Tuesday, 19 January 2016

African-American Hatred of Reagan

President Ronald Reagan signs the bill making Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday into a national holiday, as Coretta Scott King watches, Nov. 2, 1983, ...
The Reagan administration of the 1980's, which promoted neoconservative, Republican policies of reduced government, greater state governance, tax reduction and development of the (capitalist orientated) middle-class, earned him strong opposition from various sects who  openly criticized his actions as President. One of the core minority groups who became actively discontent with the social impacts of 'tickle down Reaganomics' and the progressive removal of access and opportunity to welfare programs where where those of the African-American community.  In Ehrman and Flamms book 'Debating the Reagan Presidency, they present the view that African-American preconditions to that of the Reagan era to "have made tremendous economic progress (since 1960); first end of legalized discrimination, then increased demand for black workers created through affirmative action creating wage increase and thus a substantial middle class.", thus the impact of Reagan on this minority group was fundamental in shaping the political and socio-economic condition  of the period.

Reagan induced hatred from African-Americans, primarily because they did not receive the same economic benefits of Reagan high level of investment and leniency for corporations and promotion on the wealthy and middle class, whom maintained a low number of African-Americans. Many Blacks were in positions of limited financial stability and relied strongly on the limited, yet available welfare programs, such as food stamps, job-training programs and employment in government funded public sector work, these programs came under pressure as the administration reduced the budgets in an attempts to maintain a working Federal budget, especially after the enacting of corporate tax-reductions and increased private sector spending (i.e Reaganomics). This presented a variety of conditions that many of those who had fought for equal rights in the 1960's (such as the progression of equal employable and reduction of discrimination in employment), that where deemed unacceptable.

 Reagan as a conservative Republican President, could not align any part of his ideology of that with African-Americans, who although. Although not overtly opposed to equal rights, Reagan maintained a limited promotion policy on affirmative action, as he and his cabinet viewed it as a means of creating a 'noncompetitive marketplace atmosphere', plus political promotion would have placed some of his WASP supporters in positions of racial and class alienation. Further, was the presentation of his administration to work with black activist in federal issues, such as his initial position not to support a national holiday symbolic to the equal rights movement. Or extending the condition of the 1964 Voting Rights Act, during its 1982 renewal. In both events there was a reversal of this initial position, reversals which where strongly criticized and aggravated by the media, gaining him 9% of the black vote in 1984, and further breaching the gap between traditional Democratic and Republican voters.

John Ehrman, Michael W. Flamm Debating the Reagan Presidency, pg. 47

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Ronald Reagan Was No Friend To Blacks  

(Pictures) , Reagan enacting Martin Luther King Jr. Day (1983)

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