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Daniel Caesar
Daniel Caesar
May 20, 2024

“Was John Wayne a nazi?”

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He was a Nazi, but not anymore

He was a Nazi, but life evens the score

 

On track 7 on M.D.Cs “millions of dead cops” this chorus is repeated, paired with lyrics about the beloved John Wayne being a far-right nazi. It’s an iconic song but does it speak the truth? Or is it just another shock-value punk song?

Marion Robert Morrison, born on May 26, 1907, professionally known as John Wayne and nicknamed “the Duke”, was an American actor and the face of Wild West Hollywood. All of his films were produced during the Golden Age of Hollywood, his career flourished in the silent era of films in the very early 20th century. He appeared in 179 film and television productions. In ‘88 he was awarded “Greatest Male Star in American Cinema” He was truly an iconic figure in cinematic history… So what’s the problem here? 

His conservative views, his views have never been a secret. Whether it is making natives out to be the enemy in every film he has made, or his unconditional support for Richard Nixon And the direction of American propaganda films (The Green Berets). All I have to say is that he would’ve loved June 6th. 

In May 1971, Playboy magazine published an interview with Wayne, in which he expressed his support for the Vietnam War, and made headlines for his very controversial opinions about social issues and race relations in the United States.

“With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But 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 feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from the Indians. 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.”

John Wayne was notoriously a “man’s man” in his movies- and in real life, he was homophobic. In the same interview, when asked what movies he considered “perverted”, he called the Best Picture winner Midnight Cowboy “a story about two fags.” — Even though these things that he has done will make the average person cringe, does it make him a nazi? John Wayne did not serve Nazi interests in WWII. In June 1941, Wayne registered with Selective Service and was classified 3-A (meaning he had dependants). and for the first couple of years of the war, that was pretty normal. The draft board had plenty of young, single men to choose from; they didn’t need a 34-year-old with kids and a wife. Definitely not a nazi, but sure he’s another branch of extreme conservatism. So long story short, like every other punk band, it’s just shock content. MDC uses Nazism as a metaphor for American history, using Wayne’s fictional roles and real political views to reflect real violence against Native Americans. Both Wayne and the Nazis are seen as cruel and gleeful servants of a fascist, genocidal state. MDC is calling John Wayne a coward, and a hypocrite, and that his movies discriminate to “look cool.”

 

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About the Contributor
Molly Graham, Writer
Molly Graham is a sophomore whose interests include; ugly cars, welding, fireworks, punk shows, nature and boxing. I can play banjo and am in a band called civil disobedience.

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