The Democratic Party of Orange County California passed a resolution proposing a name change to the John Wayne Airport (SNA) located in Southern California. The resolution calls for the removal of the name and likenesses from the airport based on the Duke’s “white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-Indigenous views.”
“There have been numerous calls to remove John Wayne’s namesake from Orange County’s airport because of Wayne’s white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-Indigenous views which were shared in part in a a 1971 interview, where Wayne is quoted saying, “I believe in white supremacy” and “I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves;”
The resolution is just that…a resolution and is not binding. The party is asking the Orange County Board of Supervisors to change the name back to it’s original name, the Orange County Airport.
This is not first time there have been calls to change the name in the past, but with the recent events transpiring nationwide the Orange County group feels empowered to take another run at the famous airport.
In 2019 the Washington Time resurfaced an old Playboy interview where Wayne expressed inflammatory (to say the least) comments. Here are some excerpts and you can judge for yourself:
“PLAYBOY: What kind of films do you consider perverted?
WAYNE: Oh, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy—that kind of thing. Wouldn’t you say that the wonderful love of those two men in Midnight Cowboy, a story about two fags, qualifies? But don’t get me wrong. As far as a man and a woman is concerned, I’m awfully happy there’s a thing called sex. It’s an extra something God gave us. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be in pictures. Healthy, lusty sex is wonderful.”
PLAYBOY: Angela Davis claims that those who would revoke her teaching credentials on ideological grounds are actually discriminating against her because she’s black. Do you think there’s any truth in that?
WAYNE: With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. 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.
PLAYBOY: Are you equipped to judge which blacks are irresponsible and which of their leaders inexperienced?
WAYNE: It’s not my judgment. The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically. But some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven’t passed the tests and don’t have the requisite background.
PLAYBOY: How do they get that background?
WAYNE: By going to school. I don’t know why people insist that blacks have been forbidden their right to go to school. They were allowed in public schools wherever I’ve been. Even if they don’t have the proper credentials for college, there are courses to help them become eligible. But if they aren’t academically ready for that step, I don’t think they should be allowed in. Otherwise, the academic society is brought down to the lowest common denominator.
WAYNE: What good would it do to register anybody in a class of higher algebra or calculus if they haven’t learned to count? There has to be a standard. I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves. Now, I’m not condoning slavery. It’s just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and has to wear braces so he can’t play football with the rest of us. I will say this, though: I think any black who can compete with a white today can get a better break than a white man. I wish they’d tell me where in the world they have it better than right here in America.
PLAYBOY: Many militant blacks would argue that they have it better almost anywhere else. Even in Hollywood, they feel that the color barrier is still up for many kinds of jobs. Do you limit the number of blacks you use in your pictures?
WAYNE: Oh, Christ no. I’ve directed two pictures and I gave the blacks their proper position. I had a black slave in The Alamo, and I had a correct number of blacks in The Green Berets. If it’s supposed to be a black character, naturally I use a black actor. But I don’t go so far as hunting for positions for them. I think the Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far. There’s no doubt that 10 percent of the population is black, or colored, or whatever they want to call themselves; they certainly aren’t Caucasian. Anyway, I suppose there should be the same percentage of the colored race in films as in society. But it can’t always be that way. There isn’t necessarily going to be 10 percent of the grips or sound men who are black, because more than likely, 10 percent haven’t trained themselves for that type of work.
PLAYBOY: That’s hardly the point, but let’s change the subject. For years American Indians have played an important—if subordinate—role in your Westerns. Do you feel any empathy with them?
WAYNE: I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that’s what you’re asking. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.
PLAYBOY: Weren’t the Indians—by virtue of prior possession—the rightful owners of the land?
WAYNE: Look, I’m sure there have been inequalities. If those inequalities are presently affecting any of the Indians now alive, they have a right to a court hearing. But what happened 100 years ago in our country can’t be blamed on us today.
PLAYBOY: What makes you, at the age of 63, feel qualified to comment on the fears and motivations of the younger generation?
WAYNE: I’ve experienced a lot of the same things that kids today are going through, and I think many of them admire me because I haven’t been afraid to say that I drink a little whiskey, that I’ve done a lot of things wrong in my life, that I’m as imperfect as they all are. Christ, I don’t claim to have the answers, but I feel compelled to bring up the fact that
under the guise of doing good, these kids are causing a hell of a lot of irreparable damage, and they’re starting something they’re not gonna be able to finish. Every bit of rampant anarchy has provoked a little more from somebody else. And when they start shooting policemen, the time has come to start knocking them off, as far as I’m concerned.