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"....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:
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."
"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.