Orange County’s Democratic Party is hoping sundown is on the horizon for the Duke.
This week, officers passed an crisis resolution condemning film legend John Wayne’s “racist and bigoted statements” made decades back and are calling on the Orange County Board of Supervisors to fall his identify, statue and other likenesses from the intercontinental airport.
The resolution also requested the board “to restore its unique identify: Orange County Airport.”
“There have been past attempts to get this performed and now we’re putting our identify and our backing into this to make confident there is a identify alter,” mentioned Ada Briceño, chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County.
According to the crafters of the resolution, who involve Briceño, the work to oust Wayne is aspect of “a national movement to take out white supremacist symbols and names [that are] reshaping American establishments, monuments, firms, nonprofits, sports activities leagues and teams.”
The resolution provides: “It is greatly recognized that racist symbols make lasting bodily and psychological pressure and trauma particularly to Black communities, men and women of colour and other oppressed teams.”
The resolution notes that the county is a great deal more assorted than it was in 1979, when Orange County Airport was christened John Wayne Airport.
Democrats point to a Chapman University study unveiled before this calendar year that mentioned seventy nine% of county residents polled believe that “that O.C.’s raising ethnic range is a resource of fantastic toughness for the area.”
At the coronary heart of the latest push is a greatly reviewed 1971 Playboy Job interview in which Wayne helps make bigoted statements against Blacks, Native Us citizens and the LGBTQ neighborhood.
He infamously mentioned, “I believe that in white supremacy until finally the blacks are educated to a point of duty. I do not believe that in supplying authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible men and women.”
He afterwards mentioned that even though he didn’t condone slavery, “I do not sense responsible about the actuality that 5 or 10 generations back these men and women were being slaves.”
He also felt no regret in the subjugation of Native Us citizens.
“I do not sense we did mistaken in taking this fantastic place away from them. … [O]ur so-known as stealing of this place from them was just a make a difference of survival,” he mentioned. “There were being fantastic figures of men and women who necessary new land, and the Indians were being selfishly hoping to keep it for on their own.”
He also considered films this kind of as “Easy Rider” and “Midnight Cowboy” perverted, and used a homosexual slur to refer to the two most important characters of the latter film.
Briceño thinks the renaming is possible for the reason that of two factors: switching demographics and the wave of protests pursuing the police killing of George Floyd.
Final calendar year, registered Democrats outnumbered registered Republicans in the county that embraced Wayne and GOP Presidents Reagan and Nixon.
“The figures have developed considering the fact that final calendar year to the place I believe that we have one thing like forty,000 more Democrats than Republicans,” Briceño mentioned.
She added the protests after the death of Floyd, killed by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on of his neck for nearly eight minutes, has set police brutality and white supremacy in the facial area of Us citizens who experienced not witnessed this kind of aggression.
“Who wishes to be tied to white supremacy?” Briceño requested.
The resolution was signed by Briceño Fred Smoller, Chapman University associate professor of political science and Michael Moordian, Chapman lecturer of leadership reports.
Smoller and Moordian wrote an op-ed for the Voice of OC on June 23 in which they stated, “as Accomplice statues and odes to Christopher Columbus are taken down throughout the place, Orange County will have to occur to grips with its very own tribute to a racially polarizing figure: John Wayne. The time has occur to rename our airport and take out Wayne’s statue.”
There is also a separate petition calling for the removal of Wayne’s identify that has gathered above 600 signatures.
The airport is located concerning the cities of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana.
A contact to Newport Beach metropolis councilman Kevin Muldoon, who in 2017, as that city’s mayor, led a push to identify a metropolis park after Wayne, did return a phone contact looking for comment.
Wayne lived a superior portion of his everyday living in Newport Beach, was a county political energy broker, a member of the John Birch Modern society and was buried in the metropolis after his death in 1979.
Phone calls and an e mail to Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel, whose district consists of the airport, were being not quickly returned, nor was a contact to Orange County Republican Party Chairman Fred Whitaker.
Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner mentioned he experienced just read about the Democratic resolution and was unaware of its wording or merit.
He talked about earlier renaming attempts experienced “popped up periodically” and usually “don’t have legs” with Orange County residents.
When requested about the Playboy post, Wagner mentioned he was aware of the negativity bordering the job interview but experienced not study it individually.