John Wayne, An American Icon, Was A Flat Out Racist
Date Posted: Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
An interview with John Wayne in 1971 where he said he 'believes in white supremacy' has resurfaced and caused a stir online.
The iconic actor who starred in classics such as True Grit and The Alamo told Playboy almost 50 years ago that 'Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far'.
He also called Native Americans 'selfish' and said they should 'pay as much for Alcatraz as we paid them for Manhattan.'
Matt Williams, a screenwriter, tweeted excerpts of Wayne’s interview and prompted a furious debate over how to address comments from the past.
The thread went viral, generating nearly 30,000 likes and almost 10,000 retweets as of Tuesday evening
‘Jesus f***, John Wayne was a straight up piece of s***,’ Williams wrote.
Williams then tweeted screenshots of quotes from the interview in which Wayne makes homophobic and racist comments.
The thread went viral, generating nearly 30,000 likes and almost 10,000 retweets as of Tuesday evening.
The comments by Wayne, who was born Marion Mitchell Morrison, are nearly 50 years old, but young social media users are only now beginning to learn who he is.
Known as 'Duke,' a nickname he picked up as a boy in Glendale, California, Wayne grew into the star of movies including The Alamo, The Green Beret, and True Grit, for which he won an Academy Award, while portraying the gruff, rugged cowboys and brave soldiers who were his stock in trade.
But his comments to Playboy have tarnished his image in the eyes of many.
'I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.
'I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people,' Wayne told the magazine.
Wayne told Playboy that there was ‘quite a bit of resentment’ among ‘blacks’.
‘But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks.’
Wayne also shared his thoughts about Native Americans.
‘I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them,’ he said.
‘I think we ought to make a deal with the Indians. They should pay as much for Alcatraz as we paid them for Manhattan.
‘I hope they haven't been careless with their wampum.’
When asked if the government should pay reparations to Native Americans, he said: ‘I don't know why the government should give them something that it wouldn't give me.’
Wayne was also asked at the time if Hollywood is doing enough to have diversity.
‘I've directed two pictures and I gave blacks their proper position,’ he said.
‘I had a black slave in The Alamo, and I had a number of blacks in The Green Berets,’ he said.
‘I think the Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far.’
JOHN WAYNE'S CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS FROM INTERVIEW
In a 1971 interview with Playboy magazine, Wayne made several comments that could be deemed offensive about blacks and Native Americans. Below are a few quotes from the interview:
- 'We can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.'
- 'I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that's what you're asking. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.'
- 'When you allow unlawful acts to go unpunished, you're moving toward a government of men rather than a government of law; you're moving toward anarchy. And that's exactly what we're doing. We allow dirty loudmouths to publicly call policemen pigs; we let a fella like William Kunstler make a speech to the Black Panthers saying that the ghetto is theirs, and that if the police come into it, they have a right to shoot them. Why is that dirty, no-good son of a bitch allowed to practice law?'
- 'I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves. Now, I'm not condoning slavery. It's just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and has to wear braces so he can't play football with the rest of us.'
- 'The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically. But some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven't passed the tests and don't have the requisite background.'
Date Posted: Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 , Total Page Views: 2023