Democratic officials in Orange County, California, are calling for the name of the John Wayne Airport to be changed amid a resurgence of racial comments the late western movie star made decades ago.
On Friday, the Orange County Democratic Party passed a resolution condemning the Duke for his previous “racist and bigoted statements” he made during an interview with “Playboy” in 1971, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The resolution called for the Orange County Board of Supervisors to remove Wayne’s name, statue and other images from the international airport and “restore his original name: Orange County Airport.”
“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.
The resolution states that Wayne’s removal is part of a much larger movement to remove “symbols and names of white supremacists. [that are] reshaping American institutions, monuments, businesses, nonprofits, sports leagues, and teams, “according to the resolution document.
“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,” the resolution said, adding that Orange County is more diverse than it was in 1979 when The airport was named Wayne.
Briceño said the name change could occur due to the party’s demographic changes in Orange County and the protests that followed the death of George Floyd in police custody.
“The numbers have increased from last year to where I think we have about 40,000 more Democrats than Republicans,” Briceño said.
Another petition to rename the airport was posted online and garnered more than 600 signatures.
The call to remove Wayne’s image from the airport comes amid a revived interview with the cowboy star, who was 63 at the time, and 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. “