15:17These things I command you, that ye
love one another. 18If the world
hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. -
words attributed to the Radical Rabbi Jesus
1967, race riots occurred in Detroit, New York City, Rochester NY,
Birmingham Alabama and New Britain Connecticut ... Thurgood Marshall was
sworn in as the first black Supreme Court Justice ... and the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave the Oscar for Best Picture to
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" ... a movie in which Spencer
Tracy and Katharine Hepburn play a couple whose attitudes are challenged
when their daughter brings home a fiancé who is black.
In the past few years, voters in many states in the
U.S. voted to ban same-sex marriage ... and in many regions of the
country, previous civil rights that had been granted to gay and lesbian
peoples were taken away. The Religious Right and Political
Conservatives continue to use the "gay" issue to create fear
and divisiveness in the voting public. And they are miserable in
their ignorance seeking to take more and more away from the currently
most oppressed in our society. "Brokeback Mountain," the
most ground-breaking movie of the past decade was released in 2005, won
award after award up to the time of the Academy Awards and became an
Oscar contender with the brilliant Ang Lee as the Director ... but the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave the Oscar for Best
Picture to "Crash."
In the beginning of the
broadcast of the Academy Awards, George Clooney made reference to the
fact that the Academy Award was given to Hattie McDaniel  at a
time when black people still had to sit in the back of theatres ... but
George's confidence in the enlightenment and understanding of the
Academy was premature. The consciousness of the Academy members in
1939 and 1967 had shifted. The courage to take a stand for what is
right and just even in the face of strident criticism is obviously no
longer strong within the voting members of the Academy.
The Oscar went to "Crash" ... and so
I watched this movie on DVD. It is a film that supposedly deals
with racial tolerance. One scene shows a white policeman sexually
molesting a black woman and then in an unbelievably contrived scene
later in the movie he saves her life. If "Crash"
addresses racism ... anything useful to this end was lost in the
language and images within the first fifteen minutes of this movie.
And worst of all, now that it has won the Academy Award for Best Picture
... this film will be distributed again in theatres in the United States
and Europe ... giving those outside of the United States another reason
to perceive this country as racist and violent ... but homophobia is no
less repugnant than racism. Had it not received the award for Best
Picture, I would never have watched it.
Ang Lee won Best Director from the Academy ...
and most often the Best Picture Award would follow the Best Director
award ... but the Academy, many will say ... wasn't ready to honor a
movie that gave an honest look into the lives of gay people. "For
me, "Brokeback" isn't rebellious at all. It's a very ordinary
movie. People call it groundbreaking or what not. It puts a
lot of pressure on me. But I didn't feel this way when I was making the
movie. This is the way gays are. It's just that they have
been distorted. When two people are in love and are scared, that's
the way they are," Lee told reporters.
The motion picture industry
prides itself on being able to influence the culture in a positive,
progressive way. But they missed the mark this year. Due to
the political and religious climate in America today, it was important
that they not do so. And when we consider the numbers of gay and
lesbian people employed by the movie studios and whose contributions to
the movie industry have been tremendous, it is sheer hypocrisy that the
Academy would reject a movie that gives respect, compassion and
understanding to these people. But they have learned hypocrisy
from the religious and political leaders that get the media attention in
America. But ... anything that is learned can be released through
enlightenment. All it takes is the right choice. I choose to
support this movie, "Brokeback Mountain" ... and the courage
and determination of its director, Ang Lee. Choosing to take a
stand for what is right and just ... and for that which extends the
compassion, love, and understanding for all people ... aligns all of us
with the Infinite impulse toward the Principle that must be given
expression in order to live in a world of peace and harmony, "love
one another, as I [Infinite Presence] have loved you."
So It Is!
Love Use Me In Its Own Good Way,