Nixon bigotry: caught on tape -- again
I couldn't let this day end without saying a little something about President Nixon and his tape-recorded views about blacks during a conversation with his personal secretary on Feb. 13, 1973. The paranoid Oval Office occupant didn't think much of people in general, it seems. Irish are "mean" drunks. Jews suffer from a "sense of inferiority" and are "a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality." And Italians "just don't have their heads screwed on tight."
But blacks? From today's story in The Post:
During another conversation with his personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, Nixon expresses doubt about the opinion of William P. Rogers, his secretary of state, about blacks.
"Bill Rogers has got somewhat - and to his credit it's a decent feeling - but somewhat, sort of, a sort of blind spot on the black thing because he's been in New York," Nixon said. "He says, well, 'They are coming along, and that after all, they are going to strengthen our country in the end because they are strong physically and some of them are smart.' So forth and so on.
"My own view is I think he's right if you're talking in terms of 500 years," Nixon said. "I think it's wrong if you're talking in terms of 50 years. What has to happen is they have to be, frankly, inbred. And, you just, that's the only thing that's going to do it, Rose."
"Some of them are smart." True. So much so that just 35 years after Nixon's bigoted statement, America sent Barack and Michelle Obama to the White House. Would that I could confidently say that Nixon's view is no longer shared.
Listen to Nixon for yourself here.
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