Orange County California’s Democratic Party is moving on John Wayne and they want to remove his name and statue from the local airport.
They just passed a resolution condemning the film legend for his past ‘”racist and bigoted statements.”
They want the statue removed, the name of the airport changed and all images and likenesses of Wayne removed from the airport
This week, officials passed an emergency resolution condemning film legend John Wayne’s “racist and bigoted statements” made decades ago and are calling on the Orange County Board of Supervisors to drop his name, statue and other likenesses from the international airport.
The resolution also 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 Briceño, chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County.
According to the crafters of the resolution, who include Briceño, the effort to oust Wayne 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 adds: “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.”
The resolution notes that the county is much more diverse than it was in 1979, when Orange County Airport was christened John Wayne Airport.
Democrats point to a Chapman University survey released earlier this year that said 79% of county residents polled believe “that O.C.’s increasing ethnic diversity is a source of great strength for the region.”
At the heart of the latest drive is a widely discussed 1971 Playboy Interview in which Wayne makes bigoted statements against Black people, Native Americans and the LGBTQ community…
…The resolution was signed by Briceño; Fred Smoller, Chapman University associate professor of political science; and Michael Moodian, Chapman lecturer of leadership studies.
Smoller and Moodian wrote an op-ed for the Voice of OC on June 23 in which they stated, “as Confederate statues and odes to Christopher Columbus are taken down across the country, Orange County must come to grips with its own tribute to a racially polarizing figure: John Wayne. The time has come to rename our airport and remove Wayne’s statue.”
There is also a separate petition calling for the removal of Wayne’s name that has gathered over 600 signatures.
The airport is situated between the cities of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana.