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.”
© 2020 AFP
‘Most people are not wearing masks’ as Trump hosts the ‘largest event since the start of the pandemic’ at the White House
President Donald Trump on Saturday hosted the largest White House event since the start of the coronavirus lockdowns.
As attendees began to gather, the White House press corps posted photos of the event.
While the White House was asking people to wear masks, they were not required to attend the event.
Sign on the South Lawn of the WH for tonight's event: pic.twitter.com/wF6mxrWfLz
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 4, 2020
Montana GOP ticket sidelined after exposure to COVID-positive Trump, Jr. girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle: report
The Montana Republican Party is facing a crisis after multiple members of the ticket traveled to South Dakota for Donald Trump's rally and were potentially exposed to COVID-19.
"Montana gubernatorial candidate Rep. Greg Gianforte and his running mate, Kristen Juras, confirmed Saturday they will self-quarantine after Gianforte's wife, Susan, and Juras attended an event last week with Kimberly Guilfoyle, who has since tested positive for COVID-19," KBZK-TV reported Saturday.
‘Perhaps the most un-American speech ever delivered by an American president’: Ambassador McFaul
President Donald Trump's address at Mount Rushmore was blasted as "un-American" by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
McFaul retweeted a clip of the leader of the free world failing to pronounce the word, "totalitarianism."
"Trump has no idea what words like fascism and totalitarianism mean," McFaul, now a professor at Stanford, declared.
"To those who wrote this speech and those senior [White House] officials who approved this speech, shame on you. Perhaps the most un-American speech ever delivered by an American president and on the July 4th weekend no less," he explained.