Tapes Offer A Peek At Nixon’s Racist Side

Published June 24, 2009

Adding fuel to the notion that former Republican President Richard Nixon might have been the closest thing to Archie Bunker to ever occupy the White House, a new round of tapes has been released showing that the embattled commander in chief was a racist, sexist and anti-Semite.

Take for example one recorded conversation he had about abortion on Jan. 23, 1973, the day the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision. Not a fan of abortion, Nixon is caught in a private conversation worrying that legalizing the procedure would mean more sexual “permissiveness” and that it had the potential to break up the family. However, Nixon went on to say, “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a Black and a White .... Or a rape."

On the issue of Jewish concerns about the burgeoning evangelical movement, Nixon, in a conversation with the Rev. Billy Graham, said, "What I really think is deep down in this country, there is a lot of anti-Semitism, and all this is going to do is stir it up. …It may be they have a death wish. You know that’s been the problem with our Jewish friends for centuries.” He also had a plan for how a woman’s pretty face – rather than a sharp female mind – might boost the GOP.

Reflecting on a recent trip to the South Carolina legislature, Nixon said, "I noticed a couple of very attractive women, both of them Republicans, in the legislature. I want you to be sure to emphasize to our people, God, let's look for some … Understand, I don't do it because I'm for women, but I'm doing it because I think maybe a woman might win someplace where a man might not."

Written by BET.com Staff

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