Categories: World News

Trump Defends John Wayne Legacy Over Airport ‘Racism’ Row

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board in the East Room of the White House on June 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP



US President Donald Trump leapt to the defense Monday of his movie idol John Wayne, after California Democrats called for the actor’s name to be removed from a local airport due to “racist” comments.

Wayne — the late, macho star of Hollywood westerns such as “True Grit” — held “white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-Indigenous views,” the Orange County Democratic Party said in a resolution last week.

The group pointed to a 1971 interview with Playboy magazine, where Wayne was 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 Democratic Party of Orange County condemns John Wayne’s racist and bigoted statements, and calls for John Wayne’s name and likeness to be removed from the Orange County airport,” Friday’s resolution said.

The move comes at a time when historic statues and monuments are being removed across the country, as Americans grapple with the legacy of racism.

Vast nationwide anti-racism protests followed African American George Floyd’s death in police custody last month.

“Now the Do Nothing Democrats want to take off the name John Wayne from an airport,” tweeted Trump. “Incredible stupidity!”

Trump has called himself a “longtime fan” of Wayne, appearing alongside the actor’s daughter Aissa at Wayne’s birthplace memorial in Iowa during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Wayne’s family has dismissed the Playboy interview comments as a “single outlier interview from half a century ago” that does not represent him.

“It would be an injustice to judge someone based on an interview that’s being used out of context,” Wayne’s son Ethan told CNN last year. “They’re trying to contradict how he lived his life, and how he lived his life was who he was.”

Wayne starred in more than 150 films over six decades. He was nominated for three Oscars, winning best actor for 1969’s “True Grit.”

The Democrats’ resolution noted the population of Orange County, near Los Angeles, has grown far more diverse since 1979 — the year Wayne died, and the airport was named for him.

They have called for its name to be restored to “Orange County Airport.”


Emmanuel Egobiambu

Disqus Comments Loading...

Recent Posts

  • World News

EU ‘Deplores’ China’s Hong Kong Security Law

    The European Union said Tuesday it deplored China's adoption of a security law for Hong Kong which it…

2 mins ago
  • Local

Job Scam: Be Mindful Of Fraudsters, Immigration Warns Nigerians

    Authorities of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have warned jobseekers to be mindful of fraudsters while seeking to…

26 mins ago
  • Crime Watch
  • Local

Troops Kill Four Militias, Arrest Suspected Kidnap Kingpin

    The Nigerian Army has killed four suspected Tiv militias and injured others at Che Jukun village in Taraba…

30 mins ago
  • Local

Army Convoy Knocks Down Motorcycle Rider In Katsina

  A convoy of the Nigerian Army has knocked down a motorcycle operator, resulting in the death of the 75-year-old…

2 hours ago
  • Crime Watch
  • Local

Police Arrest Kidnap Suspects Who Killed Doctor, Others After N7.5m Ransom

    Police operatives of the Intelligence Response Team have arrested two suspects for the kidnap of a medical doctor,…

2 hours ago
  • Headlines

Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Top 25,000 As 395 More Patients Recover

    The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Nigeria exceeded the 25,000 mark on Monday following the report of…

11 hours ago