FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Racism Attracts: the Duke and the Donald

shutterstock_307005056

On January 19, most of cable news chose to focus on the endorsement of shrill anthropomorphized chain email Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Benito Mussolini cum Johnny Bravo cosplayer Donald Trump.

It makes sense. Palin gets attention and ratings. Trump gets attention and ratings. Put them together, and you assuredly will have more of both.

Earlier in the day, however, Trump got another endorsement. This endorsement was from a family whose patriarch’s politics are instructive when trying to understand Trump’s appeal.

John Wayne occupies a particular place in the heart of white, right wing America. He represents everything about the past that white America has mythologized: the stoic, rugged frontiersman; the lonely ronin cowboy; the man’s man who exemplifies patriarchal masculinity.

Intrinsically tied to John Wayne’s rugged portrayal of various white hero tropes were his political views. Wayne was a hard right conservative whose views on race mirror those expressed by Trump’s supporters.

In 1971, John Wayne was interviewed by Playboy. In the interview, which has gained a certain notoriety over the years, Wayne said the following:

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.

Later in the interview, on the subject of Native Americans, Wayne said that:

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

It makes sense that Aissa Wayne, John Wayne’s daughter, said at the press conference declaring her family’s support for Trump that “If John Wayne were around, he’d be standing right here instead of me.”

He certainly would be.

Trump doesn’t have a reputation for being a particularly politically principled person. His positions ebb and flow with whichever crowd he’s targeting- look no farther than the interview from 1999 that the campaign of rotting mayonnaise blob Ted Cruz is using as a desperate attack ad in Iowa.

But there is one philosophical position that Trump has held for a very, very long time. A marked antipathy to people of color.

The New York Times cited the first time it published a story on Trump recently. It was an article discussing the then young real estate mogul’s discriminatory housing practices in his buildings. In 1973. Two years after Wayne’s Playboy interview.

It’s 43 years later. Trump is running for president on a barely concealed ethno-nationalist platform. And on January 19 he got the endorsement of the John Wayne family.

What is it now, pilgrim? Your conscience?

This post previously appeared on Medium.

More articles by:

Eoin Higgins has a master’s degree in history from Fordham University. He lives in New York.

January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail