Monday, January 17, 2011

Fox Nations Asks: 'Was Reagan more of a friend to blacks than Obama'?

I saw the above image on twitter, and I thought there is no way this shit can be real on MLK day of all days, but I should know better than to give FOX News the benefit of the doubt. I did a quick search on google and found that not only is the image real, but it is accompanied by a story that tried to prove that Reagan was better for Blacks than Obama.  

I don't believe in mincing words, and so I will just say without reservation, that Reagan was a racist.  His actions reveal that not only did he have zero respect for Black people, but that he was dedicated to undermining the effort for civil rights.  Republicans like to sanitize history and refer to themselves as the party of Lincoln, but what have they don't for Blacks lately? Thanks to the complete mess that G.W. made of the country, they are constantly casting their revisionist eyes on Reagan and in many cases deifying him.  Reagan was no friend to Blacks and here is why.

  • He opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the law that barred segregation in public facilities and discrimination in education and hiring. 
  • He actively opposed passage of the Open Housing Act, a measure that would bar discrimination in the sale and rental of housing. Indeed, his role in helping defeat a similar statewide measure in California in 1964 helped to launch him into politics. 
  • In 1980, he kicked off his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where in 1964 the local Klan killed three civil rights workers. Not only did Reagan not mention this event, he told his audience, "I believe in states' rights." States rights has long been code for White supremacist to imply the subjugation of people of colour. 
  • As President, Reagan cut funding for civil rights enforcement and opposed a Martin Luther King holiday. 
  • He attempted to reverse a long-standing policy of denying tax-exempt status to private schools that practice racial discrimination and grant an exemption to Bob Jones University.
  • In 1988, he vetoed a bill to expand the reach of federal civil rights legislation. Congress overrode the veto.
  • Reagan also vetoed the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa. Congress overrode that veto, too.
  • When he went on about the welfare queen driving her Cadillac, and kept repeating the story years after it had been debunked,  he was unequivocally engaging in race-baiting and a specific form of genderized racism.
  • In 1976, he talked about the “strapping young buck” using food stamps to buy T-bone steaks at the grocery store. I m asure he didn’t mean to play into racial hostility (that would be sarcasm folks, furthermore; "strapping buck" is code for strong Black man). 
  • Reagan declared in 1980 that the Voting Rights Act had been “humiliating to the South”
  • In 1983, Reagan fired three members of the Civil Rights Commission
Obama may not have created ground breaking legislation to help improve the lives of Blacks, but he has certainly never actively acted against the best interests of African Americans.  The very fact that he and his family now reside in the house that slaves built is the culmination of the effort of millions over the course of many years.  History will judge whether Obama fulfilled the dream, but to declare in the present day that Reagan was somehow more friendly to Blacks than Obama, is to engage in revisionist history. This suggests that we should see the efforts of White supremacy to attack us as positive.  Reagan was anything but a saint and though Republicans would prefer that people of colour that forget this fact