John Wayne: I Believe In White Supremacy-Correct Attribution!
Summary of eRumor:
John Wayne said in a 1971 interview with Playboy magazine that he believes in white supremacy and that he didn’t feel sorry for Native Americans losing their land because they had “selfishly” been trying to keep it for themselves.
It’s true that John Wayne made these remarks in a 1971 interview with Playboy, but some of them have been taken out of context over the years.
John Wayne made the statements about white supremacy and Native Americans during a far-reaching interview that covered everything from the movie business, communism, liberals and race relations.
The conversation shifted when the interviewer asked John Wayne if his “screen rebellion” was different from the rebellion of the day’s young people. The led to discussion about “a kind of dissension by rote” and liberals letting communists teaching their kids in school.
When the interview commented about Angel Davis stating that revoking her teaching credentials on ideological grounds was actually discrimination because she’s black, Wayne made the now infamous statement about white supremacy, according to a transcript of the interview:
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
When pressed about whether Wayne would be equipped to make those types of judgments, he expanded:
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.
When asked how black people could the “background” they need to succeed in college, Wayne replied:
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.
…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.
So, it’s true that John Wayne said he believed in white supremacy. But he said that it was because white people had historically had more educational opportunities than black people and implied that the so-called imbalance would change over time as black people became more educated.
Then, when the conversation turned to Native Americans, and the fact that they often played a “subordinate” role in John Wayne’s westerns, the actor replied:
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.
When asked if Native Americans were rightful owners of the land, Wayne replied:
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.
So, it’s true that John Wayne made these controversial remarks about black people and Native Americans in a 1971 Playboy interview.