“The Offended” Want John Wayne Airport Renamed
Orange County California's Democratic Party wants John Wayne Airport renamed, and his statue removed, due to some comments he once made that they deem offensive.
Democrats in Orange County passed an emergency resolution condemning what they called John Wayne’s “racist and bigoted statements."
The party says this is part of “a national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names [that are] reshaping American institutions, monuments, businesses, nonprofits, sports leagues and teams.”
The resolution reads, in part: “It is widely recognized that racist symbols produce lasting physical and psychological stress and trauma, particularly to black communities, people of color, and other oppressed groups.”
What the party points to as offensive was published in a 1971 Playboy interview in which they see Wayne's statements as bigoted against black people, alternate sexualities, and Native Americans.
Mr. Wayne's exact words from the interview were, “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”
About 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 the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”
The reason for naming the airport after him came from a combination of his fame and that he lived in Orange County for most of his life. He is buried there.
Efforts to remove the statue have arisen before but then faded away.