L'animosité de Richard Nixon au sujet des juifs était bien connue. Mais le New York Times fait aujourd'hui état dans cet article de conversations dans lesquelles l'ancien président américain tient des propos racistes ou méprisants sur les Noirs, les Irlandais et les Italiens. Ces conversations sont contenues dans quelque 265 nouvelles heures d'enregistrements secrets réalisés à la Maison-Blanche 16 mois avant la démission de Nixon et rendus publics cette semaine par la bibliothèque de Richard Nixon.

Richard Hétu

Je cite dans le texte les propos de Nixon sur l'optimisme du secrétaire d'État Bill Rogers concernant les progrès dont sont capables les Noirs :

"Bill Rogers has got - to his credit it's a decent feeling - but somewhat 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. I think it's wrong if you're talking in terms of 50 years. What has to happen is they have to be, frankly, inbred. And, you just, that's the only thing that's going to do it, Rose."

Comme on peut le constater dans la prochaine citation, Nixon entretenait les préjugés connus à l'égard des Irlandais, des Italiens et des juifs :

"The Jews have certain traits. 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. The Italians, of course, those people course don't have their heads screwed on tight. They are wonderful people, but... The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality."