Wednesday, July 31, 2019

AUDIO RECORDING: Ronald Reagan to Richard Nixon on Africans

Reagan sounds almost as bad as LBJ.

The Atlantic reports:
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.

According to The Atlantic, right after hanging up with Reagan, Nixon told Secretary of State William Rogers (also on tape),.“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.”

“You know, but that’s typical of a reaction, which is probably”—“That’s right,” Rogers interjected—“quite strong.”

Two hours later Nixon told the story again to Rogers.

“Reagan called me last night,” Nixon said, “and I didn’t talk to him until this morning, but he is, of course, outraged. And I found out what outraged him, and I find this is typical of a lot of people: They saw it on television and, he said, ‘These cannibals jumping up and down and all that.’ And apparently it was a pretty grotesque picture.” Like Nixon, Rogers had not seen the televised images. But Rogers agreed: “Apparently, it was a terrible scene.” Nixon added, “And they cheered.”

Then Nixon said, “He practically got sick at his stomach, and that’s why he called. And he said, ‘It was a terrible scene.’ And that sort of thing will have an emotional effect on people … as [Reagan] said, ‘This bunch of people who don’t even wear shoes yet, to be kicking the United States in the teeth’ … It was a terrible thing, they thought.”

And at t he end of October 1971, he discussed the UN vote with his best friend, Bebe Rebozo. Bebe delighted Nixon by echoing Reagan: “That reaction on television was, it proves how they ought to be still hanging from the trees by their tails.” Nixon laughed.

Notes The Atlantic:
Nixon didn’t think of himself as a racist; perhaps that’s why it was so important to him to keep quoting Reagan’s racism, rather than own the sentiment himself. 



  1. How many generations back do we have to go to find Scotts-Irish in America without shoes?

  2. Apparently the quote is lost on google, but Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under FDR, as I recall being told back in the day, complained about the problem of ringworm and how "we can't even get children in the South to wear shoes" ignorant that the average southerner after the corruption of reconstruction when the South was stripped of it capital could still not afford shoes for his children. (I went to school barefoot until around the fifth grade. It was pretty common.)

  3. Not only is he demeaning to other nations, but as a conservative icon, he failed to conserve anything. Government grew tremendously in his 8 years!

  4. Although, in this day and age, anything CNA be Deep Faked. Who the heck knows?

  5. Reagan was a socialist one-worlder masquerading as a conservative. He was paid by Washington to do what Hollywood paid him to do for years.