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John Wayne Day Rejected, California Lawmakers Take Issue with Late Actor’s Racist Comments

Fox 5 NY

John Wayne (Fox 5 NY)

California state lawmakers have denied the creation of John Wayne Day, citing his racist comments.

The Associated Press reports Republican State Assemblyman Matthew Harper wanted to mark Wayne’s birthdate of May 26 as an ode to him. The dedication was to take place this year.

Several members of the state assembly described Wayne’s comments  about racial minorities during his lifetime. They also pointed out his association with the House Un-American Activities Committee and John Birch Society, both anti-communist groups.

The 20-minute debate over the resolution started as Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo objected to Wayne’s “disturbing views towards race.”

He referred to a 1971 Playboy interview where the “True Grit” actor spoke badly about 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,” he told the magazine.

Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gipson said he took offense to the remarks as a Black man.

Harper’s proposal was voted against 35 to 20. He called the act “the orthodoxy of political correctness.”

Later, Harper said in a statement that “opposing the John Wayne Day resolution is like opposing apple pie, fireworks, baseball, the Free Enterprise system and the Fourth of July!”

John Wayne was born Marion Morrison in Winterset, Iowa in 1907. He was a symbol of the American West. The actor rose to fame starring in many Western and war films from the 1930s to the 1970s. He was also known for his politically conservative views. His 1960s movies, “The Alamo” and “The Green Berets” showed his conservatism. Wayne produced, directed and starred in both films, according to History.

The actor, who died in 1979 at age 72, had unevolved feelings about Hollywood diversity. He spoke about casting Blacks in his conservative films.

“I’ve directed two pictures and I gave the blacks their proper position. I had a black slave in ‘The Alamo,’ and I had a correct number of blacks in ‘The Green Berets,’ ” he told Playboy. “If it’s supposed to be a black character, naturally I use a black actor. But I don’t go so far as hunting for positions for them.”

He continued, saying “I think the Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far. There’s no doubt that 10 percent of the population is black, or colored, or whatever they want to call themselves; they certainly aren’t Caucasian.”

What people are saying

6 thoughts on “John Wayne Day Rejected, California Lawmakers Take Issue with Late Actor’s Racist Comments

  1. David Penny…How is it a disparaging when Wayne basically said what you're saying? And black people, Wayne was a right-wing conservative. Why are we acting surprised? Penny has a point, this was the default mentality of the average white male American of Wayne's time. Let's stop being naive and stop looking for love in all the wrong places.

  2. Corey Dorsey says:

    David Penny Well former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hassert, molested kids like 30 or 40 years ago. When he dies it'll be cool to put a statue of him in the capital because of his leadership as the longest runnng Speaker. After all, people not speaking up about sexual abuse was a part of those times back then. We can't hold what he did then to today's standards. Let's just focus on the good instead.

    Now does that make sesne to you?

  3. David Penny says:

    It is impossible to speak logic to this group, I am done trying…keep living in your fantasy world. Good bye

  4. David Penny just because it was accepted then does not make it right. Yes we can hold him to certain standards. The standards of this time were standards of those times. It's just that white people, europeans, anglo saxons "or whatever they want to call themselves" were oppressive to groups of folks unlike themselves, blacks, those native and indigenous to the Americas and even to the Irish and Greeks. Right is right and wrong is wrong. We're all human beings.

  5. LOL I just said that. Didn't read your post first. He loved him some sweet Milk Chocolate and ethnic features though. Did it to mask his affinity for women with MELANIN in their skin.

  6. Tobias Houpe says:

    David Penny I don't think you know the meaning of logic, since you've been unsuccessful at attempting to make use of it. LOL Good riddens.

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