'John Wayne was not a racist,' son says amid calls to take identify and statue down at California airport

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John Wayne, pictured in 1966, gave a controversial interview with Playboy in 1971. (Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Late actor John Wayne’s household is defending him amid requires his identify and a statue of him to be faraway from a California airport.

“I believe in white supremacy,” Wayne informed the journal. “I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.” He used a homophobic slur and stated he didn’t really feel badly for land having been taken from Native Americans.

TMZ, in which he argued his father, who died in 1979 at the age of 72, was not a racist. In fact, the younger Wayne said that if the Shootist star were alive, he would “be in the forefront demanding fairness and justice for all people. He would have pulled those officers off of George Floyd, because that was the right thing to do.” data-reactid=”35″>On Monday, Wayne’s son Ethan Wayne launched an announcement to TMZ, during which he argued his father, who died in 1979 on the age of 72, was not a racist. In reality, the youthful Wayne stated that if the Shootist star had been alive, he would “be in the forefront demanding fairness and justice for all people. He would have pulled those officers off of George Floyd, because that was the right thing to do.

John Wayne in 1970. (Martin Mills/Getty Images)

John Wayne Cancer Foundation.” data-reactid=”56″>Ethan stated his father shouldn’t be judged on a single interview and that “his true feelings were wrongly conveyed” within the journal. The fact, Ethan stated, is that his father didn’t help white supremacy. He identified all the great the actor has performed by means of his charitable John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

The statue of the actor on the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The full assertion is beneath:

Let me make one factor clear — John Wayne was not a racist. I do know that time period is casually tossed round nowadays, however I take it very critically. I additionally perceive how we obtained up to now.

There is not any query that the phrases spoken by John Wayne in an interview 50 years in the past have prompted ache and anger. They pained him as nicely, as he realized his true emotions had been wrongly conveyed. The fact is, as we’ve got seen in papers from his archives, he didn’t help “white supremacy” in any approach and believed that accountable folks ought to acquire energy with out the usage of violence. Those who knew him, knew he judged everybody as a person and believed everybody deserved an equal alternative. He known as out bigotry when he noticed it. He employed and labored with folks of all races, creeds and sexual orientations.

John Wayne stood for the perfect for all of us —  a society that does not discriminate in opposition to anybody searching for the American dream. It could be an injustice to evaluate him primarily based on a single interview, versus the total image of who he was. The present deal with social justice is completely legitimate and essential. But makes an attempt by some to make use of it for political benefit distract from actual alternatives for reform.

One factor we all know — if John Wayne had been right here as we speak, he could be within the forefront demanding equity and justice for all folks. He would have pulled these officers off of George Floyd, as a result of that was the suitable factor to do. He would stand for everybody’s proper to protest and work towards change. 

Since his demise greater than 40 years in the past, his legacy continues by means of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, which has helped present braveness, power and grit to the struggle in opposition to most cancers, and thru his in depth movie library. My father believed that we will study from yesterday, however not by erasing the previous. His identify, irrespective of the place it’s, will at all times embody these values, and our household is aware of the constructive impression that he made on the world won’t ever be diminished.

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