Harper’s Bill for John Wayne Day Fails in Assembly Due to the Duke’s White Supremacy Comments from the Past

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State Assemblyman Matt Harper (R-74) is in a snit today over “leftists” in the State Assembly who killed his bill to honor dead actor John Wayne with a “John Wayne Day.” Harper maintains the Duke is as American as mom, apple pie and fireworks, but left out the fact Wayne made some amazing racists comments about African Americans — ones that can certainly be viewed as “White Supremacist.”

So does this mean Harper has a hood and sheets hanging in his closet?  Not likely, but his bill is exactly the sort of bill that means little and another reason why Harper needs to go.

Here’s the announcement from Harper’s office:

SACRAMENTO — A resolution commemorating the life and legacy of actor John Wayne was killed on the Assembly Floor.

After Harper presented the resolution, which highlights John Wayne’s service to American troops during World War II and his portrayal of the American values of integrity, perseverance and self-reliance, a handful of the most radical and Left Wing Assembly Democrats rose to assassinate the character of one of America’s most well-known Anti-Communists.

“Today is the day that political correctness prevailed over a profoundly American figure recognized throughout the world” Harper said. “Opposing the John Wayne Day resolution is like opposing apple pie, fireworks, baseball, the Free Enterprise system and the Fourth of July!”

Of the 52 Democrats in the Assembly, seven voted in favor of the measure, including Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), who spoke in support of John Wayne’s efforts to pass the Panama Canal Treaty.  Another Democrats 24 abstained from voting.

“While most Americans continue to celebrate John Wayne’s memory as one of our most popular actors and public figures long after his death, the extreme Left Wing political forces in this state turn their backs on a historical figure synonymous with America itself,” Harper said “Fortunately, I do not believe the citizenry of California would agree with the majority in this chamber.”

Assemblyman Harper represents the 74th District, which includes John Wayne Airport and John Wayne’s longtime home in Newport Beach.

Harper left this comment on his Facebook page:

“Today is the day that political correctness prevailed over a profoundly American figure recognized throughout the world” Harper said. “Opposing the John Wayne Day resolution is like opposing apple pie, fireworks, baseball, the Free Enterprise system and the Fourth of July!”

NBC reports what Harper doesn’t tell his readers:

The “John Wayne Day” resolution snagged just 35 votes — six short of the majority needed for passage — after critics said the state has no business honoring an actor who questioned the intelligence of African-Americans and the rights of Native Americans to their own land.

“I think when we come here to support a resolution, it’s something we believe in, it’s something we can wrap our arms around,” said Assemblyman Mike Gipson, a Democrat and an African-American. “Certainly his movies are one thing, but in terms of his private life, and also his views, I find them very offensive.”

Another Democrat, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, cited a 1971 Playboy interview in which Wayne was quoted as saying: “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.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, also a Democrat, noted that in the same interview Wayne defended uprooting Native-Americans from their lands. And she cited this passage:

“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.”

“There was a lot of slaughtering of Native Americans” in Wayne’s movies, Gonzalez added.

Wayne, who died in 1979 at age 72, was also knocked for his support of anti-communist House Un-American Activities Committee and the far right John Birch Society.

Fellow OC State Rep Travis Allen came to Harper’s defense, telling NBC:  “He stood for those big American values that we know and we love,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen, another Orange County Republican. 

Wayne should also be remembered for helping Vietnamese refugees, Allen said.

I’m happy to edit Harper’s comments so Democrats in the Assembly might approve it:

“We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the Republicans. I believe in Democratic supremacy until the Conservatives are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”

Bet that would pass.

But we really have to question Harper’s judgment here.  Does he share the Duke’s racist worldview?  He simply doesn’t say.

  2 comments for “Harper’s Bill for John Wayne Day Fails in Assembly Due to the Duke’s White Supremacy Comments from the Past

  1. RHackett
    April 29, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I only have one question for conservatives who like to bemoan the concept of political correctness.

    What is political correctness preventing you from doing?

    On another note. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of the better westerns. Great performances by Jimmy Stewart, Lee Marvin, Vera Miles, a great cast of character actors from that era, and of course John Wayne.

    • April 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Great theme song by Gene Pitney and covered by James Taylor.

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