National Archives releases Reagan’s racist call with then-President Nixon, ex-Nixon library director says

In a newly unearthed audio clip, then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan disparaged “monkeys” from African countries in a phone call with then-President Richard Nixon, according to the former director of Nixon’s presidential library, who published his findings in The Atlantic.

Tim Naftali, who directed the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum from 2007 to 2011, writes that Reagan — who would later become the 40th President of the United States — called Nixon in October 1971, the day after the United Nations had voted to recognize the People’s Republic of China. In the call, he says, Reagan is heard apparently referencing the way the Tanzanian delegation started dancing in the General Assembly when the UN took the vote to seat the delegation from Beijing instead of Taiwan.

Reagan, Naftali writes, is heard saying to Nixon, “Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did.”

Nixon interjected: “Yeah.”

Reagan continued, “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries — damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”

Reagan — a devoted defender of Taiwan who despised the UN — wanted the US to withdraw from full participation, Naftali said.

The National Archives originally released the tape of the phone call in 2000 without the racist portion, but as a researcher, Naftali said, he requested a new review of Nixon’s conversations with Reagan last year. The National Archives released the complete version of the recording online two weeks ago.

In another audio clip, Naftali writes, Nixon then called then-Secretary of State William Rogers and recounted his conversation with Reagan.

“As you can imagine,” Nixon told Rogers, “there’s strong feeling that we just shouldn’t, as (Reagan) said, he saw 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 newly unearthed audio comes weeks after President Donald Trump used racist language to attack four progressive Democratic congresswomen of color, implying they weren’t American and suggesting they “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

The President faced swift backlash from both Democrats and Republicans, and the House voted to formally condemn Trump’s racist language.

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6 comments

  • steve

    The person who uncovered this nefarious information is no ordinary researcher. He’s the Presidential Historian for CNN. What would prompt him to dig up 47 year old information if for no other reason than to slime two past Republican Presidents who’ve dead for fifteen years and twenty five years? No wonder CNN is in its death spiral.

    • lml25

      Agree–the motive is to try and connect Reagan’s monkey comment (which is racist language)to Trump (which is not racist) and tie it together in the public mindset.FOX wont let me explain it though…lol.Censorship is alive and well.Suffice it to say,I KNOW MLK,Jesse Jackson and Elijah Cummings have unleashed a few racist comments about whites in their lifetimes.But the media doesn’t care about that.

  • lml25

    Here’s a lesson in media prevaricating–rIght from the above article(CNN)
    “The newly unearthed audio comes weeks after President Donald Trump used racist language to attack four progressive Democratic congresswomen of color, implying they weren’t American and suggesting they “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
    First CNN states–using opinion as fact–that “Trump used racist language.”There’s nothing racist in what Trump said–no derogatory terms,just some advice to “fix your own(native)country before complaining about ours.”
    Next,the words “implying” and “suggesting”–totally subjective language.These two words are not associated with trying to report facts–it’s opinion–in a supposed NEWS STORY. Put it on an editorial page.
    What was the RACIAL language?None,BUT CNN–and FOX 17 by reprinting this garbage–in a totally nefarious manner, attempts to connect an obvious example of racist language(Reagan)to an example of Trump-s NON-racist language (“go back and fix…”)
    Lastly,don’t tell me that the “four women of color” or anyone else of color,doesn’t let out a few racist comments about whites or any other ethnic group.The tapes just haven’t come out yet.

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