April 29, 2016

"Opposing the John Wayne Day resolution is like opposing apple pie, fireworks, baseball, the Free Enterprise system and the Fourth of July!"

Said California state assemblyman Matthew Harper (a Republican), who "sought to declare May 26, 2016, as John Wayne Day to mark the day the actor was born" and encountered opposition:
He had disturbing views towards race," objected Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, leading off a 20-minute debate. Alejo cited a 1971 interview with Playboy in which Wayne [said] "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"....

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, cited his comments defending white Europeans' encroachment on American Indians who Wayne once said "were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."
The article — at Fox5ny — nudged me to assume that we were approaching the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Wayne, which skewed me against the Alejo/Gonzalez position. But I caught myself, Googled for info, found out John Wayne was born in 1907, and must come down against Harper. Let it go. The second-most-liked John Wayne quote at Good Reads is: 
"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."
Think about it, Pilgrim.





For reference, here's the full text of the Playboy interview — PDF. Key passage:

PLAYBOY: But isn't your kind of screen rebellion very different from that of today's young people?

WAYNE: Sure. Mine is a personal rebellion against the monotony of life, against the status quo. The rebellion in these kids—especially in the SDSers and those groups— seems to be a kind of dissension by rote.

PLAYBOY: Meaning what?

WAYNE: Just this: The articulate liberal group has caused certain things in our country, and I wonder how long the young people who read Playboy are going to allow these things to go on. George Putnam, the Los Angeles news analyst, put it quite succinctly when he said, "What kind of a nation is it that fails to understand that freedom of speech and assembly are one thing, and anarchy and treason are quite another, that allows known Communists to serve as teachers to pervert the natural loyalties and ideals of our kids, filling them with fear and doubt and hate and down-grading patriotism and all our heroes of the past?"

PLAYBOY: You blame all this on liberals?

WAYNE: Well, the liberals seem to be quite willing to have Communists teach their kids in school. The Communists realized that they couldn't start a workers' revolution in the United States, since the workers were too affluent and too progressive. So the Commies decided on the next-best thing, and that's to start on the schools, start on the kids. And they've managed to do it. They're already in colleges; now they're getting into high schools. I wouldn't mind if they taught my children the basic philosophy of communism, in theory and how it works in actuality. But I don't want somebody like Angela Davis inculcating an enemy doctrine in my kids' minds.

PLAYBOY: Angela Davis claims that those who would revoke her teaching credentials on ideological grounds are actually discriminating against her because she's black. Do you think there's any truth in that?

WAYNE: With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But 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.

PLAYBOY: Are you equipped to judge which blacks are irresponsible and which of their leaders inexperienced?

WAYNE: It's not my judgment. 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.

PLAYBOY: How do they get that background?

WAYNE: By going to school. I don't know why people insist that blacks have been forbidden their right to go to school. They were allowed in public schools wherever I've been. Even if they don't have the proper credentials for college, there are courses to help them become eligible. But if they aren't academically ready for that step, I don't think they should be allowed in. Otherwise, the academic society is brought down to the lowest common denominator.

PLAYBOY: But isn't it true that we're never likely to rectify the inequities in our educational system until some sort of remedial education is given to disadvantaged minority groups?

WAYNE: What good would it do to register anybody in a class of higher algebra or calculus if they haven't learned to count? There has to be a standard. 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. I will say this, though: I think any black who can compete with a white today can get a better break than a white man. I wish they'd tell me where in the world they have it better than right here in America.

70 comments:

Comanche Voter said...

Well Pilgrim, let it be said that Donald Trump is short on ears and long on mouth.

campy said...

There's a billboard near me apparently encouraging development of perseverance or "grit" in youth. It's a picture of Wayne in western attire with the text "Don't much like quitters, son."

I'm always tempted to graffiti "Keep on smoking" below it.

madAsHell said...

I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.

I'm guessing that he never would have voted for Obama.

You know, for being a former football player, and an actor, Wayne's thoughts are clear, and easily understood.

Lyle Smith said...

Humanity is better off that the United States exists.

chickelit said...

Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne


~Chuck D

Great first date conversation material, eh?

Robert Cook said...

"'I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.'

"I'm guessing that he never would have voted for Obama."


What makes you think Obama is or has been irresponsible? He has done the job he was hired to do. Just because you're not satisfied with the job he has done doesn't mean the people who hired him aren't.

rcocean said...

You can make any public figure look bad by plucking phrases out of context. And the farther back you go the easier it is.

OTOH, who cares about John Wayne day? Or John Wayne anymore? The days of the "white supremacy" in California are gone. The majority are non-white and why should they care about an old dead white male.

If you accept the idea of whites being a minority, then this is one of the side effects.

tim maguire said...

California, which has depended so heavily on the movie industry for a century, should be just fine with a John Wayne Day. Who cares what his politics were? He's not being recognized for his social theorizing, he's being recognized for his status as a cinema icon.

rhhardin said...

Derbyshire says there's lots of black movement out of areas ruled by blacks into areas ruled by whites, and not much of the reverse. White supremecy seems to be preferred. Call it the John Wayne effect.

Two senses in one word gives you a doctrine.

mockturtle said...

It's gotten totally out of hand! Every segment of our culture is now held under the PC microscope. Even history is now 'taught' through the filter of contemporary sensibilities.

tim maguire said...

Robert Cook said...What makes you think Obama is or has been irresponsible?

A cursory review of his record as president. He has betrayed our friends while squandering advantages over our foes. He has looted our treasury to enrich his cronies while impoverishing our nation, leaving it less able to adapt to a changing environment. He has undermined the legitimacy of vital federal bureaucracies and he has ignored our economic woes. He has abused his prerogatives to live like a king without a thought to the effects of his actions on the citizenry.

Of course you don't see how he's irresponsible. You're as short-sighted and irresponsible as he is.

rhhardin said...

The John Wayne School a' Elocution.

Robert Cook said...

"Even history is now 'taught' through the filter of contemporary sensibilities."

History is always taught through the filter of contemporary sensibilities.

Robert Cook said...

"A cursory review of his record as president. He has betrayed our friends while squandering advantages over our foes. He has looted our treasury to enrich his cronies while impoverishing our nation, leaving it less able to adapt to a changing environment. He has undermined the legitimacy of vital federal bureaucracies and he has ignored our economic woes. He has abused his prerogatives to live like a king without a thought to the effects of his actions on the citizenry.

"Of course you don't see how he's irresponsible. You're as short-sighted and irresponsible as he is."


Well, Obama has hardly lived like a king; he has, of course, lived like all our Presidents live.

As for your litany of complaints, what makes you believe he wasn't hired to do those very things you complain of? He wasn't hired to help the citizenry, in case you are under that misconception; he was hired to further enrich the wealthy elites who own and run this country.

I deplore Obama's presidency--I never voted for him--because, despite his "for the people" rhetoric, he has, from the beginning, been openly a servant of Wall Street, the big banks, and the wealthy elites generally. This does not mean I think he hasn't done the job he was hired to do. He just wasn't hired to do the job you think he was hired to do.

Our presidents do not serve us and are not hired by us; presidents are hired by the owners of the country to manage their holdings.

cubanbob said...

Having read the excerpt I fail to see where Wayne was factually wrong. If the Democrat run inner city schools were any good would AA be needed to handicap the admission?

cubanbob said...

"Our presidents do not serve us and are not hired by us; presidents are hired by the owners of the country to manage their holdings."

RC I'm a one percenter and I haven't received my shares certificate of ownership in this country and no, I'm not stupid enough to have selected Obama as a steward of my wealth. But then again, I earn my money lawfully and ethically unlike the Clinton's or Obama's for example.

gspencer said...

Seems more like Pilgrim-phobia to me.

Roy Lofquist said...

John Wayne a racist?

"Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. He was fluent in Spanish and his three wives, each of Hispanic descent, were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wayne

tim in vermont said...

Reaction to the headline : Um,yeah.

Hagar said...

Seems like the comment quoted was more about how the public school systems are operated than about any perceived genetic inferiority in Black people.

FullMoon said...

Seems appropriate to contrast JW's idea of competence and responsibility with riots and vandalism outside of Trumps California appearance.

Fernandinande said...

I believe in Asian supremacy until the whites are educated to a point of responsibility.

'Cuz: In math, 47% of Asian students performed at or above proficiency. So did 32% of white students, 12% of Hispanic students and 7% of black students.

Just for shits and grins: 32% of white students have IQ's higher than 107. Using an online Gaussian calculator and adjusting the average to match those percentages gives:
Asian: Avg IQ=106
White: 100
Mestizos: 89.5
Black: 85
What a complete coincidence that the values very closely match those obtained from various g-loaded tests - IQ, SAT, etc.

BDNYC said...

Rep. Harper has unwittingly set into motion the renaming of the airport in Orange County.

BDNYC said...

John Wayne had a taste for Latinas, though. That's got to count for something.

coupe said...

There should be a John Wayne day. It should be the day the city picks up big garbage from the sidewalk.

Robert Cook said...

"RC I'm a one percenter and I haven't received my shares certificate of ownership in this country...."

You're not rich enough, Cubanbob. Maybe if you were in the 1% of the 1% and were the CEO of one of the big banks or Goldman Sachs, etc., you might be in on the decision-making and the ill-gotten profits.

mikee said...

Wait - there is still a Republican member of the California Legislature? Who knew?

hawkeyedjb said...

John Wayne was just taking his cues from Woodrow Wilson and the other progressives.

jaydub said...

My favorite John Wayne quote came from a role he played - SGT Stryker in The Sands of Iwo Jima. Stryker, in counseling a young marine said, "Life's tough, but it's a lot tougher when you're stupid." That insight would also apply to the state government of California. The young marine eventually got it, but California never will. Pity!

Birkel said...

Robert Cook wants policy outcomes only a Leviathan State can provide and decries all the predictable results of consolidated power.

Robert Cook is deranged.

tim maguire said...

Robert Cook said...As for your litany of complaints, what makes you believe he wasn't hired to do those very things you complain of?

He wasn't "hired" to do the bidding of the rich and powerful, however satisfied they might be with the service they've received. He was voted in by tens of millions of Americans because they thought he would fix all those things you agree with me he hasn't fixed. And even if you were right that he was hired by insiders, that doesn't address the claim that he is irresponsible.

I'm please to hear you are no more enamored by Obama than I am.

Well, Obama has hardly lived like a king; he has, of course, lived like all our Presidents live.

You obviously haven't paid much attention to Obama's travel habits.

jdniner said...

Watch "The Searchers"

jdniner said...

People need to not time travel into the past with their modern biases. Words don't mean the same things they meant 20 years ago. Gandhi was as racist as they grow. I read stuff from spiritual leaders in the 30's and it is some jaw dropping ignorance laced in with eye opening wisdom's. A combination of accepted culture and personal growth. Distillation of important traditions is wise. What is the good John Wayne did? Was he that negatively different from anyone of his era?

A cell phone, A TV, a subway steak sandwich, a safe neighborhood, and a good job are signs that you are living the life of a king or queen. Brought to you by your own history and good karma.

tim in vermont said...

I don't get this cult of "The Searchers" Somebody told me it was great, so I watched it. I don't get it if it is a great movie.

exhelodrvr1 said...

He gave a very thoughtful answer, and made valid points. Looking at what sub-Sahara Africa has gone through, it's obvious that giving power to groups that, on the whole, are not prepared for it, usually results in disaster.

prairie wind said...

My favorites are The Cowboys or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

buwaya said...

Yes, John Wayne certainly did like the Latinas.
There was quite a Hispanic-Latin fashion at the time, though I don't know if this had anything to do with it.
All three of them, btw, were white by any standard.
I recall the fairly frequent appearance of Wayne and family in "Hola" back in the day - with his last wife I think.
Though pretty enough, none were really movie-star beauties, though a couple were actresses.
Also something I hadn't realized was that Wayne had seven children. Good for him.
Wayne was also - as we see - very well spoken. An intelligent, thoughtful, well-educated man.

Robert Cook said...

"He wasn't 'hired' to do the bidding of the rich and powerful, however satisfied they might be with the service they've received. He was voted in by tens of millions of Americans because they thought he would fix all those things you agree with me he hasn't fixed."

Oh, but he was hired to do the bidding of the rich and powerful, (as all presidents are)...just look at all the old Washington hands and Wall Street execs who served in his first cabinet. Americans were duped by Obama's "hope and change" rhetoric, which was was all just advertising...propaganda. Obama never intended to fix all the things people assumed he would fix.

Obama's betrayal of the people in favor of the country's owners was revealed before he was elected:

After the revelations of the telecoms evesdropping on American citizens--(this is the earlier, now forgotten scandal that preceded the later, larger scandal, revealed by American Hero Edward Snowden, of the NSA's comprehensive spying on all electronic communications of all of us)--there was great hue and cry and a revised FISA Courts law was devised that would allegedly deal with the problem. However, this revised law gave greater prerogative to the government to evesdrop before seeking warrants from the FISA courts than the previous law allowed, and it provided retroactive protection to the telecoms against any legal actions against them for violating evesdropping laws by cooperating with the government. Obama, as candidate, opposed these provisions, and said he would not only vote against the revised FISA law if it contained these changes, but he would actively support a filibuster against it. However, when the law did come up for a vote, Obama voted for it without a peep. He said that, "after he was elected," they could go back and "fix" a lot of things.

They never went back to "fix" anything, and the new FISA law passed, indemnifying the telecoms against consequences of their criminal acts, and it gave the government the greater freedom to apply wiretaps before seeking warrants.

Anyone paying attention--as I was--could only conclude: if Obama the candidate was so willing to betray his promises to his supporters before winnning the election, so certain of their support that he knew he could betray his promise without raising the danger he would, thereby, lose votes, what inhibitions would Obama as President face in similarly betraying his promises made as candidate, or even as President?

Obama was a con from the start. He's a smart guy, a smooth talker, and therefore perfect to carry out the wishes of the wealthy elites while fooling so many working people into thinking he was working for them.

buwaya said...

"History is always taught through the filter of contemporary sensibilities."

I went to Catholic schools. No, history isn't always taught through the filter of contemporary sensibilities. And an intelligent teacher won't do it that way anyway.

buwaya said...

"Obama was a con from the start. He's a smart guy, a smooth talker, and therefore perfect to carry out the wishes of the wealthy elites while fooling so many working people into thinking he was working for them."

It is a very rare day on which we agree. I have no quibble with anything in your last post. This is disturbing.

buwaya said...

On John Wayne movies -
Just to note that while he did very well in "True Grit", the later remake by the Bros. Coen is a better movie and much closer to the book, in plot, language and atmosphere.
The book should be required reading in the high schools btw.

Mark said...

File John Wayne under: things people younger than the Baby Boomers don't care about or feel any great fondness for.

Sorry, your cultural icons are dated and boring. Also, racist

Robert Cook said...

"No, history isn't always taught through the filter of contemporary sensibilities. And an intelligent teacher won't do it that way anyway."

It's unavoidable: we cannot have any other but contemporary sensibilities.

buwaya said...

"It's unavoidable: we cannot have any other but contemporary sensibilities."

Mine aren't contemporary in your meaning of the term.
I am a leftover from the 17th century, at best, by your standards.

The business about contemporary sensibilities is a pretty parochial thing.

Joe said...

John Wayne was an unbearable, shitty actor.

The Godfather said...

Wayne potrayed the American Hero in almost every movie, and he did so very well. I no more care about his political views than I care about the political views of Henry Fonda, Ed Asner, or Barbra Streisand. God! Why must we so politicize everything?

Don't you think it's the liberals' fault?

Fabi said...

"...ill-gotten profits." You crack me up, Cookie!

p.s., I'm probably in the top ten percent of the one percent and I don't have a stock certificate either -- what's up with that? Is there a number I should call, Robert? Thanks in advance!

buwaya said...

"Don't you think it's the liberals' fault?"

Depends. What was John Wilkes Booth?
Actors (or playwrights, etc.) with political opinions and agendas goes back to the Greeks.

The Godfather said...

Buways said: "What was John Wilkes Booth?"

Traitor.

Next question.

buwaya said...

Sadly, I'm not even in the top 2%.
I'm going to have to consult Orwell again about my class status.
I'm probably in one of those uncomfortable ones.

buwaya said...

But was he a liberal or conservative traitor?

Mark Caplan said...

All of John Wayne's wives were Mexican Indios. That doesn't sound very racist, or, if it is, it's anti-white, which is considered a virtue. But the main thing in defense of John Wayne was he didn't cut Natalie Wood's throat even though she had had sexual relations with a Comanche.

buwaya said...

"All of John Wayne's wives were Mexican Indios."

No they weren't. Go have a look.

#1 Was a Panamanian daughter of immigrants from Spain.
#2 Was a white Mexican - most certainly not an India.
#3 Was Peruvian and also white.

Dave in Tucson said...

John Wayne's true sin in the eyes of the left is that he was an outspoken Republican. These few controversial quotes they trot out against him are mere targets of convenience, and not true issues of importance.

Remember what Biden said about Obama? "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy". If a Republican politician had said that, his career would be over at that moment. But because Biden is a Democrat, he issues a non-apology apology ("sorry if anyone was offended") and he's picked for the VP slot.

Michael K said...

"What makes you think Obama is or has been irresponsible? He has done the job he was hired to do."

Yes, many of his voters wanted to destroy the country and try another way, like bringing Mexico and Syria here to teach us how to be successful.

Real American said...

The Democrat Party was founded by slave owners, supported the Confederacy, Jim Crow and the KKK. Nothing much has changed in the party since then except instead of hating blacks, it hates whites. Can we ban this awful racist and vile hate group now?

coupe said...

The trouble with John Wayne, was he was an errand boy for Joe McCarthy.

Michael K said...

"he was an errand boy for Joe McCarthy."

It sounds like everybody you disagree with was an errand boy for McCarthy. Wayne was one of the actors in Hollywood who was not a communist during the war. They were mostly writers but some actors were as well and they dominated the unions. Read a couple of books sometime. "Red Star over Hollywood" is a good place to start.

coupe said...

During the depression there was no money, and no way to borrow money. You could starve and wait for capitalism to recover, or you could abandon it. Personally, I think communism was a Utopian thing. Long before communism would even be possible, you'd have to have socialism running on all eight cylinders.

The problem with socialism, is that capitalists own the police and military. The Soviets fixed this by killing all the military officers and police. This was a failure on the part of American communists.

Alas, America found a middle ground of letting the capitalists keep their power by giving them a Bank, while taxing the peasants to provide the socialism they desired.

Meanwhile, the communists had to be dealt with, and they hired people like John Wayne to run them out of Hollywood, and others to run them out of the country.

The war provided the backdrop for the new superpower, and it was going to be a capitalist superpower, with American money being traded in the dark corners of every imperialist haunt.

The world hates us, and John Wayne was a tool in all that.

coupe said...

When John Wayne's wife was asked if she fell in love with him for his toupee, she said:

"No, No, a woman doesn't fall in love with a man for his hair, she falls in love with the lump in his pants!"

"You mean his junk?"

"No, No, his wallet!"

Oso Negro said...

It is pleasant to be reminded that clear thinking people in the early 1970s could see what was happening and foresee its likely consequences.

jaydub said...

I'm worried about Coupe. He shows signs of koolaid poisoning.

tim in vermont said...

Wayne sounds just like Atticus Finch in "Go Set a Watchman" Same argument.

tim in vermont said...

Jaydub, It's funny what feels like thinking to some people. I would call his post "motivated analysis." It's obvious that socialism would work if everyone would stop conspiring against it, right?

The Godfather said...

@buwaya: You ask what kind of traitor John Wilkes Boothe was, liberal or conservative. Answer: Democrat.

Rusty said...

coupe said...
During the depression there was no money, and no way to borrow money. You could starve and wait for capitalism to recover, or you could abandon it.

A lot of that was by design of the FDR administration. You complain about capitalism, but it has always worked wherever it is attempted. I'll let you guess the reason for that.

Rusty said...

Blogger tim in vermont said...
I don't get this cult of "The Searchers" Somebody told me it was great, so I watched it. I don't get it if it is a great movie.

It is. I think so anyway. It's one of John Fords best. A great example of the western film genre.

PW Mine too.

coupe said...

Rusty said...You complain about capitalism, but it has always worked wherever it is attempted.

I'm not complaining (really). I was talking about a period in the countries history.

From 1929 to 1934 Capitalism didn't work. Some people started thinking about alternatives.

Those people suffered when the Capitalists created the National Bank, and Congress began paying interest. The socialists and communists had to run for their lives, or submit to the new world order.

Rusty said...


"From 1929 to 1934 Capitalism didn't work"

It was prevented from doing so. The progressive fix was in and it dragged the country down.

The Godfather said...

Amen Rusty!