The Democratic Party of Orange County in California wants to send the “Duke” riding off into the sunset for good.
Party leaders are demanding the removal of actor John Wayne’s name from the local airport due to the “racist and bigoted statements” that the Hollywood star made in a 1971 magazine interview.
In a resolution issued on Friday, they are calling for John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana to revert back to its 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 party said in its resolution.
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.
“A national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names is reshaping American institutions, monuments, businesses, nonprofits, sports leagues and teams,” the O.C. Democrats said. “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.”
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.”
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