Midwest Morning Show Reacts to Ronald Reagan’s Racist ‘Monkeys’ Remark: ‘You Want to Believe It’s Not True’


National T.V. news has thus far steered clear of former President Ronald Reagan’s recently-revealed racist remarks, but the hosts of a Michigan morning show reported the news with palpable disappointment.

On Wednesday morning’s edition of WZZM-13’s My West Michigan, host Kirk Montgomery broke the sad news that newly-released audio features Reagan calling African diplomats “monkeys” in a 1971 phone call with then-President Richard Nixon.

“Fifteen years after his death, a newly released tape has revealed that former President Ronald Reagan making racist comments about leaders from Africa,” Montgomery said.

“Yeah, the National Archives released the complete version of those tapes recently, and the Atlantic magazine published them,” co-host Catherine Behrendt said, adding “The remarks came from 1971 when Reagan was the governor of California.”

“He apparently was on the phone and trying to convince then President Richard Nixon to pull out of the United Nations, after delegates from Africa opposed the US in a vote recognizing the People’s Republic of China.”

“Reagan called the delegates ‘monkeys’ and said they are ‘uncomfortable wearing shoes’,” Behrendt continued. “Nixon then laughed about his comments.”

“An unfortunate thing to have uncovered, and it just kind of became public this week,” she mused.

“Yeah, you want to believe it’s not true, but when it’s in the national archives, you can’t debate it,” co-host Val Lego added.

“Right. That’s true,” Montgomery said.

According to a search of the TV Eyes television transcript database, Regan’s freshly-discovered racism has received no attention on the national news, and scant mention even on local newscasts.

But in an awkward coincidence, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough did bring Reagan up on Wednesday morning, to laud Reagan — along with Barack Obama — for his ability “to talk about the bigger battle against racism, against bigotry, against all the things that Donald Trump has done to push this country to the edge.”

Watch the clip above, via WZZM-13.

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