Politicians call for California's John Wayne Airport to be renamed due to actor's racist views

John Wayne holding a rifle in a publicity photo for the movie Shepherd of the Hills.

John Wayne Airport in California's Orange County is the subject of a potential name change spearheaded by democratic politicians due to the Hollywood icon's racist views.

The airport was renamed to honour the actor, who lived nearby, after he died in 1979.

Now the Democratic Party of Orange Country has passed an emergency resolution calling for the airport to revert back to its original name of Orange County Airport.

The resolution includes statements which "condemns John Wayne's racist and bigoted statements," calling them "white supremacist, anti-LGBT and anti-Indigenous".

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American actors John Wayne (1907 - 1979) (left) and James Stewart (1908 - 1997) talk together at the Warner Hollywood Theatre for the premiere of 'How the West Was Won,' Los Angeles, California, February 20, 1963. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Dean Martin points to the drink John Wayne is holding as though to say, "I'm not the only one." Wayne held Deano's drink as the singer-actor presented a "Golden Globe" award during the Hollywood Press Association's award banquet here. Dean quickly got back his drink after making the presentation.
JOHN WAYNE: On this day in 1931 John Wayne was dropped by Fox Film Studios. Film-actor John Wayne. John Wayne is back at war with the Indians. The battleground this time is a road stretching 30 miles through the desert south of Phoenix, Arizona in the USA which the county wants to name after the actor who owned a ranch on a section of Highway 347 until his death in 1979. But Indian leaders will not agree. Upset by the portrayal of American Indians in Wayne's films as less than civilised and aware that even in reality, Wayne was no great friend, having made racist comments in an infamous interview in Playboy interview in 1971, they do not want him associated with their reservation. PA Photo. See PA story US Wayne. **Available black and white only.** (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
American film star John Wayne paying his first visit to London, as he attended the official opening of Republic House, new London headquarters of Republic Pictures Corporation. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
John Wayne, one of the greatest male film stars of all time, would have been 100 on May 26, 2007. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1964 and put this down to his heavy smoking habit.
Hollywood film actor John Wayne - Duke to his friends - on location at Heathrow Airport, where he started filming the crime thriller Joe Battle. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Hollywood film actor John Wayne - Duke to his friends - on location at Heathrow Airport, where he started filming the crime thriller Joe Battle. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Actors Joan Crawford and John Wayne at the Golden Globe Awards, at the Cocoanut Grove in Hollywood, February 2nd 1970. (Photo by Tony Rizzo/Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Hollywood, UNITED STATES: In this 1969 photo, US actor John Wayne accepts his Best Actor Oscar from US singer and actress Barbara Streisand. Wayne won for his role in "True Grit." The 100th anniversary of Wayne's birth is being observed 26 May 2007. Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. His career began in silent movies in the 1920s and was a major star from the 1940s to the 1970s. He died 11 June 1979. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)
circa 1965: EXCLUSIVE American actor John Wayne (1907 - 1979) and his wife, Pilar, wear Western costumes at a SHARE Boomtown party, Moulin Rouge nightclub, Hollywood, California. (Photo by M. Garrett/Murray Garrett/Getty Images)
22nd July 1961: American actor John Wayne with his wife Pilar Palette at the Cocoanut Grove club in Hollywood. (Photo by Express/Express/Getty Images)
28th October 1960: John Wayne, the Hollywood star and film actor, sits around the campfire with some cubs during his visit to Meath School in Ottershaw. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) 9/29/1960-Hollywood, CA-: John Wayne holds his daughter, Aissa, on the set of "The Alamo."
(Original Caption) 9/29/1960-Hollywood, CA-: John Wayne stands with his daughter, Aissa, on the set of "The Alamo."
(Original Caption) Looking like a pair of very proud parents, actor John Wayne and his leave St. Josephs Hospital here, April 6th, with their baby daughter, Aissa (CQ). The baby, born March 31st, weighed seven pounds, eight ounces.
(Original Caption) There's not a saddle or six-gun in sight as Hollywood's John Wayne arrives in Paris on a train, just like everybody else. The actor is here to attend the world premiere of his latest film, "The Conqueror", in which he plays Genghis Khan. Huh?
Actor John Wayne stole the show from Hollywood glamor girls with a bathtub scene, part of the goings on in his new film ‘Blood Alley.' There were, to be sure, a few things lacking in Wayne's beauty bath. No bubbles, no bath salts and (shucks!) no ladies in waiting. In fact, the area was ‘out of bounds' for ladies. But it didn't stop actress Lauren Bacall, Wayne's co-star in the picture from ogling the proceedings along with two or three other gate-crashing females. Their unanimous reaction was: ‘he's cute!'
(Original Caption) 4/10/54-Hollywood, California: Actor John Wayne helps his son Pat with his lines for "The Long Gray Line" in which Pat makes his screen debut. The younger Wayne, a teenager, plays the part of a West Point cadet in the film.
John Wayne, playing George McLintock, spanks Maureen O'Hara, playing his wife Katherine, in the Western-comedy McLintock!
HOLLYWOOD, CA - 1969: American actor John Wayne cutting the cake of its 40th anniversary of a movie career in Hollywood, California in 1969, with from left to right: Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Rock Hudson, Fred MacMurray, James Stewart, Ernest Borgnine, Michael Caine and Laurence Harvey. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) 12/28/1970-Hollywood, CA-: John Ethan Wayne, 8, gets a hug and some good words from Dad, John Wayne, after filming a shootout scene with outlaws in "The Million Dollar Kidnapping." In John Ethan's first featured role -- last spring he was a costumed extra with his father in "Rio Lobo" -- he plays the grandson of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, kidnapped by Richard Boone and his bandidos and held in Mexico for $1 million ransom.
(Original Caption) Los Angeles: Actor John Wayne presents the Cecil B. DeMille Award to actress Joan Crawford as the two meet with the press during the 27th Golden Globes Annual Awards presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the Ambassador Hotel. Wayne also won the Best Motion Picture Actor (Drama) Award for his part in the movie True Grit.
Actor John Wayne talks to Rick Schroder, the young actor who stars in the new movie The Champ, as other Hollywood celebrities gather around them on the stage after the conclusion of the Academy Awards Ceremonies. Near the pair are Shirley Jones and Sammy Davis, Jr. (at right), and Brooke Shields and Racquel Welch (at left). Yul Brynner and David L. Wolper are also in the background. Wayne presented the Oscar for best picture to The Deer Hunter.

The resolution states: "It is widely recognised that racist symbols produce lasting physical and psychological stress and trauma, particularly to Black communities, people of colour and other oppressed groups, and the removal of racist symbols provides a necessary process for communities to remember historic acts of violence and recognise victims of oppression."

The actor, best known for his leading roles in Western films, made several racist statements in a 1971 interview with Playboy Magazine, even admitting he was a believer in white supremacy.

The interview saw Wayne say: "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 also took aim at Native American people.

He said: "I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. ... 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."

There has been a recent surge of actions and petitions to remove place names and symbols linked to figures who profited from or believed in white supremacy.

The demands come off the back of the Black Lives Matter movement gaining public attention and traction after George Floyd, a black man, was killed by police in Minneapolis while he was being restrained.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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