Ethan Hawke on Donald Trump, Having Integrity, and Johnny Cash

Free speech is paramount, but how you use your speech defines you as a person. When our politicians stop demanding the moral high ground, we are in a very dangerous place, says Hawke.

Ethan Hawke:  The idea that people somehow feel comfortable enough to cheer and laugh when Donald Trump is mocking somebody by calling them Pocahontas, right. Pocahontas – to be totally honest with you and not to be totally corny it makes me want to cry. Because we’re going to get the leaders in this life that we deserve. And if we walk around and we think that stuff is funny – what people I think admire about Trump is that he’s willing to say an off color thing. And I understand what people mean by that. That we live in a culture where – what’s the right – remember Martin Luther King said I prefer the racist because I know where he stands. What I don’t like is all the quiet people who might be secretly – I can’t work with somebody who’s secretly a racist. And so in a way bring it out Donald Trump. Bring it out. Bring out all the toxic stuff. Let’s everybody – and really make sure you want to cheer for that. Really make sure you think that’s funny. Really study who Pocahontas was and you really think that’s not something to be proud of? I mean I’d be honored if somebody were to call me Pocahontas.

If our elected officials aren’t demanding ethical higher ground than we’re in a very dangerous place. And I find that kind of jingoistic hate talk to be terrifying because it’s always – history shows it’s always the easy way. Whenever we’re upset and whenever we’re angry if somebody gives us a chance to express our anger it feels good temporarily. It does. When the two towers fall if you want to start making anti-Arab sentiments for a second it feels good because it feels like a place to put your rage. What it usually does is create a cycle of violence.

A large percentage of the people that I know that support the unmentionable game show host running for president, what they admire about him is that he doesn’t seem chained to some kind of political correctness and it makes him seem like a maverick and it makes – it immediately gives some kind of swagger to the whole thing. Because most of us live in such fear of saying the wrong thing.

I remember, I had the great benefit, I got to interview Kris Kristofferson, the great poet, songwriter, actor. And I was asking him what happened to the tough guy liberal. Like why are all liberals now kind of seen as kind of like somehow we’re lesser men than like kind of the hard core hate talk. Like why is that somehow – why is that equated with masculinity? Where in his generation, you know, he and Johnny Cash and my grandfather, LBJ. There was a great, you know, the southern progressive. The person who really walked the walk and talked the talk of the unwavering equality of mankind. Where did that guy go? And Kris talked about something that really bothered him that Johnny Cash used to say. People ask me, you know, they ask me if I’m a dove or a hawk and I say I’m a dove with claws. And Kris used to say, you know, I always wanted to say to Johnny, you know, no one things you’re a pussy. You can just say you’re a dove. A dove doesn’t have claws. And it’s okay to say I’ll fight to the death for the right for people to be free, for people to speak their mind, for people to treat each other with mutual respect. That I will die for.

I’ll fight to save this planet. I’ll stand for something. But you don’t have to be a dove with claws. I’ll fight for the doves, you know. I’ll fight so that they can live. And so I really always respected Kris for that and I long for that kind of integrity, you know, and for that kind of free speech.

 

Free speech is paramount, but how you use your speech defines you as a person. When our politicians stop demanding the moral high ground, we are in a very dangerous place, says Hawke.

As we approach death, our dreams offer comfort and reconciliation

As patients approached death, many had dreams and visions of deceased loved ones.

Credit: Amisha Nakhwa on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

One of the most devastating elements of the coronavirus pandemic has been the inability to personally care for loved ones who have fallen ill.

Keep reading Show less

Surprising new feature of human evolution discovered

Research reveals a new evolutionary feature that separates humans from other primates.

Credit: Adobe Stock
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new feature of human evolution.
  • Humans have evolved to use less water per day than other primates.
  • The nose is one of the factors that allows humans to be water efficient.
Keep reading Show less

Iron Age discoveries uncovered outside London, including a ‘murder’ victim

A man's skeleton, found facedown with his hands bound, was unearthed near an ancient ceremonial circle during a high speed rail excavation project.

Photo Credit: HS2
Culture & Religion
  • A skeleton representing a man who was tossed face down into a ditch nearly 2,500 years ago with his hands bound in front of his hips was dug up during an excavation outside of London.
  • The discovery was made during a high speed rail project that has been a bonanza for archaeology, as the area is home to more than 60 ancient sites along the planned route.
  • An ornate grave of a high status individual from the Roman period and an ancient ceremonial circle were also discovered during the excavations.
Keep reading Show less

Skepticism: Why critical thinking makes you smarter

Being skeptical isn't just about being contrarian. It's about asking the right questions of ourselves and others to gain understanding.

Videos
  • It's not always easy to tell the difference between objective truth and what we believe to be true. Separating facts from opinions, according to skeptic Michael Shermer, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, and others, requires research, self-reflection, and time.
  • Recognizing your own biases and those of others, avoiding echo chambers, actively seeking out opposing voices, and asking smart, testable questions are a few of the ways that skepticism can be a useful tool for learning and growth.
  • As Derren Brown points out, being "skeptical of skepticism" can also lead to interesting revelations and teach us new things about ourselves and our psychology.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast