National Archives releases racist phone call between Nixon, Reagan

US President Donald Trump looks over at the media as he arrives at the White House in Washington

US President Donald Trump looks over at the media as he arrives at the White House in Washington

Ronald Reagan was infuriated that delegations from Africa did not align themselves with the US position - that the United Nations should recognize Taiwan as an independent state - and wanted to get President Richard Nixon on the phone.

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 previous year.

Naftali said he had already been aware of a racist conversation between Nixon and someone else, and requested the tape when he became aware of a restoration effort by the National Archives.

"Last night, I tell ya, to watch that thing on television as I did", Reagan told Nixon in a recording of the call published by The Atlantic. "Damn them, they're still uncomfortable wearing shoes", Reagan told Nixon, reportedly in reference to members of the Tanzanian delegation dancing in the United Nations' General Assembly following its vote to recognize the People's Republic of China.

Nixon responded to Reagan's complaints with a hearty laugh then replied, "Well and then they - the tail wags the dog there, doesn't it?"

"Reagan, a devoted defender of Taiwan, was incensed, and tried to reach Nixon the night of the vote".

Kentucky's Kelly Craft confirmed as US Ambassador to UN
The Senate confirmed Trump nominee Kelly Knight Craft on Wednesday as the US ambassador to the United Nations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recommended her for the ambassadorship to President Donald Trump.

The foundation did, however, tweet a Reagan quote on Wednesday that seemingly alluded to the controversy, as it read, "We can preserve the dream of America..."

"She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veterans' benefits on four nonexisting deceased husbands", Reagan said, according to a 1976 article from the New York Times. A tape of the pair's conversation, unearthed by The Atlantic, has Reagan making the racial slur.

Independent also reports that the recordings of the talk was originally released by the National Archives in 2000, and were shortly afterwards withdrawn by a court order. Some of Reagan's most divisive policies - like embracing the apartheid government of South Africa and inventing the trope of the "welfare queen" - may take on a different light now. Reagan died at age 93 in 2004.

"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", Naftali added.

In a rare move, Trump was later rebuked by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives for "racist comments" against the ethnic-minority first-term Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.