California Democrats are pushing to rename the John Wayne Airport due to racist and homophobic remarks made by the actor.
Wayne, who died in 1979, once said he did not feel guilty about slavery, claimed that Native Americans were “selfishly trying to keep” the land for themselves and used homophobic insults.
Democrats in Orange County now want to leave the name of the movie legend, statue, and other images of the Santa Ana airport due to bigoted comments.
It occurs during a national effort to change the names of the locations and tear down the statues in light of the U.S. racial history.
Orange County Democrats want to remove all statues and other images of the late airport actor John Wayne and rename him due to his racist and bigoted comments.
They have asked the Orange County Board of Supervisors to change the name of John Wayne to Orange County Airport as part of a national push in light of America’s racial history.
The Los Angeles Times reported that officials approved an emergency resolution Friday condemning Wayne’s “racist and intolerant statements”.
“Efforts have been made in the past to accomplish this and now we are putting our name and our support behind it to make sure there is a name change,” said Ada Briceño, chair of the Orange County Democratic Party.
According to those who drafted the resolution, the effort to oust Wayne, a longtime resident of Orange County, is part of ‘a national movement to remove the symbols and names of white supremacy (which are) reshaping institutions, monuments, US companies, nonprofits, and sports leagues and teams. ‘
They added that it is’ widely recognized that racist symbols produce lasting physical and psychological stress and trauma, particularly in black communities, people of color and other oppressed groups, and the removal of racist symbols provides a necessary process for communities to remember historical acts of violence and recognizing the victims of oppression ‘.
He adds that the county is a more diverse region than when Wayne’s name was given to the airport.
The resolution requested the Orange County Board of Supervisors to withdraw its name, statue, and other similarities from the international airport and “to restore its original name: Orange County Airport.”
The airport is named after The Duke after his death in 1979, aged 72.
The film legend made bigoted statements against blacks, Native Americans, and the LGBTQ community in a 1971 interview with Playboy that recently re-emerged
Wayne was a longtime resident of Orange County, but county Democrats argued in a resolution that the region has changed ethnically since he was alive.
The resolution quoted a 1971 Playboy magazine interview in which Wayne makes intolerant statements against blacks, Native Americans, and the LGBTQ community.
He said: ‘I believe in white supremacy until blacks are brought up to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people. ‘
Wayne also said that although he did not tolerate slavery, “I do not feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves.”
The actor added that he had no remorse for the Native American subjugation.
“I don’t think we have done wrong in taking this great country from them.” … (O) his alleged theft of this country from them was just a matter of survival, ” he said.
“There were a large number of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it.”
The Santa Ana International Airstrip was first called John Wayne Airport after his death in 1979
Wayne also called films like ‘Easy Rider’ and ‘Midnight Cowboy’ perverted, and used a gay insult to refer to the two main characters in the latest film.
He was 63 when he made the comments.
Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner told the Times that he had just learned of the Democratic resolution and was unaware of its wording or merit.
This is not the first time pressing to change the name of the airport.
It was also pointed out in early 2019 when Wayne’s words in the Playboy article were widely shared online.
Opponents of the name change say Wayne cannot be judged on his comments because he lived in a different era.
According to the Times, Wayne was a political power broker in Orange County after living much of his adult life there.
It is also where he is buried.