John Wayne, Great Actor, Terrible Human Being

When I was a small child, John Wayne was one of the greatest celebrities in the world. He has been dead for decades, but his movies remain as his legacy. Sadly, he was also an incredibly blind and arrogant bigot.

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/johnwayne/indians.asp

Wayne’s World


Claim:   John Wayne once said that the taking of land from Native Americans was justifiable because “there were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”

TRUE

Origins:   In 1971 John Wayne, the iconic movie star who had “charged the beaches at Iwo Jima, beaten back the Indians at Fort Apache, and often bloodied his fists in the name of frontier justice” was at the height of his popularity: Having appeared in over 200 films to date, he’d been listed among Hollywood’s top ten box-office attractions for two decades straight, had just won a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn (the “fearless, one-eyed U.S. marshal who never knew a dry day in his life”) in True Grit, and had garnered impressive ratings with his star-studded John Wayne’s Tribute to America NBC television special.

In that moment, Playboy magazine interviewed the Western film legend (with the results published in their May 1971 issue) and found that his reputation for being archly conservative in his politics was true to the man himself, not just to the characters he played on the silver screen.

Particularly, Wayne was unsparingly unsympathetic to the plight of real Native Americans (still termed “Indians” in the parlance of the times) who had been portrayed as adversaries in so many of this films, expressing his viewpoint that they deserved whatever misfortunes had befallen them, and that modern Americans bore no responsibility for addressing wrongs done to Native Americans by previous generations:

PLAYBOY: For years American Indians have played an important — if subordinate — role in your Westerns. Do you feel any empathy with them?

WAYNE: I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that’s what you’re asking. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.

PLAYBOY: Weren’t the Indians — by virtue of prior possession — the rightful owners of the land?

WAYNE: Look, I’m sure there have been inequalities. If those inequalities are presently affecting any of the Indians now alive, they have a right to a court hearing. But what happened 100 years ago in our country can’t be blamed on us today.

PLAYBOY: Indians today are still being dehumanized on reservations.

WAYNE: I’m quite sure that the concept of a government-run reservation would have an ill effect on anyone. But that seems to be what the socialists are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave.

PLAYBOY: Indians on reservations are more neglected than cared for. Even if you accept the principle of expropriation, don’t you think a more humane solution to the Indian problem could have been devised?

WAYNE: This may come as a surprise to you, but I wasn’t alive when reservations were created — even if I do look that old. I have no idea what the best method of dealing with the Indians in the 1800s would have been. Our forefathers evidently thought they were doing the right thing.

PLAYBOY: How do you feel about the government grant for a university and cultural center that these Indians [occupying Alcatraz] have demanded as “reparations”?

WAYNE: What happened between their forefathers and our forefathers is so far back — right, wrong or indifferent — that I don’t see why we owe them anything. I don’t know why the government should give them something that it wouldn’t give me.

Read this:  https://dalehusband.com/2010/08/03/white-americans-need-to-grow-up/

Now I will quote from Wayne again in red italics and respond directly to his ludicrous statements in green italics.

I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that’s what you’re asking. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.

What evidence is there that millions of white people would have died if they had not grabbed all that land they took from the Native Americans?

Look, I’m sure there have been inequalities. If those inequalities are presently affecting any of the Indians now alive, they have a right to a court hearing. But what happened 100 years ago in our country can’t be blamed on us today.
It is not about blaming the present white people for the atrocities of the past, it is acknowledging that white people (myself included) today are still benefiting from what was done 100 or 200 years ago.

I’m quite sure that the concept of a government-run reservation would have an ill effect on anyone. But that seems to be what the socialists are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave.

Absolute bullshit, the idea that something being run badly should be done away with completely rather than improved. And a government of the people, by the people and for the people SHOULD be expected to care for the people! Anyone who disagrees with that is a BASTARD! And government run institutions actually can be run BETTER than private ones, if this is any indication: https://dalehusband.com/2014/11/05/the-ultimate-discrediting-of-libertarianism/
This may come as a surprise to you, but I wasn’t alive when reservations were created — even if I do look that old. I have no idea what the best method of dealing with the Indians in the 1800s would have been. Our forefathers evidently thought they were doing the right thing.
Just because delusions were popular centuries ago does not mean we should perpertuate them forever. And note what I said earlier about present day vs past white people.

What happened between their forefathers and our forefathers is so far back — right, wrong or indifferent — that I don’t see why we owe them anything. I don’t know why the government should give them something that it wouldn’t give me.

Again, it is not about what was done in the past, but what is happening now as a result of what was done in the past. And the government has a responsibility to give back some of what was stolen or at least compensate for the losses.  If I as an individual steal from another individual, I cannot justify it many years later by saying, “The other person was selfishly holding on to the items I wanted. Why should I pay him back or go to jail after all this time?”  And it is the same for governments and races, even centuries later!
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3 thoughts on “John Wayne, Great Actor, Terrible Human Being

  1. Pingback: The Louisiana “Purchase” | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

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