As a nationwide revision of history and culture continue after the death of George Floyd, the next figure from the past who is being harshly reprimanded is none other than the Duke himself, Western legend John Wayne.
In particular, activists in and around the state of California are asking local politicians to rename the Orange County airport which has been named after the Hollywood legend. His racism and homophobia has been cited as the major reasons why he should not be honored.
It is true that Wayne, born in 1907 and passed away in 1979, made inappropriate comments. For instance, he said that he does not feel guilt for slavery, used homophobic language and said that the Native Americans were being selfish by refusing to share with the Whites.
As these decades old comments resurface, activists have asked for a renaming of the airport along with pulling down his statue in Santa Ana airport. A Los Angeles Times article reported how the local officials issued a denouncement of Wayne’s comments.
While the attempts are not new, they have gained in size and power as the issue of race became hypersensitive for Americans after the death of Floyd.
Democratic Party chair in Orange County said that the organization will spearhead the efforts to ensure that a man like John Wayne is not held up as a hero and icon in Orange County. The actor spent most of his adult life in the county, hence the honor of having an airport named after him.
Politicians who wrote the resolution which denounced Wayne said that the movement must be seen as a whole, together with other nationwide movements that aim to correct the previous wrongs by ceasing to honor those with troubling perspectives.
Authors of the resolution noted that Orange County has demographically shifted after the Hollywood legend passed away, becoming much more diverse.
Orange County’s Supervisor said that there has been no formal request or movement by local politicians to rename the airport. A similar attempt took place early last year when the Playboy article which included some of his worst comments suddenly resurfaced online.
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