[Moved off main page because that page is hitting 40K, and for some reason my ISP starts truncating a page that exceeds that]

Heston went on to break another of Hollywood's color barriers. This merits a bit of explanation for the younger readers.

Remember the key Civil Rights Act and Voting Act were only passed in 1964, against a LOT of opposition. They probably wouldn't have gone through at all, but for Lyndon B. Johnson, who for all his faults (1) believed in civil rights as no president ever had and (2) was a ruthless junkyard dog in dealing with Congress. (One legislator said you'd never been lobbied until you'd had the President of the United States grab you by both shoulders, ram his face into yours, and scream that if you crossed him on this you had better get right with God.)

There were a lot of people, and a heck of a lot of legislators, who believed that there was something terrifying in the thought that blacks and whites might drink from the same fountain, check into the same hotels, go the same schools, etc.. If you're under 30 or so, the odds are that you've never encountered anyone who had that belief, and if you did encounter one, you'd peg them for a mental case. Take my word for it, back in the 60s there were a lot of people who seriously believed that. Civil rights workers got bushwhacked and killed. Governors threatened to stand in school doorways to prevent desegregation. Senators fillibustered to prevent enactment of legislation. Troops had to be used to get kids in and out in safety.

And if merely using the same drinking fountain would topple the republic and imperil life as we knew it, what of ... romance and marriage? 30 states passed laws criminalizing interracial marriages -- 16 of the laws (not just southern -- Delaware's and Indiana's were among them) remained on the books when in 1967 the Supreme Court struck them down, as "odious to a free people." (Technically, one such law remained on the books, albeit unconstitutional to enforce, until 2000).

In the early 70s one major color barrier remained in Hollywood. Nobody would make a movie showing anything like romance between blacks and whites. The studios as always thought with their wallet, and saw no sense in making a movie that would anger some millions of potential ticket-buyers. (Racists bought tickets, too, and that's what mattered).

The movies that suggested anything like romance had cast (I am not kidding) Ava Gardner and Yvonne De Carlo as black women. (Hey, you're supposed to suspend disbelief, and some of the segregation statutes had defined a person as black if they had more than 1/72 black ancestry, so it wasn't absolutely impossible. Bet you didn't know that Morton Downey's great-grandfather, and Joan Bennett's grandfather, was a black Union veteran, 1st Lt. Morris W. Morris, 1st Regt, Louisiana Native Guards. And if you think there were no black commissioned officers in the Union Army, you need to read up on those Louisiana regiments. And yes, I do know a helluva lot more black history than Moore ever dreamed of and, yes, it will get into my documentary. The black experience is the key to the 14th amendment, probably the most important amendment ever passed.)

Anyway, back to the theme... in 1971 Charlton Heston breaks that barrier with "Omega Man." Not one of his better flicks, but in it he as hero and black heroine Rosalind Cash (hand-picked by Heston for that role) wind up kissing (and, the screenplay strongly suggested, sharing a bed as well). Thus opening the way for Vanessa Williams to take title roles (Hoorah! Hoorah!)

If Moore wanted to pick a target at which to fling an attack of racism, Heston is about the last fellow he should have chosen.