California Democrats Pushing to Rename Orange County’s John Wayne Airport
Democrats in California are pushing to rename Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, citing the actor’s language on racial issues in the 1970’s.
The Democratic Party of Orange County passed a resolution on Friday condemning the iconic western film actor for “racist and bigoted” statements he made in an interview with Playboy magazine in 1971. The resolution calls for the airport’s administrators to remove Wayne’s “statue, likenesses and name” from the premises, purging the memory of the longtime California resident from the facility, which had been named after him in 1979. Instead, the Democrats want the airport to be blandly and plainly re-titled the “Orange County Airport.”
Chairperson Ada Briceno of the Orange County Democrats confirmed the desire to eliminate Wayne’s memory. “There have been past efforts to get this done and now we’re putting our name and our backing into this to make sure there is a name change.“
Democrats are pointing to Wayne’s remarks in which he defended what he defined as “white supremacy,” until “the Blacks are sufficiently educated.”
Wayne also defended the conquest of the territorial United States by European Americans in the Playboy interview, arguing that “so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival,” in reference to Native Americans.
Newport Beach city officials are also pushing to rename a city park named after Wayne, making it clear that the legacy of one the most prominent 20th century Americans is no longer welcome in the state that was once known for the cultural achievements of the nation in the post-war era.
Wayne is known not only in American film but globally for playing iconic cowboys in American Westerns such as “True Grit” and “The Searchers.”