Cooked Crack

The Atlantic: Ronald Reagan's Long-Hidden Racist Conversation with Richard Nixon

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The day after the United Nations voted to recognize the People’s Republic of China, then–California Governor Ronald Reagan phoned President Richard Nixon at the White House and vented his frustration at the delegates who had sided against the United States. “Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did,” Reagan said. “Yeah,” Nixon interjected. Reagan forged ahead with his complaint: “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Nixon gave a huge laugh.

 

The past month has brought presidential racism back into the headlines. This October 1971 exchange between current and future presidents is a reminder that other presidents have subscribed to the racist belief that Africans or African Americans are somehow inferior. The most novel aspect of President Donald Trump’s racist gibes isn’t that he said them, but that he said them in public.

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Even though Reagan had called Nixon to press him to withdraw from the United Nations, in Nixon’s telling, Reagan’s complaints about Africans became the primary purpose of the call.

“As you can imagine,” Nixon confided in Rogers, “there’s strong feeling that we just shouldn’t, as [Reagan] said, he saw these, as he said, he saw these—” Nixon stammered, choosing his words carefully—“these, uh, these cannibals on television last night, and he says, ‘Christ, they weren’t even wearing shoes, and here the United States is going to submit its fate to that,’ and so forth and so on.”

 

The president wanted his patrician secretary of state to understand that Reagan spoke for racist Americans, and they needed to be listened to. “You know, but that’s typical of a reaction, which is probably”—“That’s right,” Rogers interjected—“quite strong.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/ronald-reagans-racist-conversation-richard-nixon/595102/

 

Reagan was racist? Who would have ever guessed? 🙄

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I love that they tried to cover this up too.

 

Reagan was a racist. Everyone knew it, including Republicans. 

 

This thread will probably sink like a lead balloon or get the "consider the time" defense.

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Can’t imagine anyone being shocked or surprised by this.

 

8 hours ago, Corcaigh said:

 

 

Trump is Reaganesque

 

Reagan was a much better actor.

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If a Trumpster were to stumble upon this information they would say 1-"Fake news." 2-"It was a long time ago." 2-"Look at this National Geographic. They don't wear shoes. He's just being honest."

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1 hour ago, TryTheBeal! said:

Can’t imagine anyone being shocked or surprised by this.

I think there's probably a good chunk of folks on the right who think all these racism accusations were smears. Dog whistles didn't exist and folks were seeing things that wasn't there. Seeming more like those folks were right on the trajectory of the conservative movement.  @nonniey come defend your boy.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Corcaigh said:

The GOP faithful will take from this that ...

 

Trump is Reaganesque

 

Which will cause them to think better about Reagan. 

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If this info gains traction and becomes cable news fodder, I am sure it will take all of 5 minutes before we hear all the usual tropes on Fox:

 

"Democrats Party of KKK"

"Lincoln was a Republican"

"Obama was the REAL Racist"

 

(Feel free to add your own to the list)

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1 hour ago, youngestson said:

If a Trumpster were to stumble upon this information they would say 1-"Fake news." 2-"It was a long time ago." 2-"Look at this National Geographic. They don't wear shoes. He's just being honest."

 

Trump supporters cant count to 3 lol

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i plan to keep posting in this thread for awhile

 

one of the more impacting awarenesses in my adolescence was taking in just how full  of ****  (in terms of factual knowledge) almost all adults seemed to be, or how limited their ability to reason logically seemed to be,  on so many things

 

one standout to me was how some people were so dedicated to minimizing or denying  racist thinkng/behavior (i'd come to find these were often seemed to come bundled with other, what came to be predictable, "wtf" forms of thinking)

 

it was in my early teens i began to identify it as a too-common mindset found (seemingly) almost uniquely among republicans compared to democrats

 

for most of 6 decades of noting this and commenting on it, including of course since i began posting here (my only social media expression :806:) and up to this very day, i get what everyone gets from republicans---a **** ton of denial , often militant and ridiculing, but what was obvious was obvious so i added a willfully blind status to many in this demographic in addition to outright prejudice

 

i have listened to goper denial my whole life (like i say, projection and denial almost sum up the core psyche of much of goperdom these days)

 

i also came later to understand how things like white privilege were real in a social context decades before the term became common and how racism, including black/white specifically,  was not only institutionalized across the country (this was the late 60's/early 70's so the lingo used to express these dynamics  was slightly different but the themes/issues were the same) but also existed in forms from passive to active in any demographic, though differentiating in terms of depth and breadth of where these attitudes are most prolific and dangerous was important.....and, to my take,  there was little comparison to how this disease was still a major rot in one party and "only" a minor component in the other party

 

(hoping it's obvious i have zero interest in minimizing the degree it does exist in the dems/indies demo too)

 

 

i think it's quite understandable and fitting that discussions of racism often focus on black/white issues as that specific dynamic does have a very broad scope in our social, economic, and cultural development over our history...and i respond supportively to the line of "building the nation's wealth to a great extent on the backs of african american slaves"

 

and i want to add something, a little indulgently

 

many other groups have been historically noted  targets of bigotry and prejudice in our nation, too, and while i don't want to expand the topic here, i hope i can "get away" with adding that at the same time as an adolescent (growing up in a very diverse anchorage alaska) i just happened to acquire a lot of connection to the history and near-genocide of the indigenous peoples of the continent at the hands of the "american colonists" as they spread, and of the horrific treatment of chinese laborers over a century during our westward expansion (though not limited to just that event)

 

those are two other horror stories of great scope, usually left to slumber in our typcial dialogues, that are real, substantive, and do tie to all this to the degree that  racist/prejudice thinking operates in this country even now in obstructing positive advancement for the entire society, and this force is huge and resilient

 

and then there are the groups that were/are historically discriminated against and abused by the power structure like women and children, but that's not racism and i do think the topic should remain on the op's focus

 

also, to close on a more upbeat note, my intent is not to say all is bad---progress has been made, and great progress at that, in all these matters---it's just that there is so so far to go and so so much violent opposition to decency that the fight must remain energized and determined

 

let's be real clear---many people are still getting killed over this ugly human trait, alive and well and practiced openly under donald trump and the republican party--as it ever was

 

 

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"Racism" and all the other odious little -isms that plague us is overwhelmingly treated as a family heirloom, passed down over dinner and around the TV. If anything, having younger demographics connected via tech to alternative/dissenting views will undermine this, but it will take generations. 

 

But the mere fact that it is discussed openly these days does give ya a shred of hope for the species.

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I'm not sure if anyone is surprised by this.  Finding racist talk/behavior by the Republicans is like shooting fish in a barrel.  

 

31 minutes ago, NoCalMike said:

If this info gains traction and becomes cable news fodder, I am sure it will take all of 5 minutes before we hear all the usual tropes on Fox:

 

"Democrats Party of KKK"

"Lincoln was a Republican"

"Obama was the REAL Racist"

 

(Feel free to add your own to the list)

 

I'll add LBJ and his quotes to the list.  

 

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Well said @Jumbo

I remember distinctly the morning after Hillary conceded the election how frustrated I was that nearly every ideal I've held onto as an adult was repudiated in the man people voted for. I was on the phone with a friend and I remember saying, "I just didn't think my country was this way." He was a bit confused and started talking about low taxes and GOP "ideals", bear in mind the guy has a seven figure portfolio so of the two types of Republicans he's not one of the fools. Since that time I've given that conversation a lot of thought and I've come to realize that my frustration and anger was my fault. My fault because I allowed myself to believe in a version of America that's a myth. A version of America that at most is only a few decades old, and the more I thought about it the more I realized that racism is in the very DNA of our nation and culture from our origins. From the slave trade, to the treatment of the American Native peoples, to the Irish, the Italians, to the Chinese, the Japanese, blacks and now the hispanics, it becomes abundantly clear that when you look at America you see not the egalitarian civil rights theme as our constant, but instead outright and rampant racism is the constant and egalitarianism is the exception rather than the rule. And the years that went by where Nazis and Klansmen would operate in secrecy because the public price they would pay was too high, well they are over. 

 

How amazing it is that all of that work was undone because an attack on the way we speak to one another and consider the other when we speak came under fire from those who wanted to be free from the shackles of civility to offend any and all they choose. They called it political correctness and they trotted out the extreme and misguided uses to make their case and in so doing gained a following of those who saw the absurdity in some things that were said, and with that they tore down the veil of civility to expose their true thoughts. Their racist, homophobic, ignorant, childish, and for lack of a better word evil thoughts. Any who object now are dismissed as snowflakes who can't take the heat of the hatred and evil spewed in their direction. I see this now, and I recognize my mistake.

 

But that recognition of my mistake has led me to another realization, that in Trump's America if they are unshakled from their civility then so am I. And I join the ranks of those who fly the middle finger at Trump. I join the ranks of those who say "if you still support Trump then **** you too." I join the ranks of those who will call a racist a racist and not care if she is offended by the accusation, **** her too. I know many of my friends still believe in rising above, that's fine you rise above, I'm done. This is who we are now, the veil of civility has been torn down and our humanity has been exposed as combative and disagreeable people. They don't care about the "other", why the **** should I then care about them. If I see a truck with the Dixie flag broken down on the highway or with a Trump sticker on the back, **** you. Some white pearl clutching milf complaining about black people using a park, **** you too **** go walk your poodle somewhere else. Don't like seeing Adam & Steve on a commercial normalizing homosexuality, **** you too, keep supporting your favorite pedophile congressman and your rapist priests. Want this country run like a business, fine **** your mom on SSI, and your dad on medicare. **** you and your black lung. **** you and your cancer water from the strip mines. Don't come ****ing crying to me when you voted for exactly this. You can kiss my ass.

'Cause this is America.

Edited by AsburySkinsFan
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Growing up the most eye-opening thing to me when it came to the race/racism issue was what is now commonly referred to as "white fragility."   Not only was there a lot of passive-aggressive racist behavior but whenever it got pointed out to them that what they were saying/doing could be perceived as racist, they become super defensive, borderline offended at the thought of being called out on it. 

 

Fast forward to the transition from Obama to Trump, and just how many every day otherwise regular average white people said things like "All this race stuff started with Obama"  As if somehow minorities feeling more empowered to speak up and stop taking the nonsense is anywhere near the same thing as overt racist behavior from white people. 

 

I think white fragility is a big culprit of why we can't address race issues in this country.  A whole lot of white people just don't want to acknowledge the role they play in the system, even when a lot of it is not necessarily on purpose.  White people do acknowledge that a lot of bad stuff happened a long time ago but where I think the disconnect enters the issue, is that they either are just ignorant or purposely don't want to see how the dots connect between slavery, jim crow, and modern day systematic racism.   

 

 

Edited by NoCalMike
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23 minutes ago, AsburySkinsFan said:

My fault because I allowed myself to believe in a version of America that's a myth. A version of America that at most is only a few decades old, and the more I thought about it the more I realized that racism is in the very DNA of our nation and culture from our origins. From the slave trade, to the treatment of the American Native peoples, to the Irish, the Italians, to the Chinese, the Japanese, blacks and now the hispanics, it becomes abundantly clear that when you look at America you see not the egalitarian civil rights theme as our constant, but instead outright and rampant racism is the constant and egalitarianism is the exception rather than the rule. And the years that went by where Nazis and Klansmen would operate in secrecy because the public price they would pay was too high, well they are over. 

Great post, but this is the thing I keep trying to impress on people. Many White Americans need to understand this piece and learn more about the history of this country instead of the propaganda we been taught. You can start fixing these things by learning about the past instead of making statements like "well I didn't do any of those past horrors so I hold no responsibility."

 

19 minutes ago, NoCalMike said:

White people do acknowledge that a lot of bad stuff happened a long time ago but where I think the disconnect enters the issue, is that they either are just ignorant or purposely don't want to see how the dots connect between slavery, jim crow, and modern day systematic racism. 

It comes down to Americans not knowing their history, particularly white Americans.

Edited by BenningRoadSkin
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18 minutes ago, NoCalMike said:

Growing up the most eye-opening thing to me when it came to the race/racism issue was what is now commonly referred to as "white fragility."   Not only was there a lot of passive-aggressive racist behavior but whenever it got pointed out to them that what they were saying/doing could be perceived as racist, they become super defensive, borderline offended at the thought of being called out on it. 

 

Fast forward to the transition from Obama to Trump, and just how many every day otherwise regular average white people said things like "All this race stuff started with Obama"  As if somehow minorities feeling more empowered to speak up and stop taking the nonsense is anywhere near the same thing as overt racist behavior from white people. 

 

I think white fragility is a big culprit of why we can't address race issues in this country.  A whole lot of white people just don't want to acknowledge the role they play in the system, even when a lot of it is not necessarily on purpose.  White people do acknowledge that a lot of bad stuff happened a long time ago but where I think the disconnect enters the issue, is that they either are just ignorant or purposely don't want to see how the dots connect between slavery, jim crow, and modern day systematic racism.   

 

 

It's also why so many whites refuse to accept the idea of institutional racism, or systemic racism. For them the systems and institutions all work fine and allow them to succeed so therefore they are fine. If they accepted that the systems that allowed for their success were flawed then they'd have to recognize that they played a part and that their success may very well have belonged to another if the roles were equal.

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4 minutes ago, AsburySkinsFan said:

It's also why so many whites refuse to accept the idea of institutional racism, or systemic racism. For them the systems and institutions all work fine and allow them to succeed so therefore they are fine. If they accepted that the systems that allowed for their success were flawed then they'd have to recognize that they played a part and that their success may very well have belonged to another if the roles were equal.

 

I do think part of the problem is that many many many poor white people still struggle and we all see them as different from blacks. I mean they are, they are still white and there are advantages that come with that. But not nearly as much as being middle class or higher white male. I think our communication here can improve as well. If anything we should be making poor whites, if no one else, feel like they are in the same bucket we are. And instead of pulling them back down like crabs, flip the **** over. 

 

*not a slight to either one of you in particular, btw. Just saying that I can see how, if I was a poor and struggling white man and a middle class black man said to me "your success may very well have belonged to another" I would not be receptive to that. To say the least. 

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30 minutes ago, Llevron said:

I think our communication here can improve as well. If anything we should be making poor whites, if no one else, feel like they are in the same bucket we are.

I am going to have to push back against this.

 

It's not our communication that's the problem. And I won't even say it's all the way racism. Elites crafted a campaign to make poor whites feel solidarity with them. They have them, and many people in general, thinking we are all millionaires in waiting. 

 

Poor whites have to realize that what they believe is the American Dream is a myth. (and I need people to read this sentence twice to get what I am saying because I have a feeling some will miss it)

 

Think about the Civil War. A generation of poor white men died in combat over slavery. They owned no effing slaves yet felt solidarity with the slaveowners. They support the advances of the wealthy because that is what they are told to do. 
 

 

 

You are seeing this today with corporate media and conservative and neoliberal policies.

 

Think about the term Trickle Down economics and how that is sold to people as good for them. The Trump Tax cut was the grand dream of that elite, and you have people celebrating an extra 5$ in their paycheck while the elite and wealthy pay no taxes.

 

So yeah, I have to push back on "our" communication. It's not us. It's a system.

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A lot of this stuff is learned through higher education, which is what a lot of people simply lack. That isn't a knock against people without a college education, it is just a matter of reality that a lot of what you learn about our country's history, like actually doing a deep dive into things, is not learned during K-12 education, it simply isn't.   

 

This is why you often hear the "go off to college and get brainwashed" trope in right-wing circles because to them, being exposed to the truth is being brainwashed.   I remember in high school some of these topics were touched on (slavery, jim crow) but you are trying to cover so much at such a fast pace that most issues are treated with an equal amount of time as any other, you move right along to the next history lesson.   It isn't until higher education when classes are offered, sometimes required that spend entire semesters on specific topics/events/effects of from history that you really build that understanding and knowledge and connect the dots.  It is no surprise that uneducated white folks are the ones that tend to reject these concepts the most.   Their "higher" education is from Prager University. 

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1 minute ago, NoCalMike said:

That isn't a knock against people without a college education, it is just a matter of reality that a lot of what you learn about our country's history, like actually doing a deep dive into things, is not learned during K-12 education, it simply isn't.   

And our public schools primarily teach us that America is the greatest and everything was an upward trajectory for this country.

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every oppressed group benefits from/needs its more militant voice as it does more moderate ones, but it is also true that the form each style takes in any given event can damage as much as help the cause, and therein lies the rub and the weight of choice (assuming one is given to truly thoughtful process)

 

 

true though ya won't better manage racism by painting another race as "entirely" or as "mostly" racist in your dialogue---including passively, by constant omission in such presentations, of the fact that many whites, including the demographic of white xtians i appropriately pick on often,  are and long have been longtime partners in battling this form of evil, however flawed some of that support is----keep in mind many people of other pigmentations than black died with freedom from racism for others being one of the things they'd risk life for, and i will include me as i have literally done so and i'm terminally caucasian

 

none of that is to say that it isn't appropriate to focus on whites in 'the problem' in white v black re: racism in america obviously, from those in power to the "active:" citizen racists to all the passive forms...they are the dominant power demographic, especially if you narrow it to older multi-generational-wealthy white males as much of that latter demographic does indeed have its roots, broadly speaking, in inheriting "stolen" wealth as much as "earned" wealth

 

this shouldn't really be "too nuanced" at all imv but it may be 

 

 

in general (everywhere, not focused on here), however understandable in this context, if someone,  especially when you're a non-white, uses the term "whites" all the time attached to almost exclusively negative qualities in their ongoing commentary, including if featured as the sole qualifier in connection to racism and/or being "the enemy" in combating racism, then credibility, impact, and gaining broader activism (key word) can become unnecessarily hampered, ime and fwiw

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1 hour ago, Llevron said:

 

I do think part of the problem is that many many many poor white people still struggle and we all see them as different from blacks. I mean they are, they are still white and there are advantages that come with that. But not nearly as much as being middle class or higher white male. I think our communication here can improve as well. If anything we should be making poor whites, if no one else, feel like they are in the same bucket we are. And instead of pulling them back down like crabs, flip the **** over. 

 

*not a slight to either one of you in particular, btw. Just saying that I can see how, if I was a poor and struggling white man and a middle class black man said to me "your success may very well have belonged to another" I would not be receptive to that. To say the least. 

Oh I absolutely agree. When poor whites in Eastern Kentucky hear about the struggles in black urban areas they don't see that as special at all. They have their parents locked up (meth and pills) they know the abject poverty, they know what it means to struggle to get by. You're right they do have white privilege but it comes with far less advantages than middle class whites to be sure. I think that politicians become blind to that fact which is why Trump is so popular with those folks. And in a generation we'll be hearing them say the same things that some blacks now say about the Democratic party. 

1 hour ago, NoCalMike said:

Their "higher" education is from Prager University. 

Oh jesus Christ! LOL! If I had a dollar for every Prager Univ post that scrolled across my newsfeed....

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