Black Politics

President Reagan Was No Friend to African Americans

President Reagan Was No Friend to African Americans

By Moses kamuiru.

Centennial Birthday Celebrations

It isn’t surprising that President Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan who’s a political consultant would try to rewrite the historical record. His assertion that his late father was a better friend of the blacks than President Obama was not only ridiculous but wildly inaccurate. The best response to such a statement made in a Fox new op-ed would normally be a hysterical laughter and nothing more. The timing of the op-ed was meticulously calculated and is not to be ignored. It’s a way to sanitize President Reagan’s Image and legacy ahead of the national centennial celebration that was due in February.

War on Civil Rights Gains

Mike Reagan should avoid the race issue at all cost if he wants to protect his father’s legacy. President Reagan and his appointees waged a highly public and well-documented war against the civil rights leaders during their eight years at the White House. They also capitalize every tool that they had in their political power to roll back the gains made in the civil rights movement. Ronald Reagan had begun the war months before he carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House. In 1980 at Neshoba Mississippi, during President Reagans Infamous Presidential Kick-off campaign where he said that he believes in States’ rights and laced that speech to an all-white crowd. This was a stone throw away distance from where three civil rights workers were killed in 1964 and Reagan continued with the speech with racial phrases and coded words big government, blasting welfare and constant federal spending. The message was that if elected, he would not only undermine and downplay civil rights but do as little as possible to irritate the white southern whites.

Voting Rights Act

President Reagan had an implication that he would not support an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 which came up for renewal in 1982 and branded the act as humiliating to the South. He backed away from this position amid strong opposition from many Democrats and Republicans in Congress. President Reagan lashed out at the affirmative action programs a week after his inauguration at his very first White House press Conference. He said that he was old enough to recall when quotas existed in America for purposes of discrimination and added that he would not like to see that again.

Anti-Black Initiatives

The list of Ronald Reagan’s anti-civil rights and anti-black initiatives would soon grow thicker than a telephone checklist. The president slashed and burned an array of job and training programs funded by the federal government, gutted the Civil Rights Commission and trashed welfare recipient. He was also reluctant on imposing congressionally mandated sanctions on apartheid South Africa and repeatedly mocked civil rights leaders. Reagan approved a wave of indictments from the Justice Department and prosecutions of black elected officials and appointed many States rights judges to the federal Judiciary. This is hardly the action of the purported “best friend” of blacks.

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