Ronald Reagan calls Africans ‘monkeys’ in call to Nixon, Latest World News - The New Paper

Ronald Reagan calls Africans ‘monkeys’ in call to Nixon

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WASHINGTON Then-California Governor Ronald Reagan made racist remarks about Africans, calling them "monkeys" in a newly-discovered taped conversation with US President Richard Nixon.

The tape of the October 1971 phone call was unearthed by Mr Tim Naftali, former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, and his findings were published online on Wednesday in The Atlantic magazine.

The tape is of a call Mr Reagan placed to Mr Nixon after the United Nations voted to recognise the People's Republic of China.

Mr Reagan, who went on to win the presidency in 1980, was an ardent defender of Taiwan and called Mr Nixon to vent his anger at the African nations which defied the United States and voted at the UN to grant recognition to the People's Republic.

In the call, Mr Reagan criticises the African countries which sided against the US.

"Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did," Mr Reagan said.

"Yeah," Mr Nixon said.

Mr Reagan continued: "To see those, those monkeys from those African countries - damn them, they're still uncomfortable wearing shoes!"

Mr Nixon responds with a huge guffaw and went on to gleefully repeat Mr Reagan's remarks in other taped conversations with his advisers.

Mr Naftali, who is now an associate professor at New York University, said the portion of the tape containing Mr Reagan's remarks was initially withheld to protect his privacy but the complete version was released by the National Archives two weeks ago. - AFP