Tags: Presidential History | ronald reagan | richard nixon | racist | african americans

Reagan Called African Delegates 'Monkeys' in '71 Call to Nixon

ronald reagan smiles wide while photographed as president
Former President Ronald Reagan (Ronald Reagan Library)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 July 2019 05:02 PM

Ronald Reagan in a newly unearthed phone call with then-President Richard Nixon can be heard disparaging "monkeys" from African countries.

The tapes were published in The Atlantic by Tim Naftali, the former director of Nixon's Presidential Library.

"Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did," Reagan, then the governor of California, said to Nixon during a call Oct. 26, 1971 after the United Nations voted to recognize the People's Republic of China. "To see those, those monkeys from those African Countries — damn them, they're still uncomfortable wearing shoes!"

Nixon can be heard laughing as Reagan speaks.

In another phone call later on the same day, Nixon discusses his conversation with Reagan with then-Secretary of State William Rogers.

"As you can imagine," Nixon said to Rogers, "there's [a] 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."

Naftali wrote the racist portion of Reagan's conversation with Nixon was originally withheld to protect Reagan's privacy. Reagan's death in 2004 eliminated those concerns.

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In a newly unearthed phone call with then-President Richard Nixon, former President Ronald Reagan can be heard disparaging "monkeys" from African countries.
ronald reagan, richard nixon, racist, african americans
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2019-02-31
Wednesday, 31 July 2019 05:02 PM
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