Ronald Reagan Made Racist Remarks in Newly-Released Audio, Called African Diplomats ‘Monkeys’

Deceased former President Ronald Reagan was taped calling African diplomats “monkeys” during a phone call with then-President Richard Nixon, and that recording has now been made public.

The call took place in October of 1971, during which Reagan and Nixon discussed the United Nations delegation from the United Republic of Tanzania following a vote on a resolution to seat China in the world body.

“Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did,” Reagan said in the brief recording.

“Yeah,” Nixon agreed.

“To see those, those monkeys from those African countries — damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Reagan continued, to hearty laughter from Nixon.

Writing for The Atlantic, former Nixon Presidential Library director Tim Naftali explained that the racist portion of the tape was originally redacted to protect Reagan’s “privacy,” but after his death in 2004, that was no longer necessary, and the conversation was recently released by the National Archives.

Naftali goes on to explain how Nixon regaled others with Reagan’s racist remarks in other recorded phone calls. Reagan would later kick off his presidential campaign with a speech on “states’ rights” in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights activists were murdered in 1964.

Listen to the audio above, via The Atlantic.

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