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Five famous white people who were known for being racist

by Liku Zelleke

Some people can earn a reputation that they do not deserve, while others can hide an outlook that would be considered vitriolic enough to ruin their reputations if they were to become public.

Here are five famous persons that were at one time or another rumored to have been racists:

Babe Ruth

Everyone knows the great Bambino. In some people’s eyes, he still remains the greatest player to ever swing a bat.

But, what most people don’t know is that his name was once darkened by accusations of racism. Apart from rumors that he himself was black, there were those who believed he refused to play against African American players.

Neither of the rumors is true.

The Babe was in fact a supporter of Negro League teams and had even played against them on numerous occasions – even when others refused to do so. He was also close friends with entertainer and part owner of “The Black Yankees”, Bill “Bo” Jangles and even Joe Louis, the Heavyweight Champ, who once, reportedly, promised to “hit one this time for you, Babe,” while fighting Tiger Hairston in 1937.

He did use slur words like the N-word as did people of his time. He even said that he was often called “nigger lips” because of his African features.

Walt Disney

Disney was often accused of being racist, anti-Semitic and sexist. These mostly arose from characters in his movie like Dumbo’s black crows, Fantasia’ black servant centaur and “Song of the South”, a movie so racist the Disney company has locked it away in its vaults – which was released despite Disney’s anticipation of controversy.

Disney’s autobiographer wrote about how Disney used the word “pickaninny” and an instance when he referred to the seven dwarves as a “nigger pile”.

In Disney’s case, there are no doubts about his bias.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was among those that penned the Declaration of Independence, which included the phrase that “all men are created equal.”

But, he mustn’t have truly believed in those words or must have been a hypocrite, because, although he did have a notorious affair with his slave, Sally Hemmings, he did own slaves and was an unyielding part of the institution.

Even when many of his comrades, including George Washington, freed their slaves after the Revolutionary War, he didn’t budge.

On his death bed he was still unrepentant. He freed only five of his nearly 200 slaves – and that too because they were his progeny from his mistress Hemmings, who, along with the others, was mandated to be sold in auctions.

John Wayne

John Wayne was a legendary star in a class of his own. Offstage he had a way of thinking that would make anyone squirm.

In a 1971 interview with Playboy, he bared it all when asked about his views on racial discrimination.

He said that he believed in white supremacy until “the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility,” and that he didn’t believe in “giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”

Admitting that about 10% of the US population at the time was “black, or colored, or whatever…” he said that that ratio wouldn’t necessarily be reflected in Hollywood, because more than likely, “10 percent haven’t trained themselves for that kind work.”

Elvis Presley

“The King”, according to critics, reigned supreme by playing music that first originated in the African American community. Stronger critics even went so far as to accuse him of being intolerant towards blacks.

One vehement defender of Presley is Peter Guralnick of The New York Times. He says that the singer was once rumored to have said that the only thing Negroes could do for him was “buy my records and shine my shoes” – a charge Guralnick strongly denies.

On the contrary, he said, Presley attended the church of the famous black gospel composer, the Reverend W. Herbert Brewster when he was a teenager, and that he was also friends with the likes of B.B. King whom he acknowledged by saying “Thanks, man, for all the early lessons you gave me.”

Source: The Huffington Post

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13 thoughts on “Five famous white people who were known for being racist

  1. notsurpized

    Ok this list is minimized, there’s a lengthy list of racist folks!!! Keep it light right? Lmao! Shameful!

    Reply
  2. salima hakeem Mohammad

    I interviewed singer “Billy Paul” on My Show, “Salima Speaks”, check it out on YouTube. He was in the military with Elvis and they were friends! He was with Elvis when they saw a Black Women looking at a Caddillac saying that she wished She had one and He bought it for Her. This is not “hearsay” He witnessed it! Elvis related to Black People. Billy “Me & Mrs. Jones” Paul was one of His best friends. Peace.

    Reply
    • Johnlee

      Just because he bought a black woman a cadillace doesn’t mean he respects black people. Paula Deen claimed that a black women named Dora Charles who worked in her kitchen was her soul sister. Yet she paid her less than 10.00 and hour and claimed this black woman’s recipes as her own.

      Reply
    • Richard Daniel

      I know what your saying is true because when i was in Memphis In 1977 by way of theNavy, I met two girls who told Me the same story about the Woman and the Cadillac. the only difference was that She refused to accept it because She could’t keep the maintenance up on that car.

      Reply
  3. Johnlee

    My how the times have changed. Now a days famous whites can build a career being a racist and hating black people. Ted Nugent, Kevin Sorbo to name a few.

    Reply
  4. nadine

    Wake up! We have been tramped on, bamboozled erc. Action speaks louder than words. Stop playing their games and being a pawn. Wake up!

    Reply
  5. Eli Johnson

    WHEN ARE WE GOING TO WAKE UP AND KNOW WHAT AND WHO WE ARE IN THIS COUNTRY, ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS SEE WHAT WE HAVE DONE AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO BE ON TOP.

    Reply
  6. James W. Pollock

    Elvis appeared at the Good Will concert for black charity in Memphis in 56 and also 57 where he couldn’t perform contractually but came on stage. He was the number one star in the world and didn’t have to do that now did he! And how about “In the Ghetto”! Also, I heard from singer Carol Fran that her release of the gospel tune “Crying In The Chapel” was swamped by Elvis’s version that came out shortly after, in 1964. Some years later, she was sitting in a Los Angeles delicatessen having lunch when Elvis came in with his entourage. He nodded to her–their paths had crossed back in the Fifties–and she mock-glared at him, saying “I’m mad at you!”. He went to a table in the rear but returned and sat down and asked her what she meant. She explained about her record getting killed by his simultaneous version. He apologized and said that he hadn’t known and had no control over what RCA did with his recordings. He took out a checkbook, wrote something and handed her a slip. She folded it and put it in her purse without looking at it, as he excused himself. Months later she was scrounging for the rent by ransacking her purse and discovered that check. $10,000 and it cashed.
    http://youtu.be/Ox_zLLVGD_g
    Please read this comprehensive study of Presley’s stance on race.
    http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/elvis-not-racist.shtml

    Reply
  7. ericaf

    And this is important why? It’s the ones that’s alive today and are in positions of power to affect my and mine is of interest, definitely not 5 dead white people who have no power today.

    Reply
  8. Livingston Thomas Jr

    Racism today shouldn’t be a matter of concern to black people. Ted Nugent, Kelvin Sorbo, not even the 5 dead so call racists can do nothing to set back black people. 350 years of chattel slavery and 150 years of Jim Crow couldn’t destroy us that’s because, we are made in God’s favor. Surviving centuries of the cruelest form of treatment ever imposed on mankind is a testimony within itself who we are and why we remain standing. On top of that, we are a talented people in virtually every area that exist on this planet. Scholars, Inventors, Architects, Scientists, Poets, Educators, Entertainers, Athletes etc. Our people of the past were all these things before and during slavery even before colonial education were afforded them. But because of white colonialism, the will to exercise their creations and ideals were stolen by the colonialists marketed to their credit while our people being relegated to servitude. I see the same minds and brilliants existing in our people today. I see a longing for adventure and opportunity and need for guidance which is good. The problem, many of our people rely on those responsible for structuring barriers that stand in their way to accessing education, bank financing for small businesses, and oh massive or over incarcerations which is the single most excuse for denying education and financial opportunities.

    One advantage we have on top of spending power, we could pool our resources, and build a true community for ourselves. It would take time and patience to make this transition. Because white supremacy plays a part in our outcome here in America, we need total liberation from this system. We need to empower ourselves by creating an economy that focus on the needs of the community. Businesses owned by members from the community to ensure trade and money exchange remain for a robust economy. Create chartered schools for children taught by teachers from the community. These schools will provide our children with first rate education in preparation for college in hope to inspire them to return home for employment and carry forth the community to another era.

    I wish I had more time to elaborate.

    Reply

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