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Corporate media had one helluva problem this week. Nelson Mandela opposed the apartheid system. In speech and with presidential acts, Ronald Reagan supported it.

They had to cover up for Ronald Reagan. With Nelson Mandela warm in the coffin, Reagan had done the most of any American president to support the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

The networks led off with apologists beginning at former Secretary of State James Baker. He told us how Ronald Reagan "regretted, surely regretted" vetoing the bipartisan Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986.

Ne'er a mention of Reagan appointing full on White supremacists to the Federal bench. Or what Reagan did to gut DoJ's Civil rights Division. No mention that first thing after the Republican National Convention in 1980, Ronald Reagan set out to Mississippi to launched a replay of Nixon's Southern Strategy.

Reagan pandered overtly to White supremacists. He did this hat in hand, defiling the memories of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Reagan cozied up to the friends and neighbors and relatives of the eighteen men charged (and seven convicted) for lynching those boys. Never a mention of what had happened there, or the Klan, or Apartheid, or race.

Now, today, that speech at Philadelphia, Mississippi has disappeared from the corporatist rewrite to Reagan's career.

Fact is, Reagan wanted so-called "States Rights" votes. Contrary to what corporate television tells you, he got them.

Know Reagan by his acts; know him by his words. Remember him for Philadelphia, Mississippi. Remember him politically as one more round of Richard Nixon.

Full text of his great dog-whistle, his KKK Y'all Come speech, below the orange muffin:

Here is Reagan starting his performance out there in the country as national leader of the Republican Party.

Thank you very much.

I think you all know without my saying it that Nancy and I have never seen anything like this, because there isn't anything like this any place on earth.

From the moment we got off the plane in Meridian, and from the crowds all along the way that were waving a warm welcome to us, and now, to this.

Your congressman, your senator, president of your Fair, and your other officials who are here, and to your acting governor, Bill Alexander, who is governor while your governor is at the Governor's Conference, I have to tell you that several years ago when I was governor, I was the guest of your then-governor of Mississippi. It was late in the fall, toward the end of the football season, and he had me as his guest, Nancy and myself, at the game between Ole Miss and Tennessee.

Now that particular season, Tennessee hadn't done very well - I mean, Ole Miss hadn't done very well. Tennessee was a powerhouse, so it was a foregone conclusion how the game would turn out - except, they forgot to tell the Ole Miss team it was a foregone conclusion. And, as football teams will, no matter how bad the season has been, they were rising to the heights, and along about the middle of the third quarter when it was apparent Ole Miss was going to win, and by several touchdowns, there was a lull in the noise of the crowd, and I heard a voice behind me up in the stands say, "Man, if they do this for him, what would they have done if John Wayne was here." God rest his soul. I don't know whether John Wayne ever had this experience or not, but I wish he had, because I don't know of anyone who would have loved it more or been more at home here than the Duke would have been, right here.

Now these gifts. When I think how tough the next 12 weeks is going to be - and Nancy says she's going to sit in that [rocking chair] and eat that fruit, she's gonna be sitting on my lap. As a matter of fact, knowing what a campaign is like, I expect to sit in it about two weeks and then I'll start rocking. Finally, we'll get around to the buggy. This is just wonderful.

I know that in speaking to this crowd, that I'm speaking to what has to be about 90 percent Democrat. [Shouts of "No" from the crowd.] I just meant by party affiliation. I didn't mean how you feel now. I was a Democrat most of my life myself, but then decided that there were things that needed to be changed.

I know, people have been telling me that Jimmy Carter has been doing his best. And that's our problem.

The President lately has been saying that I am irresponsible. And you know, I'll admit to that if he'll confess he's responsible.

We've had the New Deal, and then Harry Truman gave us the Fair Deal, and now we have a misdeal.

They're having quite a fight in that conventions that's coming up. Teddy Kennedy - I know why he's so interested in poverty: He never had any when he was a kid.

All of us in this race, of course-you know, there's talk now about getting our commercials together, and our television ads and so forth. I heard the other day they have one for Jimmy Carter. It's called, "The Best of the Carter Years." It's a 3-second station break.

But I don't know-do you feel as I do, when they talk in Washington of balancing the budget that makes me think of a fellow sitting in a restaurant. He's ordered dinner. He knows he doesn't have any money in his pocket to pay for it, but he's hoping maybe he'll find a pearl in his oysters.

Seriously, and I'm not going to take a great deal of time talking about the particular troubles we-we know what confronts us in this country. We know that an administration for three and a half years, that told us when they took office that it was going to reduce inflation to less than four percent and reduce unemployment to less than four percent, has betrayed the people with an inflation rate that they hope that they might get back down to 10 percent after it having reached 18 at the beginning of the year.

The unemployment in the months of April and May alone - 1,700,000 American working people lost their jobs. I don't know how many since.

But probably the worst thing is what had been done to this county on the international scene. This once proud country, this country that all the world turned to and looked to as the shelter, as the safety and as the anchor to windward. Today, our friends don't know whether they can trust us, and certainly our enemies have no respect for us.

Our young men are told to pre-register in the event that we need a draft. May I suggest something I think we need much more than that, because I don't believe we need a peacetime draft. What we need is to recognize what we're asking of the young people of this country who are in the volunteer military and then provide a pay scale and benefits commensurate.

But you'll never know how rewarding this is, this institution that has existed for so long-and as I said in the beginning, I know there is nothing-I have read all about it in the National Geographic. How did you ever accomplish this without a federal program?

Sure, it's right that we should say we want, too, to do something about unemployment, and about inflation, about the value of our money and to get this country moving again. But I think even more important on a broader scale [is] in doing that, what we will have to do is to bring back to this country what is so evident here: Bring back the recognition that the people of this country can solve the problems, that we don't have anything to be afraid of as long as we have the people of America.

[In] more recent years with the best intention, they have created a vast bureaucracy, or a bureaucratic structure-bureaus and departments and agencies-to try and solve all the problems and eliminate all the things of human misery that they can. They have forgotten that when you create a government bureaucracy, no matter how well intentioned it is, almost instantly its top priority becomes preservation of the bureaucracy.

Today, and I know from our own experience in California when we reformed welfare, I know that one of the great tragedies of welfare in America today, and I don't believe stereotype after what we did, of people in need who are there simply because they prefer to be there. We found the overwhelming majority would like nothing better than to be out, with jobs for the future, and out here in the society with the rest of us. The trouble is, again, that bureaucracy has them so economically trapped that there is no way they can get away. And they're trapped because that bureaucracy needs them as a clientele to preserve the jobs of the bureaucrats themselves.

I believe that there are programs like that, programs like education and others, that should be turned back to the states and the local communities with the tax sources to fund them, and let the people [applause drowns out end of statement].

I believe in state's rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. And I believe that we've distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment. And if I do get the job I'm looking for, I'm going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there.

I'm going to try also to change federal regulations in the tax structure that has made this once powerful industrial giant in this land and in the world now with a lower rate of productivity than any of the other industrial nations, with a lower rate of savings and investment on the part of our people and put us back where we belong.

Now I just want to conclude with a couple words about something that inspired me last night, and I hope it will you, too, and it's just an indication of why I still believe the answer to any problem confronting us lies with the people.

Nancy and I attended a swimming meet in California last night. It's little bit in some ways like this in that it's a longtime institution at that particular community, in Irvine. So, young swimmers from all over the United States were there because this year they made it something more special.

All the swimmers who were unable to compete to go to the Olympics and then go to Moscow - and I think properly so because I don't think that the Soviet Union has any characteristic that qualifies it to hold the Olympics.

These young Americans, young men and young women were there competing - and in addition to the medals they were going to compete to be on an honorary Olympic team. In other words, they were competing so that at least they would be able to say that even though we could not go to the Olympics they made the Olympic team. And I want to tell you, up there on that electric scoreboard when the times of the various events were coming off - and up above them were the times of those same events in the Olympics in Moscow.

What a thrill; five young men in the 100-yard butterfly - five young men, all of whom had beaten the winning time in Moscow.

A 15-year-old girl in the same event for women not only holds now the world's record as a result of that meet, but she too last night beat the gold medal winner's time in Moscow in that event.

And I had the privilege of speaking to them for just a few minutes at the midway point in the swimming meet. And I called attention to the fact of the sacrifice that they had had to make, more than most have had to make, because of our feelings in this country about the Soviet Union and where the Olympics are going to be held. And I said - I wasn't quite sure - I worried a little bit because I thought some of them might have been bitter about not being allowed to go. But I said to them anyway, I hope that as the years go on, you realize, and be proud of your sacrifice because you will know that it was for the right cause.

And those young people, those competitors, came to their feet with a roar and a cheer that just sent shivers down my spine. They know what they've done; they're willing to make the sacrifice, and I think this country of ours is going to be in pretty safe hands from here on out.

Now I know I have to conclude, and you've been very patient, but before the press says it, I just want to say one thing about that surrey over there. I can remember when I rode one of those for real.

Thank you all very much.

-- Ronald Reagan, August 3, 1980

Amazing speech. Thoroughly disappeared... the States Rights paragraph erased... gone from evaluations of Reagan on corporate news media.

This career anti-communist also took the side of Russia against Jimmy Carter's blockade of the Olympics. Same guy as took the side of the Russians, more or less, by ignoring the Afghan War. And then dumped the Afghans after that war, leading to Taliban domination.

No mention of Civil Rights except to take the side of Strom Thurmond and the White Citizens Councils. It could have been worse. Reagan could have quoted James Jordan, after Goodman and Schwerner were gunned down: "You didn't leave me nothing but a nigger (Chaney), but at least I killed me a nigger."

Not a breath from Reagan for the lives of the three, who were shot to death there seeking a more perfect Union.

MB's right that we can know what men believe by what they do; we  can also gauge intent by freely spoken words. Any of it works better than hearing prepared words from a James Baker.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Meh, it's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    still on Wikipedia

    that's what counts these days, right?

  •  I'll correct the record here at dKos once again (0+ / 0-)

    as well.

    While surely Reagan knew that speaking in the deep South was about going all Southern Strategy, I've yet to see any evidence at all that there was something even more nefarious about him speaking in Philadelphia.

    Because ...

    He spoke at the Neshoba County Fair, which is literally the most important place a politician can speak in Mississippi. A bunch of GOPers running for president have done it:

    In 1896 Governor McLaurin spoke at the Fair which began the tradition of the Neshoba County Fair as a political forum for local, state, and national politicians. Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp and John Glenn are among the national figures who have visited the Fair during their campaigns.
    And the idea that a Republican would mention states rights while speaking in the South? I don't know how on earth anyone views that as something unusual. They all do that more than they breathe.

    So, maybe I can edumacate people here once again on what the Neshoba County Fair really is and why Reagan spoke there.

    [And believe me, no one stands in front of me in the Hate Reagan line ...]

    •  And of course Reagan vetoed the anti-aparthied (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trumpeter, leevank

      act for some other difficult-for-mortals-to-understand reason. And the Federal judges were accidents. And killing Arabs was likely accidental as well.

      In a pig's eye.

      You want the White Citizens' Council votes, that's where the Reagans, Kemps, and Glenns go to get 'em.

      Nixon got to kill Vietnamese by the tens of thousands. But at least there's less of an industry of people excusing it.

      •  Well, no use trying to educate the uneducateable. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm very sure you're logic is correct, that Reagan was about to lose the white vote in the South without going all KKK on everyone.

        You go with that.

        •  Chris, you're not making a serious argument. (0+ / 0-)

          Of course it's true that dozens of politicians speak at the Fair.

          That is not an argument that Reagan going there first stop after RNC and putting in his States Rights paragraph was unplanned, not strategic, or ignorant of recent history.

          Reagan knew what he was doing. He was a genius at politics. And what he did was cowardly and dishonorable.

          •  The facts about the Neshoba County Fair (0+ / 0-)

            are actual facts. The fair has taken place for 125 years and every politician--not "dozens"---who is anybody in the Deep South now speaks there. Your argument is conjecture ... none of it necessarily unreasonable, but it is dependent upon and understanding of "speaking in Philadelphia, MS" which is lacking the complete historic context. Which is what I provided.

            And with that, I'm done correcting the internets for the day.

            •  What Nelson Mandela did is where you go (0+ / 0-)

              to find courage and honor.

              You see a national presidential candidate going to Philadelphia, Mississippi to espouse States Rights. He also avoids mention of the civil rights murders -- that is the very opposite to Mandela for personal qualities.

              Reagan goes so far you could think that he promises to repeal the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. What else? How else to return these states' rights?

    •  Of course, immediately after his nomination as (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the GOP candidate, why pray tell would he go to MS with it's pretty much already-locked-up-for-the-GOP minimal number of electoral college votes anyways?

      As compared to going to a real battleground or otherwise significant state?

      Bottom line, your points ring a tad hollow.

      •  My point was exactly your point. (0+ / 0-)

        Because no one understands what the Neshoba County Fair is, the story told about Reagan's visit is that he made some ridiculous detour to Missisisippi to piss on the graves of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.

        Speaking at Neshoba in the South for a politician is like speaking at Faneuil Hall in the North for a politician. With all the politics that come from speaking at either place. That's a fact that nobody outside of Mississippi is even aware of. So, it's a context that matters in this story.

        •  My point is that he deliberately went there (3+ / 0-)

          in a "dog whistler" attempt to get all the closet (and overt, of course) racists on his side.  When he very well could have instead have opted to go to, oh let's say Seattle and sell his low tax / libertarian oriented policies to the nascent Microsoft types.

          It seemed like you were disputing that.

          But whatever, this is hardly something to get too worked up over at the present time (since we both seem to agree that he was a first class fuckwad).

        •  Yes, you make our point precisely (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Politicians go to Faneuil Hall to talk about the American Revolution, the tyranny of King George III, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. And politicians go to Neshoba to talk about States' Rights, which means slavery, the Civil WarWar of Northern Aggression, the tyranny of Abraham Lincoln, Reconstruction, FDR, Truman, LBJ, MLK, and Earl Warren. As they have been doing (for the earlier pieces of the tale) for more than a century, in this general vein:

          Segregation today, segregation tomorrah, segregation forevah!
          in a direct line from Jefferson Davis, Gen. Gustave August Toutant Beauregard, and Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, through Plessey v. Ferguson, to Birth of a Nation, to Strom Thurmond, to George Wallace, to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III today. Every Republican Presidential candidate from Nixon to Romney has run on the Southern Strategy. It is no good pretending that they did not all whip up racism and bigotry at every opportunity, or I should say, get others to whip up racism and bigotry, so that their fingerprints wouldn't be on any of it.

          Jackie Robinson was at the 1964 Republican National Convention, as the guest of Nelson Rockefeller. He compared the experience to being a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Then he publicly called out Barry Goldwater for his States' Rights appeals to Southern racists.

          It soon became apparent that you had to Dog Whistle the more overt forms of racism, as Nixon Strategist Lee Atwater plainly explained later on, and as Reagan knew perfectly well.

          You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 10:02:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Doing apologies for Ronald Reagan (0+ / 0-)

            is nigh a religion for conservatives.

            He's their George Washington.

            On the other hand, Lee Atwater worked for Ronald Reagan and George WH Bush, not for Nixon or on the original Southern Strategy.

            The "Willie Horton" ad was his creation.

            That's 42 minutes of Atwater explaining how Republican pols used the Southern Strategy.

      •  This was not about getting Mississippi votes. (0+ / 0-)

        He wanted the Border States and the parts of the Rockies and Great Plains and Texas that had been settled heavily by former Confederates. Generational politics is a big deal.

        And he needed to lock up Strom Thurmond's bastions without having to spend too much time or money doing it.

        Worked like a charm.

        Dog whistle politics got perfected later, in 1988. But this was pretty darn effective, if you don't care about tearing the country apart and don't care about showing a sensible respect for dead patriots.

    •  Did Jack Kemp or John Glenn open their ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      general election campaigns there?  Um ... nope ... they couldn't have done that, since they were never nominated.  Did they give a speech praising "states rights" there?  I don't have transcripts of what they said, but I seriously doubt it.

      And no, it's not surprising that Republican politicians campaign in the South praising "states rights," at least since they've adopted the Southern Strategy, since they're appealing for the votes of precisely the people who hear the dog whistle most clearly.

      That speech, in that place, was the reason I decided I could no longer be a Republican.  It wasn't only what he DID say about "states rights," it's what he DIDN'T say about CIVIL rights.  NOT A WORD about the civil rights movement.  He could have used the occasion to note how much progress had been made since the "bad old days," but he didn't, because he was trying to appeal for the votes of people who thought those were the good old days. He could have noted that the Republican Party in Mississippi had always been integrated and had supported civil rights for decades -- but he didn't, because he was trying to appeal for the votes of the same white racists who had always run things in Mississippi, but who had switched parties as soon as the national Democrats came out in favor of civil rights.

      What he did was despicable, and unforgivable for somebody purporting to represent the party of Abraham Lincoln.

      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

      by leevank on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:32:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I'm glad it made you switch parties ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and I've got no more idea of what Reagan was actually intending by speaking at Neshoba than you did.

        What I did provide---and do every time this story crops up---is the context of what the Neshoba County Fair is: a must-stop place for politicians to speak in the deep South. When people say Reagan "spoke in Philadelphia, MS" it's missing that context.

        And, again, I could not think of Reagan as a more vile human being that if my life depended on it. If I hadn't actually been to the Neshoba County Fair, I would think exactly like almost every one else here who doesn't know about it.

      •  I see Reagan as a less dangerous version (0+ / 0-)

        of Richard Nixon.

        We'd thought that having Kissinger around would make Nixon the all time champ. For crazed schemes.

        But then Cheney arrived later on. Who could have predicted what Cheney got to do? No Cheney, no buggered intel, no Iraq War....

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