Democrats condemned a legendary Western film star for being prejudiced towards those belonging to another race, and believes the actor’s name should be stripped from a southern Californian airport.
The Democratic Party of the Orange County (DPOC) has slammed the late actor John Wayne for racism and bigotry, and recommended renaming John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, 39 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. The airport was named in Wayne’s honor after he died in 1979.
“The Democratic Party of Orange County condemns John Wayne’s racist and bigoted statements, and calls for John Wayne’s name and likeness to be removed from the Orange County Airport, and calls on the Orange County Board of Supervisors to restore its original name: Orange County Airport,” Resolution 6-26-20 stated.
The political stunt came after extreme “anarchist” protests swept across the nation since Minnesotan George Floyd died in police custody. Local police allegedly handcuffed and kneed Floyd’s throat before he became unresponsive on May 25.
The DPOC responded by launching a petition on the Action Network website, asking Orange County Board of Supervisors to restore the airport’s old name almost 50 years after Wayne controversially said he believed in white supremacy. More than 950 residents had signed the petition at the time of publication.
“I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility,” the actor told Playboy Magazine in 1971 according to the petition. “I do not believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people … I do not feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves.”
The party also objected to the actor’s opinion that white Americans were right to take away land from “selfish” native Indian Americans.
“I do not feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them,” he said. “[O]ur so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival … there were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”
DPOC Chairwoman Ada Briceño, Chapman University associate professor of political science Fred Smoller, and fellow leadership studies lecturer Michael Moodian submitted the resolution, which stressed the county home is a very different population than almost half a century ago.
“Orange County is now a diverse region far different from the time when John Wayne was chosen as namesake for the airport, as today Orange County is vibrantly multicultural,” the resolution said. “According to the most recent Orange County annual survey, 79 percent of respondents see the county’s increasing ethnic diversity as a source of great strength.”
Democrats have repeatedly tried to used these reasons to remove Wayne’s name from the airport.
“It is time to remove John Wayne’s name from Orange County’s airport,” DPOC said on Twitter.