California Lawmakers Reject Proposal for Day Honoring White Supremacist John Wayne

Recommended Videos

Yes, everyone’s a little bit problematic. But there’s problematic, and then there’s “heck yeah, white supremacy,” and iconic American actor John Wayne was the latter. In light of his odious politics, California lawmakers voted 35-20 this week against commemorating Wayne with an official day in his honor.

Assemblyman Matthew Harper introduced the bill, proposing that May 26th, 2016what would have been the late actor’s 109th birthdaybe designated “John Wayne Day” in California. According to The Washington Post, Harper proposed the resolution to “keep up with” a John Wayne day held in Texas last year. The Assemblyman also represents the Orange Country district that contains John Wayne Airport.

Assemblyman Luis Alejo objected to the bill on the grounds that Wayne “had disturbing views towards race,” specifically citing a 1971 Playboy interview with Wayne in which the actor proclaimed “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.” In the same interview, Wayne also argued

I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from [Native people], 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.

In his written statement in defense of the bill, Harper wrote “opposing the John Wayne Day resolution is like opposing apple pie, fireworks, baseball, the Free Enterprise system and the Fourth of July!”

Although I suspect California’s decision will led to accusations of “political correctness run amok!,” it’s not like Wayne isn’t being celebrated elsewhere; the man still has an airport named after him. Said airport still has a nine-foot-tall statue in his image. Fans of his films or people appreciative of the work the John Wayne Cancer Foundation does can still access those aspects of his legacy.

By rejecting this proposition, lawmakers aren’t revoking anyone’s rights to appreciate aspects of Wayne’s lifethey’re just declining to further celebrate an individual who used his considerable celebrity to vocally espouse the mistreatment of many Americans.

(via Fusion)

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Follow The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google+.


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article ‘The Try Guys’ Announce Launch of New Streaming Service, Confirm Eugene’s Exit
Eugene Lee Yang, Zach Kornfeld, and Keith Habersberger from 'The Try Guys'
Read Article The Best LEGO Technic Sets, Ranked by How Much They’ll Impress Those Construction Workers Outside
LEGO Technic crane.
Read Article The 13 Best LEGO ‘Star Wars’ Helmets Currently Available in 2024
An Imperial officer, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia in A New Hope.
Read Article 13 Best LEGO ‘Minecraft’ Sets for 2024 To Prove to Your Little Cousins That You’re Cool
A player with a sword rides a horse while Villagers look on in "Minecraft"
Read Article The Best LEGO Car Sets for 2024 To Impress the Hotties, Ranked
A LEGO Corvette.
Related Content
Read Article ‘The Try Guys’ Announce Launch of New Streaming Service, Confirm Eugene’s Exit
Eugene Lee Yang, Zach Kornfeld, and Keith Habersberger from 'The Try Guys'
Read Article The Best LEGO Technic Sets, Ranked by How Much They’ll Impress Those Construction Workers Outside
LEGO Technic crane.
Read Article The 13 Best LEGO ‘Star Wars’ Helmets Currently Available in 2024
An Imperial officer, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia in A New Hope.
Read Article 13 Best LEGO ‘Minecraft’ Sets for 2024 To Prove to Your Little Cousins That You’re Cool
A player with a sword rides a horse while Villagers look on in "Minecraft"
Read Article The Best LEGO Car Sets for 2024 To Impress the Hotties, Ranked
A LEGO Corvette.
Author