John Wayne, "The Searchers," racist?

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contender

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Last night, on TCM, they played the movie, "The Searchers" with John Wayne.
Now, if any of y'all don't watch TCM,, (Turner Classic Movies,) they usually lead into a movie with commentary about the film, or other stuff about the filming etc. Usually, it can be enlightening & enjoyable.
Last night I was a bit shocked.
They called the film racist, and that John Wayne's character was a bad guy & the racist person. They said that John Ford was trying to portray that I in his own way advance the injustices to the Native Americans.
They had the normal host,, and 2 others. One of the others was a female british media type. Now before the film aired, she spoke of how she wasn't a big fan of American Westerns with all the macho stuff. And after the film said that while John Ford did try to show how racist Wayne's character was,, he could have done more.
I found it funny in light of how BADLY racist the british media have treated Meagan Markle.

But beyond all that,, I was shocked in general by the attitudes of the host & both commentators. I have seen the movie numerous times,, and NEVER looked at it as they described it.
Sure, I KNEW that the Native Americans got a raw deal from the US Government, white people, for a few centuries. And yes, I knew that times have changed, and it's not as bad as it used to be.
But I also knew that the movie was based upon a true story somewhat, AND,, it portrayed exactly how people USED to think about Native Americans, (in the 1800's roughly.)

I just never felt the need to call it racist, or even consider that John Ford was trying to make a film with a message. I always felt it was a movie, for entertainment, and was filmed at a time when that was a common thought about how life was in the 1800's.

Now, I'm part Cherokee.
And I have always lived with the facts that Natives were basically an occupying people, that Europeans came here & took over & conquered them. No different than what has been done all over the world for centuries. Europeans did this constantly. The whole concept has always been conquer & take by a stronger people or army. World history has countless accounts of such things.

But the whole attitude of these commentators last night, while proclaiming to really enjoy the movie in one moment, trashed a lot of things in the movie the very next. I swear, it was amusing to see such double-speak.

But it was a movie.

I truly think the whole world in all forms of public media are trying to see just who can be the most politically correct & outdo the others. Sooner or later,, there will be nothing that isn't offensive to someone, and it'll be condemned in such public fashion as to destroy any & all forms of honest historical fact to where nothing will be allowed by anyone.

Sheesh,, those folks know how to really look stupid.

BTW; I don't think this conversation is political, as much as it is societal in what I'm trying to convey. Please try & keep all the political stuff in check.
 

Mike J

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If all one looks for is racism that is all they will find. Some of the people that are so sure they are suave, sophisticated, & intellectual remind me of a verse in the Bible, "Thinking themselves wise they become fools."
 

RSIno1

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TCM has gone full WOKE. Their one black commentator only speaks of injustice - not one good thing about those who gave the actors their jobs. The noir guy looks uncomfortable talking about how races have been treated on screen - seem like you'll go along with the program or be looking for a job. It's ridiculous how they try to second guess the "feelings and intensions" of the producer, director, actor when the movies were made. They portray those who were blacklisted by the HUAC as heroes. They have 5 commentators now to replace the talent that Robert Osborn had all by himself. I'll watch the old movies but not their intros - it's no longer about the movie but political commentary about whitey bad - there was no mention of the kidnap/rape/murder of an innocent settler girl by the Indians.
BTW: My wife is also part Cherokee - actually Shawnee but .gov decided 700+ of them would become part of the Cherokee tribe when they kicked them out of Kansas.
 

Danjet500

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Each Thursday evening for the next month or so TCM is showing films that someone has deemed "racist". I think they show about 4 per night. It is interesting to see and hear each commentator's opinion. You can get a sense of where each one is coming from and what they may think of each other's opinion.
 

Snake45

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I wouldn't call it racist, I'd just call it bad. In fact, when I think of bad movies I've wasted hours of my life watching, the two that come immediately to mind are The Searchers and the original (Brat Pack) Ocean's 11.
 

Mobuck

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Like so many other things, it's only offensive if one decides it is so. Get over it, it's a fictional movie.
 

blackhawknj

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The things I miss by not having TV. Will they go after Gone With The Windnext ? In The Birth of a Nation after one scene with the black actors and a white actor in blackface there's an inter title card which says "These scenes are meant to portray historical times and are not meant to cast aspersions on any race or people of today."
IMHO people have every right to be racist.What we have decided as a nation is that it will not be government policy or legally supported.
 

Danjet500

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blackhawknj said:
The things I miss by not having TV. Will they go after Gone With The Windnext ?

Yes, GWTW was one of the "racist" movies they played one or two weeks ago.
 

Pat-inCO

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If ANYONE is offended by a movie, they have two (three?) choices:
~ Change the channel
~ Walk out of the theater
~~~ Demand your money back (presumes you have watched less than 1/4th of it)

But then again, you could watch/read the reviews and not go/watch it at all. :roll:

Also referred to as Personal Choice!
 

Jimbo357mag

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So the question is what do we do with this country's racist past? I think 'noting' it is the proper thing to do. I would hate to see a lot of shows/movies censored or canceled.

When it happens today you can protest it.
 

Paul B

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I don't have cable anymore. I just use my TV to watch movies from my DVD collection. So I wonder if TCM has or will ever play "The Unforgiven"? Thats The Unforgiven, not the Clint Eastwood "Unforgiven". FWIW, I think Audie Murphy's part in that movie is the best he'd ever done. Good cast with Burt Lancaster and even Lillian Gish of silent movie fame. Gun nut swill appreciate the proper Sharp's Rifles and carbines as well The guns not authentic are the two 1892 Winchesters made up to almost look like Henry rifles. There was a discussion on another site a few days back on The Unforgiven and as I have it in my collection decided to watch it. Kind of slow but does have some good parts. Racist? There are a few nasty digs about the indians and Audie gave out with one extremely racist comment. Probably has one of the better battles of people forted up in a cabin fighting the Indians. Even see a very quick scene of Lancaster reloading ammo.
Paul B.
 

Mike J

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trebor44 said:
So in 'todays' social climate how does the following phrase fit?
"he/she looks irish" spoken by a scot (in scotland)! And it was meant to be a derogatory comment. Inquiring minds want to know!

If the discrimination is against white people whether by white or non white it does not count.
 

P89DC

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I dvr TCM content and fast forward through all the woke crap. What else can I do?
 

vito

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Most black Americans, and all too many white Americans know little to nothing about history of any kind. They have been brainwashed (not educated) that slavery was a unique American institution, totally run by white people to denigrate and abuse black people. They do not even know that it was other black Africans that captured those that were sold in slavery, since few if any whites would survive the diseases and other hazards faced if going into the interior of Africa. Virtually no Americans know that the very first slave holder in America's south was a black man who owned other blacks. And of course these ignorant people do not know that slavery was practiced almost universally for almost all of human history. America was unique, not as a slave owning nation but as a nation that fought an incredibly bloody civil war to end slavery. Most Americans on the Left, the ones that display the stupid "Black Lives Matter" sign on their front lawn, are unaware or do not care that slavery is STILL practiced in the world today, primarily by Muslim blacks in North Africa.

And unfortunately there are far too many Americans today that know little about the Native Americans that the European settlers conquered in the domination and cultivation of the "New World". They think of Native Americans as the "Noble savage" as portrayed in "Last of the Mohicans" (the good Indians, not the evil ones allied with the French) and "Dances With Wolves". They have no idea of the savagery of so many tribes, such as the Apaches, or about how the taking of captives for slavery, often who were maimed or disabled so that they could not easily escape, and think of the cruelty of that era as solely done by whites against these "innocent and simple people".

And so what if racism is demonstrated in some movies? That was an accurate portrayal of the times.
 
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First I have never watched The Searchers because it never seemed like a 'fun' movie and I've always enjoyed other John Wayne movies... but who would have ever considered a movie about Indians kidnapping a young white girl and a macho man going in search of her as NOT racist? History shows that just about everybody and everything back then in that part of the world was racist... I wonder if these folks who are so worried about us being offended by this would consider that the Sioux would pretty much capture and torcher to death anyone not from their tribe.... be they white red or black? But then I guess they were not racist because they were pretty much open to exterminating everybody else.
 

Bud0505

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I’ve noticed lately some shows and movies a have a “outdated cultural depiction” rating.
 

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