The lunacy is escalating. Not even John Wayne’s personal opinions are safe.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt and Francis Scott Key’s statutes are destined for the scrap heap.
The leftist radicals are on a mission to eradicate as many symbols of America as possible, including our National Anthem. It’s madness taken to a whole new level.
Where is our Congress in stopping the havoc or enforcing laws currently on the books? Oh, they’re fighting among themselves or ginning-up new accusations against President Trump.
In the meantime, cities burn, statues toppled, riots destroy public and private property, and “revisionist history” is becoming more acceptable in the media, entertainment industry and academia.
Now, motion picture icon, John Wayne, has come under the censor’s scrutiny. Not for any racist conduct he may have allegedly committed, but for exposing his own beliefs regarding certain historical events.
According to the Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2020, California’s Orange County Democratic Party recently passed an emergency resolution condemning remarks Wayne made in a 1971 Playboy interview as “racist and bigoted statements.” Also, they are requesting the Orange County Board of Supervisors restore the name to the Orange County Airport from the present John Wayne International Airport.
Ada Briceno, Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County commented “There have been past efforts to get this done and now we’re putting our name and our backing into this to make sure there is a name change.”
Drafters of the resolution, including Briceno, believe erasing Wayne’s name is part of “a national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names [that are] reshaping American institutions, monuments, businesses, nonprofits, sports leagues and teams.”
Since there is a statue of John Wayne at the airport, it has to come down, too, as well as other likenesses of the film legend.
In the 1971 Playboy interview, Wayne said “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”
While not condoning slavery, he didn’t personally agonize over it — “I don’t feel guilty about the fact five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves.”
I’ll admit, Wayne’s comments are difficult to accept in today’s p.c. culture. Such brashness is not often heard or reported, except when the press decides it is necessary. But since he is no longer around to defend or explain or apologize for his statements, the left seems determined to dredge-up old interviews (49 years ago) to justify their convoluted reasoning of today.
Even more disturbing is not what Wayne may have felt or said regarding his beliefs on any particular subject, but that he is being judged for his nonconforming opinions. Anyone should be free to think what they may about anything without fear of being tagged with an offensive label. However, when thoughts evolve into actions, then the public’s right to complain may be valid.
Wayne’s lengthy career was primarily focused toward the general audience, with scripts and dialogue mostly profanity free. Families could view his films without fear of running toward the exits to escape abusive language or sexually explicit scenes. I don’t recall the “g.d.” or “f” word was ever uttered in any of his movies.
Wayne wasn’t a politician or smooth-talking community organizer. He was simply an actor and entertainer with his own views toward certain topics. To denigrate him for this, instead of recognizing his many contributions to society, further exposes the maliciousness of today’s woke political generation.
If Democrats really wanted to dig-up ancient history, they could expose the racist activities of one of their own — former Dem. West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd. During his 51-year tenure in Congress, Byrd was the Democrat’s senate majority leader, senate minority leader, and senate president pro tempore. He was a pro-segregationist and filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Obviously, for many years an individual of importance and authority. He was also, at one time, a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Byrd died in 2010.
Unlike Sen. Byrd, John Wayne never pledged allegiance to the KKK. Because Byrd was an influential Democrat, the same rules don’t apply. No one is talking about taking down his statues or renaming numerous places, buildings, hospitals, health centers, transportation projects, highway bridges, sports centers, schools, etc.
For a lengthy inventory of Byrd’s recognized tributes and taxpayer funded “pork” projects, google “List of places named after Robert Byrd” and Wikipedia will produce an itemized account of several dozen items and locations.
Columnist Mike Bibb lives in Safford.