Did John Wayne Really Say That & Should His Statue Be Torn Down?
When I first saw the headline of the California Democratic Party demanding the removal of a John Wayne Statue from the Orange County Airport I said to myself here we go again. Before making a judgment from the headline as many people who read my pieces do I read the piece and researched their statements of what they claim John Wayne said.
I determined it is not just another case of the Democratic Party and their want of the total destruction of our history. I found many articles commenting on what John Wayne said in a wide-ranging interview with Playboy magazine. The following questions and quotes come pages 7 and 8 of that 1971 Playboy interview:
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.
The printed interview is 23 pages long and I would suggest you read it in context. That being said those are certainly quite shocking comments made by John Wayne.
In a February 20, 2019 article published in Fox News the family of John Wayne stated via a statement given to Fox News:
“We hope America remembers John Wayne as we do: a devoted family man, great friend and cherished actor on the big screen, as well as for his continuing work to find a cure for cancer through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the John Wayne Cancer Institute...It’s unfair to judge someone on something that was written that he said nearly 50 years ago when the person is no longer here to respond...Regardless of color, ethnicity or sexual preference, [our] father taught us to treat all people the same, with respect.”
In December 2018, Wayne’s youngest son, Ethan Wayne, President of John Wayne Enterprises, told Fox News he was aware of negative statements made against his father due to his racist remarks. He insisted Wayne’s beliefs have been misunderstood over the years, he stated:
“He wanted to work with people who earned their place...He didn’t think anybody should get a job because he was a man, because she was a woman, because they were gay, because they were straight, because they were Chinese, African-American or Mexican. He thought you should get a job because you were the right person to do that job. Because you had skill and talent and you would show up and get the job done. He didn’t care what you were”
His son went on to say:
“Somebody, a Latina representative up in Sacramento, shot down a bill for John Wayne Day because he was racist. [But] he was married to three Latin women. It’s just crazy how things get blown out of proportion because he was really an open, caring, loyal, supportive man.”
Interesting that he was married to three Latin women.
What do you think, should his statue be removed from the Orange County Airport in light of what he said 50 years ago?