May 22, 2007

When Reagan met Thurgood Marshall.

From the newly published Reagan diaries:
"From there to a meeting of Jewish leaders & 3 refusniks we succeeded in getting out of the Soviet U. I told them of how we intended to get more Jews released & hopefully better living conditions & freedom for all Soviet Jews. Then my sneeze shot & upstairs to a meeting with Justice Thurgood Marshall. I'd asked for a meeting because of his public statement to Carl Rowan that I was a racist. I literally told him my life story & how there was not prejudice in me. I have examples of my relations with Minorities in school, as a sports announcer & as Gov. I think I made a friend."

59 comments:

Tim said...

"...I think I made a friend."

Politics, while poisonous, were less so than today, I think. I hope his statement was true.

Richard Fagin said...

From the linked LA Times article, "but the former president's anti-communist fervor takes on a more chilling quality when it blinds him — as it does throughout the diaries — to the realities of the dirty war U.S. policy promoted in El Salvador and Nicaragua." "Dirty war"?? Jeez, gimme a break. The communists were CLEAN??? To this very day the press has not forgiven Reagan for defeating communism in Central America.

I had a conversation with an uncle when Reagan ran for president in 1976. My uncle insisted Reagan hated blacks. I answered, "Why, because he wants 'em all to have a job?" Dear uncle was unable to respond. However inelegant that comment was, it clearly reflected Reagan's sentiment. He wanted blacks to have the same chances for success as everyone else, just not by handouts. Our political discourse has degenerated to the point where those whoe disagree about the need for handouts are called racist.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

"Then ... upstairs to a meeting with Justice Thurgood Marshall. I'd asked for a meeting because of his public statement to Carl Rowan that I was a racist. I literally told him my life story & how there was not prejudice in me. I have examples of my relations with Minorities in school, as a sports announcer & as Gov. I think I made a friend."

If I remember correctly, Reagan wrote this in 1987.

In an interview two years later (1989), Thurgood Marshall said:

"I wouldn't do the job of dogcatcher for Ronald Reagan."

It appears Reagan misjudged his relationship with Marshall.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

richard wrote:

To this very day the press has not forgiven Reagan for defeating communism in Central America.


Richard, I have to give you credit for not linking the so-called "pink tide" in Latin America to communism. Bravely done!

John McAdams said...

No matter how honorable it might have been to work for the NAACP legal defense fund during the mid twentieth century, the Thurgood Marshall who served on the Court was a race hustler in the Jesse Jackson mode.

His idea about the Constitution was simple: if he thought something was a good idea, it must be required by the document.

Reagan showed a lot of class trying to be nice to the old bastard.

I would have told him to take his "racist" slurs and stick them up his a**.

ricpic said...

He shoulda told blowhard Marshall where to stuff it.

tjl said...

"It appears Reagan misjudged his relationship with Marshall"

Maybe so, but the point of the story is that Reagan made the attempt. Naive of him perhaps, to make such a personal gesture without inviting the media in to milk it for any political benefits.

John Stodder said...

What's a "sneeze shot?"

Invisible Man said...

No matter how honorable it might have been to work for the NAACP legal defense fund during the mid twentieth century, the Thurgood Marshall who served on the Court was a race hustler in the Jesse Jackson mode.

How mighty nice of you John Adams. I'm sorry that Thurgood wasn't as interested as you were in preserving rights for white people. I mean because after blacks were GIVEN the right to vote by good people such as yourself, they should have just learned to keep their mouths shut about the whole inequality business.

reader_iam said...

Sneeze shot = allergy shot

Invisible Man said...

Sorry to be so shrill with my last post, but Reagan was no friend of African Americans at best and a racist at worst who didn't even recognize his one African-American cabinet official when he met him. Thurgood's opinion of him was near unanimous and extremely fair considering. I'll just quote from Sidney Blumenthal:

"Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (calling it "humiliating to the South"), and ran for governor of California in 1966 promising to wipe the Fair Housing Act off the books. "If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house," he said, "he has a right to do so." After the Republican convention in 1980, Reagan traveled to the county fair in Neshoba, Mississippi, where, in 1964, three Freedom Riders had been slain by the Ku Klux Klan. Before an all-white crowd of tens of thousands, Reagan declared: "I believe in states' rights."

Zeb Quinn said...

"Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (calling it "humiliating to the South"), and ran for governor of California in 1966 promising to wipe the Fair Housing Act off the books. "If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house," he said, "he has a right to do so." After the Republican convention in 1980, Reagan traveled to the county fair in Neshoba, Mississippi, where, in 1964, three Freedom Riders had been slain by the Ku Klux Klan. Before an all-white crowd of tens of thousands, Reagan declared: "I believe in states' rights."

All of which is not only race neutral, but downright admirable. Once the wheat is winnowed from the chaff.

GeorgeH said...

"If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house," he said, "he has a right to do so."

It's called private property, a concept liberals have trouble understanding.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

tjl wrote:

Maybe so, but the point of the story is that Reagan made the attempt.


I don't think Reagan was trying to make a point in this diary entry and readers will emphasize whatever they like from it.

For me, the interesting thing is that Reagan apparently completely misread Marshall's reaction to the Reagan life story. I think this is consistent with the observation that although Reagan wasn't a racist per se, he didn't seem to understand that his policy positions were sometimes seen by others as racist for one reason or another.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

georgeh,

Do you believe that restaurants, hotels, shops, etc... should have been allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, as you suggest in your post?

Revenant said...

I mean because after blacks were GIVEN the right to vote by good people such as yourself, they should have just learned to keep their mouths shut about the whole inequality business.

Thurgood Marshall repeatedly stated that white people deserved to be treated worse than black people, to "make up" for the fact that other white people had treated other black people badly for centuries.

Was it discrimination that turned Marshall into a virulent racist? Sure, probably -- but that doesn't change the simple fact that he was one. The idea of punishing white people for the crimes of *other* white people based purely on the color of their skin filled his heart with joy.

Maybe that sort of thing doesn't bother you either. But you've never given any indication of being a good person.

corporate law drudge said...

Wow! I didn't know that private property rights trumped every other right. I sort of thought that private property rights were limited by law Guess I'm just one of them dumb liberals

Revenant said...

Wow! I didn't know that private property rights trumped every other right. I sort of thought that private property rights were limited by law

Replace "private property" with "voting" and presto, you're right at home in the Jim Crow south. According to your view of the law, the protesters who insisted that the rights of blacks were being violated in the South were entirely wrong. After all, their rights were just limited by the law, the way they're supposed to be.

Guess I'm just one of them dumb liberals

I guess so. The whole point of a natural right is that you can't just pass a law to abolish it.

Der Hahn said...

I think you pretty much proved georgeh's point. Property rights seem pretty fundamental.

Could you effectively exercise the right to free speech without access to communication equipment (print press, paper, ink, computers, internet access)?

Could you effectively exercise freedom of religon if you couldn't build a church or otherwise obtain use of a building, including private residences?

Does the 2nd amendment mean anything if private ownership of weapons is outlawed?

amy said...

Sounds like we need re-post of Ann's libertarian conference thread.

Thorley Winston said...

No matter how honorable it might have been to work for the NAACP legal defense fund during the mid twentieth century, the Thurgood Marshall who served on the Court was a race hustler in the Jesse Jackson mode.

Agreed and he was a pretty pathetic excuse for a Supreme Court Justice. Harriet Miers probably would have done a better job.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Revenant wrote:

Thurgood Marshall repeatedly stated that white people deserved to be treated worse than black people, to "make up" for the fact that other white people had treated other black people badly for centuries.


Wow, I've never heard of this before. Since Marshall "repeatedly stated" this, it should be easy for you to provide a quote. Will you please do so, Revenant?

Zeb Quinn said...

Is the remedy for problems deemed to be racial in nature the surrendering up of all other rights, and to have the federal government micromanage every aspect of society to ensure that nothing offensive to blacks is going on?

Must we destroy this village to save it?

Ann Althouse said...

What Amy said.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

zeb wrote:

Is the remedy for problems deemed to be racial in nature the surrendering up of all other rights, and to have the federal government micromanage every aspect of society to ensure that nothing offensive to blacks is going on?


Is this really what you believe has happened? For example, are you claiming that property rights have been surrendered?

As a second point, do you imagine that discrimination on the basis of race is nothing more than "offensive?" Do you not see any deeper problems for society resulting from racial discrimination?

CR said...

I'm almost in tears...I mean, HOW DO WE KNOW CORPORATE LAW DRUDGE ISN"T A COMMUNIST?

Zeb Quinn said...

In a country that holds itself out as the beacon on a hill for freedom and liberty I'm just thinking that we have the capacity to come up with strategies to eliminate racial bigotry and discrimination that do not involve bringing in the heavy hand of the federal government to supervise, on an individual cases level, who gets hired, promoted, fired, gets rented to, or sold to, and why. In fact, I know we do. And the number of people who can't see that, and who are blind to what has been lost in the exchange, is almost breathtaking

Revenant said...

Wow, I've never heard of this before. Since Marshall "repeatedly stated" this, it should be easy for you to provide a quote. Will you please do so, Revenant?

No problem. The most famous quote is "You guys have been discriminating for years. Now it's our turn." Marshall said this to the other (white) justices in relation to a case in which a white student had been denied admission in favor of a black student with inferior qualifications.

Jacob said...

Certainly by the end Marshall was a pretty awful justice (in terms of performing the actual job of justice). On a crude vote-counting measure he was definitely a force for good on the court.

He also had a pretty deadpan sense of humour which might give context to the quote above (i.e. joking even if kidding on the square). Someone once asked him how he'd solve the race problem and he replied, "Kill all the white people."

Freder Frederson said...

I'm just thinking that we have the capacity to come up with strategies to eliminate racial bigotry and discrimination that do not involve bringing in the heavy hand of the federal government to supervise, on an individual cases level, who gets hired, promoted, fired, gets rented to, or sold to, and why.

For example? Lord knows we had tried it for over one hundred years and it wasn't working out too well when the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were finally passed.

paul a'barge said...

I think I made a friend

Good lord. I certainly hope Reagan lost that illusion before long.

Thurgood Marshall. Jesse Jackson. Al Sharpton. These are not men, they are sniveling bullies who wield the racism bat, their only power.

They certainly have no power derived from their morality or intellect.

Shame on the black race in America for their toadying to these losers.

Revenant said...

For example? Lord knows we had tried it for over one hundred years and it wasn't working out too well when the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were finally passed.

Question: if it "wasn't working too well", how'd the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts get majority support in the first place?

Answer: because by the time those acts got passed, the majority of Americans believed that racial discrimination and the denial of voting rights to blacks were morally unacceptable -- and, of course, the percentage of the population believing that was growing, even in the South.

The acts clearly weren't necessary to rid the public square of racism; that was happening anyway, slowly but surely. The relevant questions are (a) whether or not the Acts sped the process, (b) whether or not speeding the process was worth violating other rights, and (c) whether the acts remain necessary.

In my view, then answers are (a) yes, by sending a clear message that racism was Just Plain Wrong, (b) probably at the time and (c) absolutely not, as we're at a point where the market punishes racism worse than the government does (Imus, anyone?).

Invisible Man said...

Thurgood Marshall. Jesse Jackson. Al Sharpton. These are not men, they are sniveling bullies who wield the racism bat, their only power.

And all of those men have accomplished far more good in days than you will in your sad little life paul. You can criticize the way they've gone about it, but it shows how limited you are in your capacity to think outside of your small life, that you can't see the positive change that they have effected. Obviously a world where white men were able to deny rights to others would be a better place for you personally, but men like them tried to turn this country into what it promised at its founding. It's sad African-Americans can look to the greatness in individuals like Thomas Jefferson who despite their views about them personally, were great men who improved this country, while small minded people like yours can't see past your own selfish Fox News-approved motives.

Paul Snively said...

"It's sad African-Americans can look to the greatness in individuals like Thomas Jefferson who despite their views about them personally, were great men who improved this country, while small minded people like yours can't see past your own selfish Fox News-approved motives."

I've often seen good in Jesse Jackson. It's been on the days that he's reminded his constituents that addressing pressing issues such as out-of-wedlock births and black-on-black crime begin in the communities in which they occur and are not solely due to racism—that is, when he sounds like Bill Cosby. But all three of these men are difficult to give due credit for their accomplishments to if for no other reason than their transparent belief that the end justifies the means—and in Sharpton's case, it's not clear to me what it would take to overcome his involvement in the Tawana Brawley case. More than he's capable of, I'm quite convinced. What a hateful human being.

Jeff said...

"You guys have been discriminating for years. Now it's our turn."

Sandra Day O'Connor agreed- for the next quarter-century or so.

Revenant said...

It's sad African-Americans can look to the greatness in individuals like Thomas Jefferson who despite their views about them personally

Stop right there. The only things Jackson and Jefferson have in common were a willingness to exploit black people for personal financial gain and a habit of fucking women they weren't married to.

Jackson's positive accomplishments, on the other hand, don't come anywhere close to those of Jefferson, because Jackson hasn't got any. Black people AND non-black people would be better off today if his mother had opted for a back-alley abortion.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Revenant,

I think you should have written your original comment more carefully. To begin with, what you wrote might easily be read as Marshall felt "that white people deserved to be treated worse than black people" had been treated. That is obviously a preposterous statement.

What you meant to say, apparently, is that Marshall felt that blacks deserved a period of "preference in opportunity" to "make up" for a long history of slavery and discrimination. I think it's ridiculous to refer to this as "white people deserv[ing] to be treated worse than black people," but I suspect you wanted to make Thurgood Marshall's opinion sound outrageous. In fact, at the time Marshall was a USSC justice, affirmative action was widely accepted as sensible policy.

Considering that there is good evidence for the persistence of discrimination against blacks in America (see Bertrand and Mullainathan, 2003, for example), you ought to be more thoughtful about the problem before declaring that "we're at a point where the market punishes racism worse than the government does." Revenant, the "market" doesn't protect voting rights for minorities. The "market" doesn't ensure that minorities are treated fairly by law enforcement officials. The "market" doesn't even ensure that minorities are treated equally in the marketplace. To think that the "market" will wash out all remnants of racial discrimination in our society is naive and obviously wrong.

I generally find it exceedingly unenlightening when a bunch of white guys sit around and discuss the experience of blacks in America. This is no exception.

Roger said...

Just a thought based on this comment from above:

"...a bunch of white guys sit around and discuss the experience of blacks in America."


Unless self-identification takes place on an anonymous blog (and even that is not confirmation) just how do we know who is black and who is white?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger wrote:

Unless self-identification takes place on an anonymous blog (and even that is not confirmation) just how do we know who is black and who is white?


Roger, I'll let you make your best guess based on these comments:

1. paul wrote:

Shame on the black race in America for their toadying to these losers.


2. georgeh wrote:

"If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house," he said, "he has a right to do so."

It's called private property, a concept liberals have trouble understanding.


3.revenant wrote:

Was it discrimination that turned Marshall into a virulent racist? Sure, probably -- but that doesn't change the simple fact that he was one. The idea of punishing white people for the crimes of *other* white people based purely on the color of their skin filled his heart with joy.


4. zeb wrote:

Is the remedy for problems deemed to be racial in nature the surrendering up of all other rights, and to have the federal government micromanage every aspect of society to ensure that nothing offensive to blacks is going on?


Roger, what's your best guess? Would you have preferred that I write this instead?

I generally find it exceedingly unenlightening when a bunch of people ignorant of the black experience in America sit around and analyze it. This is no exception.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

Just to be clear about this, I'm not identifying anyone here as a racist. I find that there are a few fairly offensive views expressed in the comments, but I suspect those views are best explained by ignorance and stupidity rather than hatred.

If anyone is offended by being identified as white, correctly or incorrectly, I apologize.

Zeb Quinn said...

See what I mean? Almost breathtaking.

Roger said...

Cyrus: I made absolutely no accusations about anyone. It is clear, as in all things in life, you, as do we all, filter things through our perceptions and personal biases. That was my point. Nothing more. think very clearly about that please.

I asked a question to get people to think about their personal perceptions and how it affects what they believe. No accusations, nothing else intended.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

zeb wrote:

...we have the capacity to come up with strategies to eliminate racial bigotry and discrimination that do not involve bringing in the heavy hand of the federal government to supervise...


Zeb, we'd all love to see the plan. Please, don't hesitate to share it with us now.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Zeb,

Sorry, I forgot you don't answer questions. Thanks anyway.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

Fair enough. Do you think my guesses are wrong?

Zeb Quinn said...

Zeb, we'd all love to see the plan. Please, don't hesitate to share it with us now.

You'd have to put on your thinking cap. And why do that when you can just point guns at people?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Zeb,

As I noted before, you don't answer questions. Thank you for proving my point.

Zeb Quinn said...

As I noted before, you don't answer questions. Thank you for proving my point.

I have things to say on the subject, but with you operating in full tilt oppositional defiant mode as you do it wouldn't matter what I offered up. If I gave it away to you for free thataway you wouldn't value it. I suggest that you engage in some serious critical thinking about how and in what ways it'd be possible to motivate people to be racially inclusive all on their own without having to resort to bringing in federal agents to order them around at gunpoint. See what you can list. Then YOU get back to me.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Zeb,

As I noted before, you don't have the courage to answer questions. Thank you for proving my point, again and again.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

It's awfully tedious to read the mindless babbling of people like Zeb, georgeh, etc... who reliably refuse to defend the moronic things they post here.

I don't know whether their refusal to respond substantively reflects cowardice or stupidity, but I wish that they'd at least have the decency to scamper away silently instead of offering nonsensical explanations for their inability to explain their assertions. Please, just run away and be done with it.

Zeb Quinn said...

cyrus pinkerton,

Allow me to interpolate those remarks:

"Thinking about things and solving problems that way is too hard and it hurts my head. It's just sooo-o much easier to empower the federal government to carry things out in whatever manner they choose."

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Zeb,

As I've noted several times, you don't have the courage to answer questions. Thank you for proving my point, again and again.

Your performance has been truly pathetic, Zeb. Give it a rest now.

Zeb Quinn said...

I've answered you several times grasshopper. Reread. You can rest. That seems to suit you, hoping Uncle Sugar will take care of you. Me, I'll keep on keeping on.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Zeb,

Still no answer from you, although your new ploy of lying about your nonresponse proves my point that you lack the courage and intelligence of a substantive reply.

You and I both know the truth here: you haven't answered and you don't intend to. You simply don't have the courage to reply. All the nonsense you've been posting (in an attempt to run out the clock) has been for the benefit of anyone else who might still be reading this. But the truth is that no one else is still reading here, Zeb, so the only two people who are keeping up with this, you and I, both know you won't answer. And as long as both of us know that you're a coward, I'm perfectly satisfied.

Zeb Quinn said...

I'm still here. And you know and I know that I already answered you, and you admit to knowing it, hence your resort to name-calling. Thanks for playing.

And, yes, grasshopper, you CAN still get back to me when you decide to get off your duff, put on your thinking cap, and make that list. MMM-kay?

Zeb Quinn said...

It occurs to me that you may not understand what you are to do, so let's recap. Your assignment, if and when you opt to accept it, is to engage in some ponderous thought and then make a list of ways and strategies whereby people in America might be motivated to be racially accepting and inclusive, particularly in matters relating to employment, hiring, firing, and promoting, in housing, selling and renting, and in public accomodations, hotels, motels, restaurants, etc. Implicit is that these ways and strategies are to NOT involve any kind of governmental mandates, force, or penalties for persons or entities deemed to be lacking. They may, however, include incentives or rewards for persons or entities deemed to be stellar postive performers. Wink, wink. That's a big fat hint.

You can

(a) Continue to petulantly refuse to parcticipate, name-calling, etc.; or

(b) beg off as finding this assignment just too daunting and beyond your intellect; or

(c) claim that you tried your best but couldn't think of a single way.

Take your choice.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Zeb,

I'm going to repeat my post to you that you continue to refuse to address. (You don't have to scroll up very far to find it--the post time is 10:08 AM)

zeb wrote:

...we have the capacity to come up with strategies to eliminate racial bigotry and discrimination that do not involve bringing in the heavy hand of the federal government to supervise...

Zeb, we'd all love to see the plan. Please, don't hesitate to share it with us now.


Zeb, I've checked every single post carefully from you since I asked you to share your plan, and so far you've provided nothing other than excuses for why you can't respond substantively. So I'm left to observe again that you don't have the courage to respond. Also, it's obvious that you've now lied about this twice. It's clear that you don't have a plan, that you have nothing intelligent to say on the subject, and that you are willing to lie and filibuster in order to try to conceal your failings. Zeb, let me assure you, your failings are plain for all to see. It's time you give up the game.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

...and then Zeb ran away without ever answering the question, as I predicted.

Zeb Quinn said...

I gave you enough of a head start. Ball is squarely in your court, dude. I'm not a public service. Besides, like I said, you wouldn't value it if I did it for you. Now make that list.