The Republican party has always been the racist party

Not to claim the Democrats are flawless, but these newly released tapes of Ronald Reagan and Nixon are revealing. Also unsurprising.

“Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did,” Reagan said in newly unearthed tapes published by The Atlantic.

Nixon replied, “Yeah.”

And Reagan went on to say, “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries — damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”

In a subsequent conversation with Secretary of State William Rogers, Nixon echoed Reagan’s sentiments in his description of the African delegates: “Reagan called me last night, 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.”

Jesus. Nixon was terrible. Reagan was terrible. I’m skipping over a few more Republican presidents, but Trump is terrible. That these people got elected also tells us that the electorate is terrible.


  1. rrutis1 says

    Cue the morons arguing that the Dems are the racists because they have no sense of history (or just have no sense).

  2. Saad says

    That these people got elected also tells us that the electorate is terrible.

    Oh great. Now you’ve done it. Don’t you know calling racist people racist is how we got Trump?

  3. says

    Well it does matter that they said it in private. That Nixon and Reagan were racists, and leveraged racism for votes, is not news, obviously. But they used coded language in public. There was a time when it was considered inappropriate for politicians to make overtly racist statements. Now it’s “racially infused language,” to which people in the other party may object, but reporters are neutral about it.

  4. HappyHead says

    I’m skipping over a few more Republican presidents,

    Oh come on! “Bush was terrible” is a line so true you can say it twice without repeating yourself!

  5. Nemo says

    I wouldn’t say always. All my lifetime — the last 50 years — yes. But not in, say, the 1860’s.

  6. says

    I’ll just remind people Nixon started the Southern strategy.
    President Eisenhower sent the Army to Little Rock. Two years after I was born, in 1957.

  7. stroppy says

    I’m not a big fan of Jeff Flake, but he did say a good thing recently. The Republican Party has been trying to break the natural pendulum of American politics so that it remains permanently stuck on the right wing.

    It’s their unspoken hatred of democracy. As for Trump, wherever he goes he leaves an unbroken swath of shit, but all he has to do is puff and strut and toss a few M&Ms out to his adoring fans, and they think he’s God’s sweet gift to humanity. Simpletons.

    We are screwed.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    At least these two old shitweasels* had a strategy, if an evil one. The current coprolith has no strategy, he just says random evil things and his followers love it.
    *from the Stephen King story ‘Dreamcatcher. The shitweasel was an even more disgusting intestinal parasite than the Alien.

  9. PaulBC says

    For sufficiently short values of “always”, sure. The “Party of Lincoln” (not to be confused with today’s GOP or that of Nixon and Reagan) was less racist than its Democratic opposition at the time. Granted, it was a time when nearly all white people* were more racist than today. It makes me a little uneasy under the circumstances to consider how far back my ancestors were Democrats (mostly in Brooklyn), because the party wasn’t always on the right side of history.

    I think you could make a more convincing case that the Republican party has always been plutocratic.

    *Robert Ingersoll, prominent “agnostic” orator and Republican may have been a rare exception. Frederick Douglass thought so anyway. E.g.

  10. PaulBC says

    I want to add that I love Frederick Douglass’s coy phrasing when contrasting Ingersoll’s welcome with what he was accustomed to:

    “In charity I am bound to say there probably were such ministers and such families, but I am equally bound to say that in my former visits to this place I had failed to find them.”

  11. Ridana says

    That’s why people are recognizing him more and more, because he’s doing such an amazing job.

  12. thirdmill says

    If I recall correctly, one of the Nixon tapes contained a conversation shortly after Roe v. Wade was decided in which Nixon said that abortion was sometimes necessary, for example if it was a mixed race baby. Yup, he was a charmer all right.

  13. PaulBC says

    Getting back to the original topic. If you consider what Reagan said and the fact that he is well within living memory of many American voters, it explains a lot about the reception Obama received from so many people who will insist vociferously that they are not racist. People may be better at rationalizing it (but not everyone, since there was plenty of overt racism to be found in the political sewers of the internet). In practice, it is hard to escape the conclusion that many Trump supporters are just besides themselves at having a white president again. Really, no policy dispute matters more than that. They weren’t listening to Obama and they might not be listening too carefully to Trump. He just “looks the part.”

  14. thirdmill301 says

    Paul, according to Google Trends, the single best predictor of whether Trump would win a particular county was whether that particular county has a lot of people who routinely google “racist jokes”.