' right to free speech has been infringed. More people will hear and read what Tim Robbins says than what I say, or what my friends say. Millions of people will hear his opinions. And why is that? It is because I buy his movie tickets, you buy his movie tickets..Millions of people pay to watch him perform. But I do have to say that just because he is a great artist, doesnt mean that he knows more than I do about politics..or that he knows what is better for our country than it's own people do..Or even that what he says matters more than what I say or what you say.
Written on 09/12/03 at 23:18:27 PST by Admin
But for that reason people like Mr. Robbins shouldn't be silenced. The average joe cannot hold a press conference and get the kind of media attenton he can. Because of the fact that he CAN he has a responsibility to speak for those who cannot speak themselves, to spread the message nobody has heard.
If it wasn't for celebrities speaking out against the war in Iraq the media would have ignored the anti-war argument altogether!
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