Ronald Reagan has long stood as an icon and standard bearer for the Republican party. Candidates commonly refer to the GOP as “The Party of Reagan” as they seek votes. This weekend, though, extremely racist taped comments made by the 40th President were unearthed by The Atlantic.
The GOP has noted how shocked they are by the recordings. Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, who does not identify as a Republican, also was surprised by her Father’s comments. Davis penned an op-ed in the Washington Post revealing her feelings about the tape.
Davis noted in the piece:
“I wasn’t prepared for the tape of my father using the word “monkeys” to describe black African delegates to the United Nations who had voted in a way that angered him. Nor could I wrap my head around his comment about them not being comfortable wearing shoes. I don’t know if it was masochism or shock, but I listened to the tape twice before allowing myself to cry.”
The former first daughter said that the comments are unlike anything she ever heard from her Dad. She gave a number of examples of her Father setting a good example and fighting racism.
Davis says at the end of the piece:
“I can tell you all these things, and more, but it doesn’t remove the knife cut of the words I heard him say on that tape. That wound will stay with me forever. But I believe, if my father had, years after the fact, heard that tape, he would have asked for forgiveness. He would have said, “I deeply regret what I said — that’s not who I am.”