“Forgotten Hollywood”- John Wayne Takes a Beating…

Posted on April 29, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… John-Wayne-Caricature--93188

   What a California lawmaker intended as an innocent  resolution honoring a movie icon of the past turned into an emotional debate over decades-old defamatory comments. The State Assembly defeated a resolution in honor of The Duke, after a few legislators described statements he made about racial minorities, plus his unwavering support for decisions made by the House Un-American Activities Committee and John Birch Society.  JOHN WAYNE ->

   Assemblyman Luis Alejo of Watsonville cited a 1971 interview with Playboy Magazine in which Wayne talked disparagingly about people of color. According to the interview, he 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.

   Assemblyman Mike Gipson of Carson, an African American, found John Wayne’s interview personally offensive. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego also cited his comments defending European encroachment on American Indians, who Wayne once candidly surmised: Were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.

   The resolution fell on a 35-20 vote. ACR137 was created in response to a Texas resolution commemorating Wayne’s birthday a year ago. One reaction to the defeat of the bill:

Opposing the John Wayne Day resolution is like opposing apple pie, fireworks, baseball, a Free Enterprise system, and the Fourth of July!

2-john-wayne.04.17.78_sml   Wayne was a major cinematic star, with iconic roles in Red RiverShe Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio BravoThe Alamo, The Green Beret, The Shootist, and True Grit, for which he won an Academy Award, while portraying rugged cowboys and brave soldiers who were his stock in trade. Assemblyman Matthew Harper of Huntington Beach sought to declare May 26th, 2016, as John Wayne Day to mark the day the actor was born. He represents the legislative district that includes John Wayne Airport in Orange County. The airport was renamed after the actor’s passing in 1979. Several lawmakers supported the resolution, recalling Wayne as an American hero, and whose family created a namesake cancer foundation after his death.

   Wayne is the latest deceased white icon to recently come under attack. President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner, Indian fighter, and the politician who led the opposition against the creation of paper money, is being removed from the face of the $20 bill. And, Princeton University recently announced that former President Woodrow Wilson’s name will remain on its public policy school despite calls to remove it because he was an avowed segregationist.

   Sometimes, Hollywood finds itself in the cross-hairs of Americana.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

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