The Democrats' resolution noted Orange County has grown far more diverse since 1979 -- the year John Wayne died, and the airport was named for him Photo: AFP/File
entertainment

Trump defends John Wayne legacy over airport 'racism' row

66 Comments
By MARIO TAMA

U.S. 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."

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

66 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

People seem to expect perfection from others but not of themselves. Those wanting to cancel John Wayne probably support affirmative action racism. They probably support MLK statues even though he actively witnessed and encouraged a woman being sexually assaulted. They probably had no problem with Obama attending a racist black nationalist church.

Wayne said some harsh things but I haven’t seen any evidence that he actually discriminated against anyone. There’s a big difference.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Does trump know right from wrong? No He Does Not !!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

*can redeem themselves

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's the word. 'Former'. Some people do learn and change their attitudes. Ever read the 'Autobiography of Malcolm X'? He learned to give up his hatred towards non-Blacks and converted to true Islam and embraced the brotherhood of all people before he died. And he was very open and explicit about that.

Ok, so now you’re just making excuses. ROFL.

Are you saying nobody can be redeem themselves?

When did you join the cancel culture?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So a guy born in 1907 says some stuff that you’d expect a guy born in 1907 to say. Does this surprise anyone? If you think John Wayne was scum for what he said, then I guess you must also think your granddad was scum . Because he probably also said the same things.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Marion Robert Morrison" was his real name, not John Wayne.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

tooheysnewToday  06:49 am JST

Don’t mess with The Duke !

On film he was the Duke, but with his racist attitudes he was more of a Puke than a duke. Hey, I liked Mel Gibson in those Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, etc. movies but look at the things he's been doing and saying for the past few years. And I remember Bill Cosby from those children's TV shows as well and he's a horrible guy.

Hollywood masks the actor's true colors. It's a sign of good acting skills but the silver screen usually lies.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I’m Against all forms bigotry, that goes for “reverse racism” as well.

Another variation of the "All Lives Matter" scam!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Stop defending racists, for starters. You most certainly should feel guilty about that

I don't recall defending any racists. I for one, think what John Wayne said ("I believe in white supremacy") is terrible. I really do. That's why I didn't defend it.

and saying no one owes anything for the sins of the past means you are defending racists, plain and simple.

Nonsense. It means the same as you are not going to pay off my credit card because you are not responsible for making any purchases with it.

John Wayne was a racist, and Donald Trump, surprise surprise, defends him

It certainly sounds like John Wayne had some strong racist beliefs, AND I denounce him for that. And Donald Trump acts racist at times, no doubt in my mind. That's why I don't defend him either. Although, when he does something good (it happens now and then) I make it a point to applaud those actions. Overall, I'm not a supporter. I didn't vote for him and I won't vote for him next election either.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Reckless

John Wayne's generation defeated Hitler. He was a great man.

But not the draft dodging "Duke", he just happened to be born at a certain time. There is no correlation between his birth and the defeat of the Nazi army.

Movies are only make-believe!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I’m Against all forms bigotry, that goes for “reverse racism” as well.

That’s a myth that assumes racism exists on a level playing field and ignores imbalance of power and opportunity.

Racism is racism, calling something ‘reverse racism’ is often an excuse to play victim against someone who is just getting their fair shake of the stick.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

smithinjapan

 John Wayne was a racist, and Donald Trump, surprise surprise, defends him.

Defends a racist, talks trash like a racist, commits racist acts, promotes racist violence, IS A RACIST.

Logic therefore says Donald Trump is a racist. And he's immature too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

John Wayne's generation defeated Hitler. He was a great man.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Stop defending racists, for starters.

What defines as a racist? It seems like over the last month that term seems to be very convoluted.

You most certainly should feel guilty about that -- and saying no one owes anything for the sins of the past means you are defending racists, plain and simple.

Do you think Sharpton is racist? When BLM chants what do we want? Dead cops, when do want it? Now! What about the fact that most blacks that are killed by cops are not killed by white cops? In claiming so, isn’t that racist?

John Wayne was a racist, and Donald Trump, surprise surprise, defends him.

Yes, Wayne was a racist, but again, I will be against the removal of almost everything else when it comes to our history and culture.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Bugle Boy of Company B: "It was terrible, sure, but..."

Ah, the "but". So, in other words, it was not terrible to you. Well done.

"I'd love for someone to explain what I as a white male must do to pay off my "debt" to the black community."

Stop defending racists, for starters. You most certainly should feel guilty about that -- and saying no one owes anything for the sins of the past means you are defending racists, plain and simple. John Wayne was a racist, and Donald Trump, surprise surprise, defends him.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'd love for someone to explain what I as a white male must do to pay off my "debt" to the black community. Is there a dollar amount you can put on it? Or do I have to spend the rest of my life feeling guilty?

You have to feel guilty, Democrats demand it, Anarchists demand it and the Republicans are too scared to say something for fearing to step out of line and be called racists, therefore you have to spend the rest of your life repenting.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I'd love for someone to explain what I as a white male must do to pay off my "debt" to the black community. Is there a dollar amount you can put on it? Or do I have to spend the rest of my life feeling guilty?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

So are you going to explain

I already did, sigh.....

Do you think Trump is wrong to defend this?

Yes and No. Wayne was a despicable character, no doubt about it, so I think it should come down especially for the comments he made in the recent 20th century, however, I don’t think historical figures need to come down and shouldn’t.

You describe and criticize Wayne as “an all out in the open and unrepentant bigot.” Are you against all bigotry or selective about it?

I’m Against all forms bigotry, that goes for “reverse racism” as well.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sigh.

So are you going to explain or just divert again? Your one ‘Exception’ to what?

Do you think Trump is wrong to defend this?

You describe and criticize Wayne as “an all out in the open and unrepentant bigot.” Are you against all bigotry or selective about it?

Answer the questions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

During the war he inspired no one and avoided the draft just like Trump while millions fought.

To be fair we shouldn't have gone into a hot war with Germany. Japan, yes, because they attacked us.

After Pearl Harbor, the US declared war on Japan. Then, because Japan and Germany were allies, Germany declared war on the US

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It seems that predominantly black countries believe in white supremacy too, otherwise we would see black nations leading the world...

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Read what I wrote.

That’s not an explanation. Exception to what?

Admitting Trump is wrong?

Are the floodgates opening?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So if they want to take JW's name off an airport, lets do the same with MLK who made JFK look like a choir boy when it came to womanizing

I know they were both womanizers, but I don’t know if they were sex pests. If they had histories of rape or sexual assault, it would be a conversation worth having.

If the women involved were consenting, that is a different matter.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

An exception to what?

Read what I wrote.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

MLK who made JFK look like a choir boy when it came to womanizing

Hey if I were a popular guy I would go for the chicks too. What's wrong with that? People who say this are often bitter because chicks don't like them so much.

But we still have Donald "White Power" Trump. It's official, it's a fact. It's KKK certified.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Did you see Trump's tweet? Trump has a new name:

Donald "White Power" Trump. It's a fact. Trump sure has the KKK vote now.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So if they want to take JW's name off an airport, lets do the same with MLK who made JFK look like a choir boy when it came to womanizing, all the time professing to be holier than thou; oh wait, that's racist since we cannot hold people of color to the same standards as whites...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

On this one, I will make an exception.

An exception to what?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On this one, I will make an exception. Wayne was just an all out in the open and unrepentant bigot. Growing up in OC I never could understand why they would name an airport after that man or even praise him as an actor. Dry, dull, boring...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It is amusing to see so many ‘macho’ white Americans hold up ‘The Duke’ as the epitome of patrotism and masculinity when there is such a huge divide between John Wayne and Marilyn Morrison.

He didn’t serve a day of military duty in his life, used an old shoulder injury as an excuse In WW2 apparently because he was afraid of ending his relationship with German Marlene Dietrich.

A draft dodger tries to compensate in his later years with excessive patriotic fervor. Sound familiar?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Katherine Hepburn, when asked, said that John Wayne was her favorite actor “in the highbrow sense of the word.” And she acted with and moved among the greats of the day.

Each to their own.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I love some of John Wayne’s movies; The Searchers and Rio Bravo are two of the greatest films of all time. But I have to separate the man and the art. As an actor I enjoy watching him, as a person....I agree with MDC.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So... people are getting upset about the possible removal of a fake name off an airport?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Jimizo,I don’t think he was a good actor.

Katherine Hepburn, when asked, said that John Wayne was her favorite actor “in the highbrow sense of the word.” And she acted with and moved among the greats of the day.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I applaud the need to rethink about the names of places, and the importance of statues, etc. I think it's a bit more complex than "remove it" though. Some ideas include:

keeping the offending item/name, with a plaque explaining why (at the time) it was created, and why many/some people think it should/should not be removed (or why the person commentated did not deserve it). A "warts and all" approach.

moving the offending plaque/Street sign/statue/etc to a museum, where its history can be explained.

etc.
0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good actor, but also a total racist jackass.

I don’t think he was a good actor. His Genghis Khan was one of the most unintentionally hilarious performances in history.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The “progressives” will get to renaming JFK airport too. Serial philanderer, among other no-nos.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Hence the " " around traditional......

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

He certainly held some "traditional" views on race back in the day. 

Sorry, but even back in the 70s comments like “I believe in white supremacy" were not OK.

Good actor, but also a total racist jackass.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Bill Cosby International?  Jonny Depp International?

He certainly held some "traditional" views on race back in the day.  But saying he was awful because of his LGBT (was there even a T at that time?) views is a bit silly.  He would have been a law abiding citizen if he held those views when same sex was illegal....

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I hate Communism too but most people like him didn't/don't know what 'Communism' is. They go through life with bigotry and ignorance, using 'big words' like 'Communism', 'Muslim', 'terrorist', 'queer' and other loaded and/or hateful words with no idea what they really mean. That's a juvenile 7th grade gym class locker room mentality. That's a bullying ignoramus attitude.

Not my kind of hero.

Wayne helped to entrap and catch so called communists in Hollywood and we know what happened there. People wrongfully accused and then blacklisted. Some never worked again.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

This is part of the cancel culture. Prepare for the new Global Reset. Several media outlets are now hiring private detectives to go thru people social media history. They are going after things like that right now. More is coming.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

zichiToday  08:19 am JST

Nasty little man who never served his country while others went off to war in Europe.

Wayne received a 3-A deferment from the draft for family dependency since he was a father of four and had just made Stagecoach (1939) as a then unknown actor.

It’s very Ironic that John Wayne played so many roles as the all American war Hero and never served during the war period. after the war, he became a big Republican Supporter and was staunchly against Communism.

I hate Communism too but most people like him didn't/don't know what 'Communism' is. They go through life with bigotry and ignorance, using 'big words' like 'Communism', 'Muslim', 'terrorist', 'queer' and other loaded and/or hateful words with no idea what they really mean. That's a juvenile 7th grade gym class locker room mentality. That's a bullying ignoramus attitude.

Not my kind of hero.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

I like John Wayne. He’s done more for pop culture than any current Californian Democrat, that’s for sure! So they should pipe down.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

I find it disgusting that people actually believe and support the idea that an individual who has never owned a slave should owe something to someone who never was a slave.

Right. THAT gets you worked up. Slavery itself not so much.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Nothing should be named after anyone anymore. Gandhi was a racist, MLK was a serial philanderer, even Mother Theresa had some wonky ideas.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

During the war he inspired no one and avoided the draft just like Trump while millions fought.

Go look at Joe Biden and Bill Clinton's draft record too. Same era as Trump and same student deferment excuse just like the ones many American users did here to get out of jury duty. I don't support ANY party but all politicians are deceivers.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Nasty little man who never served his country while others went off to war in Europe.

Single men in their late teens and 20s were chosen first to go to the war before those in their 30s and over and those with multiple children. I know, my grandfather and 4 great uncles served in WW2. 2 great uncles didn't because of reasons I gave in the first sentence.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

He sounds like he was a despicable person. Rename the airport.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

"I believe in white supremacy" and "I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves."

40 years dead, and still fits right in to today's GOP.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Hopefully good riddance very soon. The racism shown by people like him and his fanboy DT has set the country back decades.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

During the war he inspired no one and avoided the draft just like Trump while millions fought.

To be fair we shouldn't have gone into a hot war with Germany. Japan, yes, because they attacked us.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Burning Bush

There are many ways to serve.

Some guys fight, others cook, others man ships and some act in inspirational movies.

He contributed to his country, inspired millions and gave kids a role model to look up to.

During the war he inspired no one and avoided the draft just like Trump while millions fought.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

@Burning Bush

There are many ways to serve.

Some guys fight, others cook, others man ships and some act in inspirational movies.

He contributed to his country, inspired millions and gave kids a role model to look up to.

John Wayne quotes:

He added: “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. 

and....

The Oscar winner, who was known for his Western films, also slammed Native American Indians for their role in history. “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,” he disclosed. “There were great numbers of people who needed new land and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”

and....

“Wouldn’t you say that the wonderful love of those two men in Midnight Cowboy, a story about two fags, qualifies?” Wayne noted when asked which movies he doesn’t support.

Inspiring generations of racists! Gotcha!

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

There are many ways to serve.

Some guys fight, others cook, others man ships and some act in inspirational movies.

He contributed to his country, inspired millions and gave kids a role model to look up to.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

The director John Ford continued to let Wayne know he was disappointed in his failure to serve, saying he was getting rich making movies while other men died.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

Bjorn Tomention

Zichi John Wayne "wasnt a nasty little man" at all , he was in fact 6'4" over 192 cms tall.

You again are off the mark.

No I wasn't. His real character was a "nasty little man!"

And in those war years a father of 4 would have rightfully been in the latter group to be called into war, he did nothing wrong why attack him.

He was accused in 1939, he certainly should have served but like Trump dodged the draft.

held "white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-Indigenous views, racism"

He represents what is worse about America.

Millions served, including many of my own family, millions died while he made his movies.

Wayne's record included three marriages and affairs, apparently doing all he could to avoid military service in World War II, leading efforts to help U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy hunt down Communists in Hollywood and holding views about race that many say were retrograde in 1971.

Wayne

"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."

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

@Bugle Boy

I find it disgusting that people actually believe and support the idea that an individual who has never owned a slave should owe something to someone who never was a slave.

When slaveowners lost their slaves during the Civil War, they all received reparations and was compensated. The slaves and their families were never compensated for the worked that they did or cruelty that they faced.

The past is the past? how slavery still benefits white americans

http://www.wipsociology.org/2019/10/10/the-past-is-the-past-how-slavery-still-benefits-white-americans/

Sociologists and other social scientists disagree. The past may be the past but it continues to have a measurable influence on contemporary social outcomes, and “legacy of slavery” research shows that chattel slavery is directly related to a wide variety of phenomena in the United States: violent crime rates, black election turnout, executions, educational inequality, economic inequality, school segregation. And internationally, researchers find that the slave trade significantly stunted the economic development of places in Africa where slaves were stolen and places where slavery was more widespread historically, with the exception of the United States.

Ignorance is no excuse!

1 ( +16 / -15 )

Zichi John Wayne "wasnt a nasty little man" at all , he was in fact 6'4" over 192 cms tall.

You again are off the mark.

And in those war years a father of 4 would have rightfully been in the latter group to be called into war, he did nothing wrong why attack him.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

I find it disgusting that people actually believe and support the idea that an individual who has never owned a slave should owe something to someone who never was a slave.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

Its clear. The choice is between the pathological “progressives”/left and sanity.

Its that simple.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

Nasty little man who never served his country while others went off to war in Europe.

Wayne received a 3-A deferment from the draft for family dependency since he was a father of four and had just made Stagecoach (1939) as a then unknown actor.

It’s very Ironic that John Wayne played so many roles as the all American war Hero and never served during the war period. after the war, he became a big Republican Supporter and was staunchly against Communism.

5 ( +24 / -19 )

Wayne is right. None of us should feel guilty about people being slaves 5 to 10 generations ago. It was terrible, sure, but we don’t need to feel guilty about it.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

California Democrats called for the actor's name to be removed from a local airport due to "racist" comments.

No surprise here. For crying out loud, California voters, vote these idiots out!

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

Everything named after a person who lived before the 80s is going to have to be renamed eventually.

This won't stop until every last building, park and school is named after some LGBT racial minority.

2 ( +23 / -21 )

Don’t mess with The Duke !

3 ( +13 / -10 )

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