Newly released White House tapes show former president Richard Nixon’s distaste for Jews, blacks, Irish and Italians. The recordings and papers recorded by a secret taping system were used in used as evidence in the Watergate scandal a year later.
The footage shows Nixon speaking to a senior advisor in February 1973. According to reports in the New York Times, Nixon says that he was no prejudice but, “I've just recognized that, you know, all people have certain traits ... The Jews have certain trait.
“The Irish have certain – for example, the Irish can't drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I've known gets mean when he drinks. Particularly the real Irish."
Following this he turns on Italian-Americans. He said “The Italians, of course, those people course don't have their heads screwed on tight ... They are wonderful people, but ..."
At this point his voice trails off and then he turns his attention to the Jews. He said “The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality."
During a different recording he names several top Jewish advisers. These included Henry Kissinger, a legendary national security adviser. Nixon argues that they feel the need to compensate.
He said “What it is, is it's the insecurity ... It's the latent insecurity. Most Jewish people are insecure. And that's why they have to prove things."
Some of the documents reveal that Nixon was concerned about his Jewish staff. He the documents he orders that all Jewish-Americans be excluded from work in the Middle East.
In notes taken by chief of staff HR Haldeman in 1971 Nixon said, “Get K. out of the play ... No Jew can handle the Israeli thing."
In another recording Nixon and Kissinger both made it clear that they would not help Jews to escape persecution in the Soviet Union or immigrate to America.
Kissinger said, "The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy ... And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern."
Nixon responded, “I know ... We can't blow up the world because of it."
In another conversation he speaks to his personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods. He said that a colleague has “sort of a blind spot on the black thing because he's been in New York ... He says well, 'They are coming along, and that after all they are going to strengthen our country in the end because they are strong physically and some of them are smart.' So forth and so on."
"My own view is I think he's right if you're talking in terms of 500 years," he said.
"I think it's wrong if you're talking in terms of 50 years. What has to happen is they have be, frankly, inbred. And, you just, that's the only thing that's going to do it, Rose."
The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum has released 265 hours of tape, notes and documents.
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