In a statement to Fox News on Monday, legendary actor John Wayne’s son, Ethan Wayne, unloaded on Orange County Democrats for pushing to remove his father’s name from John Wayne Airport because of “racist and bigoted statements” he made five decades ago.
“Let me make one thing clear — John Wayne was not a racist. I know that term is casually tossed around these days, but I take it very seriously. I also understand how we got to this point,” Ethan Wayne said to Fox News.
“There is no question that the words spoken by John Wayne in an interview 50 years ago have caused pain and anger,” Ethan said while referring to a comment his father made during an interview 50 years ago. “They pained him as well, as he realized his true feelings were wrongly conveyed. The truth is, as we have seen in papers from his archives, he did not support ‘white supremacy’ in any way and believed that responsible people should gain power without the use of violence,” Wayne said.
“Those who knew him, knew he judged everyone as an individual and believed everyone deserved an equal opportunity,” Ethan continued. “He called out bigotry when he saw it. He hired and worked with people of all races, creeds, and sexual orientations. John Wayne stood for the very best for all of us — a society that doesn’t discriminate against anyone seeking the American dream.”
Wayne added it “would be an injustice to judge him based on a single interview, as opposed to the full picture of who he was.”
Last Friday, Orange County Democrats called for the John Wayne Airport to change back to it’s original name, Orange County Airport.
“Orange County is now a diverse region far different from the time when John Wayne was chosen as namesake for the airport,” the Democrat’s resolution said.
“A national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names is reshaping American institutions, monuments, businesses, nonprofits, sports leagues and teams,” Democrats of Orange County added. “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.”
Check out what Breitbart reported:
There have been several attempts in recent years to rename John Wayne Airport. But the latest effort from O.C. Democrats is the first to invoke the recent Black Lives Matter protests, which have targeted historic statues and monuments around the country for destruction and removal.
The party said the removal of racist symbols “provides a necessary process for communities to remember historic acts of violence and recognize victims of oppression.”
John Wayne gave an interview to Playboy magazine in 1971 in which the Oscar-winning actor made comments that O.C. Democrats now view as “racist and bigoted.”
The comments from Wayne that Democrats are referring to came during an interview in 1971.
“With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so,” Wayne said at the time. “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.”
In the same interview, Wayne also commented on taking land away from the Native Americans.
“I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that’s what you’re asking,” Wayne said. “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.”
John Wayne Airport was given its current name in 1979 in honor of the True Grit actor who died that year and was a local resident. It is the largest airport in Orange County, which owns and operates it.
The O.C. was once a Republican stronghold. But it turned blue during the 2018 midterm elections, with all of its congressional districts now represented by Democrats.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!