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Ocasio-Cortez: Reagan Racist, 'Enemy of Working Class'

Ocasio-Cortez: Reagan Racist, 'Enemy of Working Class'

By Tuesday, 19 March 2019 01:21 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Although she was not born until after Ronald Reagan left office, new Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) implied that President Ronald Reagan was a racist who “screwed over all working-class Americans.”

Once again, she displayed a shocking lack of understanding of American history.

Under Reagan, the overall unemployment rate fell rapidly from over 10% to under 5% and black unemployment fell far faster than white unemployment. Black businesses grew faster than white-owned businesses.

More importantly, back in 1931, when racism was universal, a hotel refused entry to Reagan’s college football teammates because some of his team were black, so Reagan invited those African-Americans to stay overnight in his own home.

Here’s a New York Times verification of the 1931 event (taken from a 2007 article by one of Reagan’s outspoken critics, Lou Cannon, who has written five books about Reagan):

“Any fair-minded look at Mr. Reagan’s biography and record demonstrates that he was not a bigot. In 1931, when Mr. Reagan was on the Eureka College football team, two black players were refused admission to a hotel in Elmhurst, Ill., where the team was playing. Mr. Reagan took them with him to Dixon, Ill., to spend the night at his parents’ home. He and one of the players, William Franklin Burghardt, remained friends and correspondents until Mr. Burghardt died in 1981.

“As a sports announcer in Iowa in the 1930s, Mr. Reagan opposed the segregation of Major League Baseball. As an actor in Hollywood he quit a Los Angeles country club because it did not admit Jews. In 1978, when preparing to run for president, Mr. Reagan opposed a California ballot initiative that would have barred homosexuals from teaching in the state’s public schools. He was widely credited for its defeat.”

As California governor, Reagan appointed more black officials than any previous governor. As President, he signed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday into law and appointed Colin Powell as our nation’s first black National Security Advisor. He received 43% of the Latino vote in 1980 and was supported by 41% of African-Americans by the end of his second term in 1988. Reagan was elected in a landslide in 1980 and an even bigger landslide in 1984 – carrying 49 of 50 states under a slogan, “It’s morning in America.” And Reagan gave birth to the American Eagle gold and silver coins!

Reagan Values Inspired the 'Family of Eagles'

“Family of Eagles” nesting on the reverse of the American Eagle gold bullion coins has now appeared on the Gold Eagle bullion coinage for over thirty years – and that’s a source of humble honor to Miley Tucker-Frost, the talented sculptor who fashioned the now-familiar artwork back in the early 1980s. Miley grew up in Beaumont, Texas where I live.

“Having my design on the nation’s gold coinage has been a tremendous honor,” says the artist, whose name was Miley Busiek at the time the American Eagle bullion coins first appeared in late 1986.

The American Gold Eagles pair her design with Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s magnificent portrait of Liberty from the obverse of the stunning double eagle (or $20 gold piece) of 1907 to 1933. Tucker-Frost takes special pride in this serendipitous pairing. The Family of Eagles’ appearance on the gold American Eagles culminated a six-year journey for the artist, who came up with the concept after watching Ronald Reagan’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 1980.

“The theme of his speech that night,” she remembers, “was ‘Together, a New Beginning.’ He was encouraging Americans to be thankful for what we have in this country and to act upon that feeling. He was encouraging private-sector initiatives – a willingness to reach out and care about each other and pull together.

“Our national symbol, the American bald eagle, had only been depicted as a single eagle, and I liked the idea of thinking of America as a caring family. Therefore, I put together a sketch showing not just one eagle, but a whole family.”

After seeing the design, the Republican National Committee asked her to create a sculpture based on this theme as the official commemorative for Reagan’s first inaugural. President Reagan chose maquettes of the mini-sculpture as gifts not only for inaugural guests but also for the former U.S. hostages whose return home from Iran, after 444 days of captivity, coincided with his inauguration. He presented this sculpture to each of the 52 members of that group. Soon after that, the artist saw an item in the Wall Street Journal reporting on efforts to obtain approval in Congress for a new U.S. gold bullion coin.

“I happened to see that article during an airplane flight,” she said, “and, as an artist, it triggered an idea. ‘Perhaps there’s an opportunity here, I thought. There couldn’t be a more dignified, more positive opportunity for America to subtly state what we stand for in our country than on a gold bullion coin – a coin that would be sold all over the world.”

She contacted the Treasury officials and offered her design for use on any such coin. They advised her that congressional authorization would be needed not only for the coin but also for the design. At that point, she began a one-woman campaign to gain consideration for her concept. She had connections in Washington and had been there on occasion, but she started her campaign back home in Dallas, where she set about gathering bipartisan endorsements from key civic leaders. Gradually patience, persistence and passion for her cause began to pay dividends. She called on congressional staffs, lobbied their bosses directly when she could and testified at hearings when coinage legislation was discussed – and little by little, she picked up important support.

The big breakthrough came in 1985, when simmering opposition to South Africa’s racial policies reached the boiling point and President Reagan imposed a series of sanctions. One was a ban on further importation of the Krugerrand, South Africa’s popular one-ounce bullion gold coin. The Krugerrand’s fall from favor sparked legislation giving U.S. citizens a bullion coin of their own as a replacement.

The Senate passed the coinage legislation unanimously on November 14, 1985 – just one day after South Africa had suspended production of Krugerrands. The House followed suit, also unanimously, on December 2, and Reagan signed the bill on December 17. Congress stipulated that the Family of Eagles design should appear on the reverse of the one-ounce coin. The Treasury wasn’t required to use it on the three fractional coins, but chose to do so – and that decision gratified the artist. Her dream was fulfilled on September 8, 1986, when the very first one-ounce American Gold Eagles were struck in special ceremonies at the U.S. Bullion Depository at West Point, New York.

“The spirit behind this design was to honor our family and America,” she says, “and this is a time when people need to be encouraged and affirmed – particularly our young people, with so much uncertainty clouding the future. We need to have an optimistic vision of the future.”

“I get such satisfaction from knowing that my Family of Eagles is making people aware of their own family values as Americans, and that the coins have become an ongoing part of our culture.”

Despite the time and effort she has devoted to make the American Gold Eagle bullion coin a reality, she has never realized one cent of profit.

“This,” she says, “was a gift to my fellow-Americans.

The solution for AOC, and for too many other young Americans who have been deprived of a balanced education – an education that is respectful of America’s historical founding documents and our positive traditions honoring family and God – is simply this: “Crack a book once in a while.” Until you do, perhaps it would be wise to read more widely and talk less about subjects of which you are almost completely clueless.

Mike Fuljenz is a member of the Newsmax Finance Brain Trust. He is also the editor of the NLG award winning Michael Fuljenz Metals Market Weekly Report. Discover more by Clicking Here Now.

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The solution for AOC, and for too many other young Americans who have been deprived of a balanced education – an education that is respectful of America’s historical founding documents and our positive traditions honoring family and God – is simply this: “Crack a book once in a while.”
aoc, reagan, racist, alexandria, ocasio cortez
Tuesday, 19 March 2019 01:21 PM
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