The racist John Wayne - an american icon
In the latest move to change place names in light of US racial history, Democrats in Orange county are pushing to drop film legend John Wayne’s name, statue and other likenesses from the county’s airport because of his racist and bigoted comments.
The Los Angeles Times reported that earlier this week, officials passed an emergency resolution condemning Wayne’s “racist and bigoted statements” made in a 1971 interview and are calling on the Orange county board of supervisors to drop his name, statue and other likenesses from the international airport.
The resolution asked the board “to restore its original name: Orange county airport.”
“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,” said Ada Briceno, chair of the Democratic party of Orange county.
On Twitter on Monday, Donald Trump objected to what he called the “incredible stupidity” of the move.
Away from the screen, Wayne campaigned for rightwing causes. On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump was endorsed by the star’s daughter.
“The reason that I’m here to support Mr Trump is because America needs help,” Aissa Wayne said, at an event at the star’s Iowa birthplace. “And we need a strong leader. And we need someone like Mr Trump with leadership qualities, somebody with courage, someone that’s strong like John Wayne.
“If John Wayne were around, he’d be standing right here instead of me.”
According to those who crafted the Orange county resolution, the effort to oust Wayne, a longtime resident who died in 1979, 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.”
In a 1971 Playboy magazine interview, Wayne makes bigoted statements against black people, Native Americans and the LGBTQ community.
“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,“ he said.
Wayne also said that although he didn’t condone slavery: “I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves.”
The actor said he felt no remorse in the subjugation of Native Americans.
“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.”
Wayne also called movies such as Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy perverted, and used a gay slur to refer to the two main characters of the latter film.
The Orange county supervisor Don Wagner told the newspaper that he had just heard about the Democratic resolution and was unaware of its wording or merit.
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