Orange County Democrats condemn ‘racist’ comments by John Wayne, call for airport to drop his name

0
9

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.

“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.

He infamously said, “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 later 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.”

“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.”

He also considered 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.

Briceño believes the renaming is possible because of two factors: changing demographics and the wave of protests following the police killing of George Floyd.

Last year, registered Democrats outnumbered registered Republicans in the county that embraced Wayne and GOP Presidents Reagan and Nixon.

“The numbers have grown since last year to where I believe we have something like 40,000 more Democrats than Republicans,” Briceño said.

She added the protests after the death of Floyd, killed by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on of his neck for almost nine minutes, has put police brutality and white supremacy in the face of Americans who had not witnessed such aggression.

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.

A call to Newport Beach City Councilman Kevin Muldoon, who in 2017, as that city’s mayor, led a push to name a city park after Wayne, did return a phone call looking for comment.

Wayne lived a good portion of his life in Newport Beach, was a county political power broker, a member of the John Birch Society and was buried in the city after his death in 1979.

Calls and an email to Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel, whose district includes the airport, were not immediately returned, nor was a call to Orange County Republican Party Chairman Fred Whitaker.

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said he had just heard about the Democratic resolution and was unaware of its wording or merit.

He mentioned previous renaming efforts had “popped up periodically” and usually “don’t have legs” with Orange County residents.

When asked about the Playboy article, Wagner said he was aware of the negativity surrounding the interview but had not read it personally.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

Andrew J. Campa covers the Eastside, Boyle Heights, Echo Park, parts of the San Gabriel Valley and the Southeast Corridor for the Los Angeles Times. He previously worked at the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, Whittier Daily News and Pasadena Star-News. Campa is a Cal State Fullerton and Pasadena City College alumnus.

Opinion

Want to tear down insidious monuments to racism and segregation? Bulldoze L.A.’s freeways

Opinion

Want to tear down insidious monuments to racism and segregation? Bulldoze L.A.’s freeways

Spewing carbon monoxide across L.A. on the freeway system feeds into a pot of racism and segregation that’s been stewing for nearly a century.

California

L.A. mayor urges residents to stay home as coronavirus cases spike

California

L.A. mayor urges residents to stay home as coronavirus cases spike

There have been nearly 90,000 confirmed coronavirus infections and more than 3,200 deaths in Los Angeles County.

Science

Inside the body, the coronavirus is even more sinister than scientists had realized

Science

Inside the body, the coronavirus is even more sinister than scientists had realized

Cells hijacked by the coronavirus grow long, streaming tentacles to reach out to new victims, scientists found. This could complicate the search for a vaccine.

California

Rising infections in younger people fuel California’s new coronavirus spike

California

Rising infections in younger people fuel California’s new coronavirus spike

The alarming recent surge in COVID-19 cases appears to be driven at least in part by increases in infections among Californians ages 18 to 49.

California

Who doesn’t trust Lucy Jones in a crisis? Here’s what she has to say about the coronavirus pandemic

California

Who doesn’t trust Lucy Jones in a crisis? Here’s what she has to say about the coronavirus pandemic

Lucy Jones has gotten us through many a crisis. The coronavirus pandemic may be different from an earthquake, but her analysis of it, in a new podcast, is as steady and clear as ever.

California

Coronavirus caught us off guard. Here’s what disaster preppers say we needed to do all along

California

Coronavirus caught us off guard. Here’s what disaster preppers say we needed to do all along

Californians live in the land of wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Here’s what we can learn from people who take preparedness very seriously.

Lifestyle

L.A. Affairs: How quarantine — and a bad breakup — healed me

Lifestyle

L.A. Affairs: How quarantine — and a bad breakup — healed me

Trying to determine where my heart falls on the spectrum of being attracted to more than just one gender is not a new feeling for me. I’ve come to terms with how you can’t keep hiding who you truly are.

California

California Latino, Black residents hit even harder by coronavirus as white people see less danger

California

California Latino, Black residents hit even harder by coronavirus as white people see less danger

As COVID-19 cases spike, Latino and Black residents of Los Angeles County now have double the mortality rate of white residents.

California

What we are wondering: Updates, goals, links, numbers and distractions (free)

California

What we are wondering: Updates, goals, links, numbers and distractions (free)

Trying to get a handle on how California is reopening and what it means for you? Our guide includes updates and tips for remaining healthy and sane.

California

L.A. County faces ‘critical moment’ as coronavirus cases keep surging

California

L.A. County faces ‘critical moment’ as coronavirus cases keep surging

Los Angeles County public health officials on Saturday reported a continued rise in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, saying the increase came at “a critical moment” in the county’s reopening.

California

Beverly Hills facing criticism after arrests of 28 peaceful protesters

California

Beverly Hills facing criticism after arrests of 28 peaceful protesters

The protest, which drew about 75 people, was the third in Beverly Hills organized by the Black Future Project, but the first that resulted in arrests, an organizer says.

California

4 San Jose police officers on leave after racist Facebook posts found

California

4 San Jose police officers on leave after racist Facebook posts found

A San Jose Police Department spokeswoman confirmed the agency was conducting an administrative investigation into the comments.

California

Facebook removes videos targeting public health officials

California

Facebook removes videos targeting public health officials

The videos Facebook removed were from the Freedom Angels Foundation, known for its opposition to California’s efforts to mandate vaccinations.

California

Imperial County officials meeting to work out a coronavirus plan

California

Imperial County officials meeting to work out a coronavirus plan

Local and state officials were to meet in El Centro on Saturday to create a plan to deal with a high number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Sign up for the latest news, best stories and what they mean for you, plus answers to your questions.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMikwFodHRwczovL3d3dy5sYXRpbWVzLmNvbS9jYWxpZm9ybmlhL3N0b3J5LzIwMjAtMDYtMjcvb3JhbmdlLWNvdW50eS1kZW1vY3JhdHMtY29uZGVtbi1yYWNpc3QtY29tbWVudHMtYnktam9obi13YXluZS1jYWxsLWZvci1haXJwb3J0LXRvLWRyb3AtaGlzLW5hbWXSAQA?oc=5

News – Orange County Democrats condemn ‘racist’ comments by John Wayne, call for airport to drop his name

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here