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Was John Wayne a racist? Remember the B. Walters interview?

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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:15 PM
Original message
Was John Wayne a racist? Remember the B. Walters interview?
Hi,
On another forum in an unrelated thread, I somehow got into an interesting discussion about John Wayne (film actor, westerns, war films).

Since the Barbara Walters interview with him years ago, I have had the image in my mind that he was a racist. But I don't recall a lot of the actual content of the interview--so I'm hoping someone around DU could help with this. Was he a racist/bigot? How do you know?

I've kind of become obsessed with this since the issue came up. You see, if he wasn't really this way I don't want to continue to harbor negativity that he was something he wasn't if it simply wasn't true.
So if anyone recalls the interview, or any other instances you can think of that point toward clearing his image for me, or checking the bigot box--please let me know!

Thanks!
If nothing else we can have an interesting discussion. :)
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cindyw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. Don't know the answer, but two of his wives were not white.
Edited on Sat Nov-27-04 08:21 PM by cindyw
2nd wife Mexican and 3rd was from South America.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. And the first one was from Nicaragua.n/t
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. Two of his wives were from Mexico
and one was from Peru (his last wife) he seemed to have a real affinity with the latin culture and even spoke spanish. He broke ranks with the right wing and supported President Carter's Panama Canal Treaty even going so far as to say to Ronald Reagan, "Don't talk about something you don't know anything about." As far as his attitudes for other races, I don't know.
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. That really wouldn't leave much for Reagan to talk about
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. LOL!
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rwenos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Lots of Macho Fool SoCal's Like Latina Women
Since, of course, there are so many really knockout ones in Southern California -- pretty ones, smart ones voluptuous ones.

I do think some of the John Wayne types zero in on the passive, take-orders ones. Unfortunately, that type of woman occurs worldwide, of course.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. That's so interesting. Maybe his support of Carter would
suggest that in his later years some of his more staunch views, softened.

As for marrying Latinas'...I don't know if this would say that he was not bigoted toward some other races. Or as another poster suggested that maybe this fed into his ideal of woman as servile in nature--don't know.

Interesting though.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. Okay, just some facts here.
Wife #1 was a Nicaraguan.
Wife #2 was Mexican.
Wife #3 was Peruvian.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here's some opinions from popular media
Chuck D of Public Enemy seems to say he was a racist
From Fight the Power:

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

Although, he may be saying he wants John Wayne to be motherfucked along with Elvis for some different reason. Perhaps Wayne's portrayal of Ghengis Khan. If so, I have to say I'd agree on that.

And then there's yet another opinion of John Wayne from Repo Man:

Miller: John Wayne was a fag.
All: The hell he was!
Miller: He was, too, you boys. I installed two-way mirrors in his pad in Brentwood, and he come to the door in a dress.

To be sure, he may only have been a cross dresser (and voyeur apparently), and not in fact a homosexual.

Well, there you have it. John Wayne, in the people's words.

:)

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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. John Wayne was a fag
Edited on Sat Nov-27-04 08:33 PM by Zensea
whoops someone beat me to it
self delete
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. I don't know whether he was a racist or not, but here is . . .
. . . one person's opinion of John Wayne

<snip>

Why I Hate John Wayne
Volume II Issue 2 Editorial

John Wayne, born with the unfortunate name Marion Morrison, is an American cultural icon. He is not, however, a good actor. He does not lose himself in his roles; rather, his roles lose themselves in him. He played one character over and over again...in his movies and in his life. And that character was a particularly repugnant individual.

My first impression of John Wayne was that he was a clumsier and less intelligent Captain Kirk. His foremost impulse seemed to be to punch anybody he couldn't fuck. Like the Unabomber, he believed that political and social problems can be solved with sudden violence. His moral landscape was charted entirely in black and white; complexity and ambiguity were as alien to him as the heart of Antarctica is to a butterfly.

<link> http://www.xeromag.com/v2i2ed.html

It seems that the John Wayne character personna was largely created by the director John Ford (Stage Coach, Monument Valley, The Searchers and others) which seemed to bring out racist ideals while trying to condem racism. Then there was a quote:

"I dont feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."

John Wayne
Racist, alcoholic, conservative,
All-American, Commie-hating,
Hollywood actor

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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
10. John Wayne was interviewed in May 1971
by Richard Warren Lewis, for Playboy. I'll list a few highlights:

Wayne: I believe in white supremecy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.

Lewis: Are you equiped to judge which blacks are irresponsible and which of their leaders are inexperienced?

Wayne: The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically. ....I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves. .... I wish they'd tell me where in the world they have it better than right here in America.


Lewis: Do you feel any empathy for (Indians)?"

Wayne: I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them ..... the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. .... I'm quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation .... seems to be what the socialists are working for now -- to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave ..... But you can't whine and bellyache 'cause somebody else got a break and you didn't, like those Indians are. We'll all be on a reservation soon if the socialists keep subsidizing groups like them with our tax money."

With these few quotes, I think we can agree that John Wayne was a racist asshole.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Ah, thank you H2O Man! The very first passage that you
cite from the Lewis interview sounds really familiar. This may have been in the Walter's interview. She sometimes reads excerpts from things and asks the person if to comment or elaborate.

All I recall is that whatever he said on Barbara Walters, I was sitting there watching it and something foul came out of his mouth and I thought, "Yuck--what a racist!" Or something like that. LOL! I've been calling him one since and won't see his films under any circumstances.

What a jerk!

Thank you again! :)
Bliss
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. You are certainly welcome!
I keep track of things like that .... so when I read your post, I simply got a book of interviews off a shelf, and thought, "The Duke is just as insulting today as he was 33 years ago!"
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Oh so you have archives, too! LOL!
I love keeping snippets of articles and even full magazines for information like this. We moved this year, so I had to get rid of a lot of mine. :(

Geez--that article must have made Hugh Hefner sick! That or he took a perverse joy in taking down one of the Right Wing dema-gods. The few times I've seen him interviewed he does seem to like that sort of thing. I've always liked that about Playboy. Sure the rw likes to label them along with the rest as porn, but I've never viewed it that way.

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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. They put out books
with collections of the interviews. I think their interviews are as respected as any other journal's.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Oooh, thanks for the tip
I'll look for those at my local bookstore. LOVE their interviews!
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. those quotes are certainly revealing
of his attitudes.
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lgardengate Donating Member (341 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
24. Wow! Didn't know he said that about blacks...
Just goes to show how his generation was raised IMO. John Wayne had plenty of years to outgrow that kind of thinking but i guess it is hard for some people to overcome. I agree with him that America is a great counrty where people can overcome alot.To bad he never overcame some of those outdated opinions.


That said i still like some of his movies.Dosen't mean i endorce his viwes.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. seeking clarification of your comment...
Edited on Sun Nov-28-04 01:26 AM by bliss_eternal
Are you saying that because he married Latin women he was incapable of hating other races?

Are you also saying that J.Wayne's entire generation endorsed hating black people?

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Carl Brennan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
28. Wayne did say he liked Charlie Pride.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #28
36. A huge number of racists
will be able to pick out one "credit to their race" friend. Bush likes Condi Rice. Yet two people I know who dealt with him, who do not say this lightly, say he is racist. Doesn't mean he doesn't like blacks who are registered republicans and can contribute thousands to his cause.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
11. Here's a few quotes of Wayne's that I found
Edited on Sat Nov-27-04 09:19 PM by bliss_eternal


"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be. I was proud when President Nixon ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor, which we should have done long ago, because I think we're helping a brave little country defend herself against Communist invasion. That's what I tried to show in The Green Berets and I took plenty of abuse from the critics."

John Wayne

Edited to remove quotes provided earlier in this thread.
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porkrind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #11
29. Jeebus, what a Koolaid drinking republican
He would fit right in with the current brownshirts. :puke:
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OneTwentyoNine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #11
30. Yet when "brave little countries" were trying to defeat Hitler and Nazism
The Duke decided he didn't want to go,never served a day in WWII.

The main reason was that being gone for 3-4 years would damage his career which was beginning to take off at that time. What a piece of shit and hypocrite when he later made several movies about WWII.
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PROGRESSIVE1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
35. John Wayne is roasting on a spicket in Hell!
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. All three of his wives were Hispanic, so I don't think he was
bigoted. He also wasn't the war hero many made him out to be. He got out of the draft in WWII because he had four children, so he never was in the military that I know of.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #18
26. I'm Curious
Edited on Sun Nov-28-04 01:32 AM by bliss_eternal
if you are saying that because he chose to love Hispanic women (or at least marry them), this means he was incapable of hating other races?

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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #26
34. If we was, I don't know. There seemed not to be any overt bigotry.
I did know his family from wife number one. I was friends in high school with one of Wayne's daughters and I don't remember any of them being bigoted or saying that their father was bigoted. In that generation, there were a lot of attitudes that were acceptable that we are shocked about today. Like Bing Crosby, for instance, was really Daddy Dearest with his kids, but at the time no one thought that the child abuse he meted out wasn't proper discipline.

I can honestly say that most white people were bigoted that I knew back then. However, a lot of it was institutionalized and not acted upon in real life. For instance Black and Hispanic classmates were accepted and involved in all school activities, here in California anyway.

Much of the bigotry was perpetrated by the corporations in their hiring practices and the real estate industry in red-lining neighborhoods. Now I know in the south, it was a different thing. I remember the separate drinking fountains and the segregated street cars on a visit to New Orleans at one time.

My point really was that there was more to talk about in deflating the John Wayne legend, like his military service, than that.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. I appreciate your clarification, thank you
I understand your perspective and the point that you are making. I'm sorry that I just don't really agree.

It's doubtful that biracial children in that day and time would be out telling anyone even if their movie star dad was in fact a racist. I do understand it was a different time. While you may have had some other ethnicities in your school and feel they were included, I would be interested to hear their side of things.

What one sees as a caucasion on the outside of a situation isn't quite the same as being a minority experiencing first hand, even in what is supposed to be the very liberal California. I speak from experience.

I do agree that his military record is something to be looked at in contrast to his political stances. But that really wasn't what I started the topic about. LOL! Just wanted to put my ideas to rest or verify what I thought I remembered--H2O filled in the blanks for me. I think the comments from the interview speak loud and clear on what kind of man he was, despite what day and time it was.

Anyway, I do appreciate your perspective and input. Thanks for clarifying your comments! :hi:

Oh and I also heard those stories about Bing Crosby. Seems that Christina Crawford speaking up about Joan gave some others the freedom to speak up. I felt really bad for the son that wrote the book about Bing. Bing's later children denounced everything he said, because they hadn't experienced those things with the same man. I know it is quite possible for a parent to treat one child very differently than others.

Yikes, blathering on. Sorry about that.
Later,
Bliss
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
21. Wayne hung out with Ray-gun
maybe that will provide more clues....
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Ernesto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
22. IMHO, he was a selfish right wing opportunist
Dumb shit me: I actually tried to pull a grenade pin with my teeth because of him. Almost tore the fuckin' teeth right out of my head. OH yeah, USMC Sgt. Riker of the "Sands of Iwo Jima" movie fame. In reality, the coward was just another stinkin' chicken hawk circa WWII.
In the great tradition of "The duke" & st. ronnie. pres AWOL has continued the gop habit of wrapping himself in the flag while cheer-leading from a safe distance while us fools dish the dirt & take the hits.
"When will they ever learn?"
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lgardengate Donating Member (341 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
23. Wayne was conservative and loved latino women
Whife #3 was also an artist and pretty smart.He has more than a few kids, and had fairly tradishional (SP?) values.I think he was a repub.I remember seeing him at one of the conventions (Rep) on tv.
Not that unusual for his generation.Jimmy Stewart was a conservative repub too.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 02:57 AM
Response to Original message
27. Racist, cowardly, jingoistic, mincing narcissist...
who was actually a better actor than many give him credit for
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bo44 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #27
33. mincing narcissist lol
I noticed the limp wristed, pigeon toed, hip swiveling gait he affected after a fight scene in some of his cowboy movies from the sixties. "You just got your ass beat by a violent femme pardner." is what his posture seems to say. I may be misreading your intended meaning here but that is how I see it.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
31. I still like his movies, tho
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chieftain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
32. The book " John Wayne's America " written by
Gary Wills is an insightful look at not only the Duke but the popular culture which spawned him .
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 04:40 AM
Response to Original message
38. His best role was playing a racist asshole that liked fucking subservient
Latin American women that he married to be his slaves (a little workaround the Emancipation Proclamation). His ONE movie role was utter crap - same thing in EVERY movie - a big, dumb American asshole.





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