Things That Matter

Unearthed Tapes Record Reagan Calling African Delegates ‘Those Monkeys’

The days of politicians spewing racist banter “behind closed doors” are long over. For one, our President of the United States is publicly calling on Congresswoman of color to “go back” to where they came from and even allowing for thirteen uncomfortable seconds of rally-goers shouting “send her back.” For another, the Internet has allowed the public to hear otherwise private comments that the POTUS doesn’t want immigrants from “shithole countries.”

Last August, an October 1971 portion of tape recording President Richard Nixon chatting with then-California Governor Ronald Reagan was released. In it, we hear the most influential political leaders in the world laugh at the expense of African delegates and African-Americans.

Ronald Reagan apparently called Richard Nixon to vent his frustration at the way African delegates voted to recognize the People’s Republic of China.

Credit: @complex / Twitter

“Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did,” Reagan told Nixon. “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them,” Reagan said. “They’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Nixon replied with a booming laugh.

Reagan reportedly hated the United Nations and described it as a “kangaroo court” filled with “bums.”

Credit: @CFR_org / Twitter

That day in October, the UN voted to seat a delegation from Beijing instead of from Taiwan. Reagan preferred Taiwan and was enraged when the Tanzanian delegates started dancing in celebration of the news. Reagan called Nixon that very night but Nixon was asleep. They spoke the next morning, when the tape was recorded, and when Reagan pressed Nixon to back out of the United Nations.

Right after talking with Reagan, Nixon called Secretary of State William Rogers and called the African delegates “cannibals.”

Credit: @PRESIDENTNIXO11 / Twitter

In Nixon’s retelling of Reagan’s language to Rogers, he struggles not to sound racist. He fails. “As you can imagine, there’s strong feeling that we just shouldn’t, as [Reagan] said, he saw these, as he said, he saw these—these, uh, these cannibals on television last night,” Nixon tells Rogers. “And [Reagan] 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.”

Then, hours later, Nixon called Rogers again to vent, using Reagan’s racism as permission to repeat it, “I found out what outraged him [Reagan], 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. 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.”

Nixon recorded their conversation, but the racist portion was withheld from the public to “protect Reagan’s privacy.”

Credit: @BeschlossDC / Twitter

The National Archives had released this conversation in 2000 originally but intentionally struck the racist parts from the public record. When Reagan died in 2004, his privacy could be legally dismissed as terms for keeping the conversation from the public. Tim Naftali, a researcher at the National Archives, requested the conversations be reviewed once again. It was released to the public two weeks ago. 

But Nixon never kept his racism private.

Credit: @RadioBlackOn / Twitter

In an interview, Nixon announced that he believes Richard Hernstein and Arthur Jensen’s conclusions that IQ is tied to race–that there is a biological racial hierarchy that codifies white supremacy. He saw whites and Asians as much higher on the totem pole than Africans and Latinos. This wasn’t racism to him. It was a fact.

READ: A Racist Doll That Encouraged Violence Against Black Children Is Getting Shared And Grilled On Twitter

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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