Democrats want John Wayne's name, statue taken off airport

Lawrence Kim
June 30, 2020

"The Democratic Party of Orange County condemns John Wayne's racist and bigoted statements, and calls for John Waynes' [sic] name and likeness to be removed from the Orange County airport, and calls on the OC Board of Supervisors to restore its original name: Orange County Airport", the resolution reads in part. Wayne said it wasn't wise to give authority to people without good judgment and lacking in responsibility.

Wayne has been accused of holding bigoted views because of remarks he was quoted as saying to Playboy magazine during a 1971 interview that resurfaced previous year, wherein he made controversial comments critical of black people, Native Americans, and homosexual men.

Democrats are saying it's high time native Iowan John Wayne mosey off into the sunset as they move to strip his name off the sign of an airport named after him in California.

Democrats in Orange County now wish to drop the film legend's name, statue and other likenesses from the Santa Ana airport because of the bigoted comments.

Ethan, who is Wayne's youngest son and president of John Wayne Enterprises, went on to say in his statement on Monday: "The truth is, as we have seen in papers from his archives, he did not support "white supremacy" in any way and believed that responsible people should gain power without the use of violence".

The airport had been named after The Duke following his 1979 death, aged 72.

She told CNN: "While some outside Orange County may not know of John Wayne's beliefs in white supremacy, many Orange County residents have been calling for his removal for years".

The authors of the resolution insisted that "there have been numerous calls to remove John Wayne's namesake from Orange County's airport because of Wayne's white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-Indigenous views" that were shared by him in a 1971 interview, quoting the actor as saying that "I believe in white supremacy" and "I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves".

The actor added he felt no remorse in the subjugation of Native Americans.

He said: "I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them ... [O] ur so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival", he said.

"There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and [they] were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves". Wayne also used a homophobic slur.

He was 63 when he made the remarks.

Located roughly 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles, the former Orange County Airport would revert to its old name if local lawmakers approve the resolution as written.

Calls to rename airport after local heroes.


Those opposed to the renaming claim Wayne can't be judged on his comments because he lived in a different era.

In a column for The Orange County Register, state senator Tom Umberg wrote that Wayne's beliefs were "disturbing".

It is also where he is buried.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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