The Oscars are tonight, and so here is a look at two Oscar speeches, both very inspiring, dealing with issues of race and injustice in America.
Siempre meggai giya Amerika mampinacha ni' este dos, lao gi diferentes na manera.
Gi i pinagat Poitier, ha na'hahasso hit na ti apmam desde mampos racist yan annok na racist este na nasion. Ya meggai manungon para u tulaika ayu. Sigun i fino' Poitier, debi di ta honora este na tinilaika yan i taotao ni' manonnek para u na'guaha siha.
Gi i pinagat Brando, ha na'hahasso hit put i estao i mannatibu gi este na lugat. Ya gi 1973 manhinahatme siha ni' i sindalun i Gubetnon Amerikanu, sa' manproprotest i natibu put i direchon-niha ni' ti maresesepta.
Ti makpo' este na kinalamten, sigi ha' mamproprotest. Lao parehu i hinasson pa'go yan hagas. Ti ma kare i taotao Amerika. Kulang mambachet yan mantangga siha. Sina ma silebra ya honora Si Poitier put i bida-na. But this recognition is possible, because it points to the potential end of injustice and not its continuation.
A true change takes place, when people can stare injustice directly in the face and confront it and resolve it, and not simply look for ways to prove that it no longer exists or happens.
Accepting an Honorary Oscar
"I arrived in Hollywood at the age of 22, in a time different than today's. A time in which the odds against my standing here tonight, 53 years later, would not have fallen in my favor. Back then, no route had been established for where I was hoping to go. No pathway left in evidence for me to trace. No custom for me to follow. Yet, here I am this evening at the end of a journey that, in 1949, would have been considered impossible and in fact might never have been set in motion were there not an untold number of courageous, unselfish choices made by a handful of visionary American filmmakers, directors, writers, and producers each with a strong sense of citizen responsibility to the times in which they lived. Each unafraid to permit their art to reflect their views and values ... They knew the odds that stood against them, and their efforts were overwhelming and likely could have proven too high to overcome. Still, those filmmakers persevered, speaking through their art to the best in all of us. And I benefited from their efforts, the industry benefited from their efforts. America benefited from their efforts, and in ways large and small, the world has also benefited from their efforts. Therefore, with respect, I share this great honor with the late Joe Mankiewicz, the late Richard Brooks, the late Ralph Nelson, the late Darryl Zanuck, the late Stanley Kramer, the Mirisch brothers, especially Walter, whose friendship lies at the very heart of this moment. Guy Green, Norman Jewison, and all others who have had a hand in altering the odds, for me and for others.
Without them, this most memorable moment would not have come to pass. And the many excellent young actors who have followed in admirable fashion might not have come, as they have, to enrich the tradition of American filmmaking, as they have.
I accept this award in memory of all the African-American actors and actresses who went before me in the difficult years. On whose shoulders I was privileged to stand to see where I might go. My love and my thanks to my wonderful, wonderful wife, my children, my grandchildren, my agent and friend, Martin Baum, and finally, to those audience members around the world who have placed their trust in my judgment as an actor and filmmaker. I thank each of you for your support through the years. Thank you."
March 30, 1973
That Unfinished Oscar Speech
By MARLON BRANDO (given by Sacheen Littlefeather)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- For 200 years we have said to the Indian people who are fighting for their land, their life, their families and their right to be free: ''Lay down your arms, my friends, and then we will remain together. Only if you lay down your arms, my friends, can we then talk of peace and come to an agreement which will be good for you.''
When they laid down their arms, we murdered them. We lied to them. We cheated them out of their lands. We starved them into signing fraudulent agreements that we called treaties which we never kept. We turned them into beggars on a continent that gave life for as long as life can remember. And by any interpretation of history, however twisted, we did not do right. We were not lawful nor were we just in what we did. For them, we do not have to restore these people, we do not have to live up to some agreements, because it is given to us by virtue of our power to attack the rights of others, to take their property, to take their lives when they are trying to defend their land and liberty, and to make their virtues a crime and our own vices virtues.
But there is one thing which is beyond the reach of this perversity and that is the tremendous verdict of history. And history will surely judge us. But do we care? What kind of moral schizophrenia is it that allows us to shout at the top of our national voice for all the world to hear that we live up to our commitment when every page of history and when all the thirsty, starving, humiliating days and nights of the last 100 years in the lives of the American Indian contradict that voice?
It would seem that the respect for principle and the love of one's neighbor have become dysfunctional in this country of ours, and that all we have done, all that we have succeeded in accomplishing with our power is simply annihilating the hopes of the newborn countries in this world, as well as friends and enemies alike, that we're not humane, and that we do not live up to our agreements.
Perhaps at this moment you are saying to yourself what the hell has all this got to do with the Academy Awards? Why is this woman standing up here, ruining our evening, invading our lives with things that don't concern us, and that we don't care about? Wasting our time and money and intruding in our homes.
I think the answer to those unspoken questions is that the motion picture community has been as responsible as any for degrading the Indian and making a mockery of his character, describing his as savage, hostile and evil. It's hard enough for children to grow up in this world. When Indian children watch television, and they watch films, and when they see their race depicted as they are in films, their minds become injured in ways we can never know.
Recently there have been a few faltering steps to correct this situation, but too faltering and too few, so I, as a member in this profession, do not feel that I can as a citizen of the United States accept an award here tonight. I think awards in this country at this time are inappropriate to be received or given until the condition of the American Indian is drastically altered. If we are not our brother's keeper, at least let us not be his executioner.
I would have been here tonight to speak to you directly, but I felt that perhaps I could be of better use if I went to Wounded Knee to help forestall in whatever way I can the establishment of a peace which would be dishonorable as long as the rivers shall run and the grass shall grow.
I would hope that those who are listening would not look upon this as a rude intrusion, but as an earnest effort to focus attention on an issue that might very well determine whether or not this country has the right to say from this point forward we believe in the inalienable rights of all people to remain free and independent on lands that have supported their life beyond living memory.
Thank you for your kindness and your courtesy to Miss Littlefeather. Thank you and good night.
I couldn't resist this either, Jon Stewart on Larry King Live the other day. Gof na'chalek. He looks so calm and relaxed now, siempre sen magof gui' na ma bira tatte iyo-na "writers" siha. Ai bei sangan hao, annai taigue i writers, guaha gof mappot para bei egga' iyo-na show, sa' ti na'chalek. Estaba annok gi i mata'-na kulang gaige gui' gi entre "a rock" yan "a hard place."