M Nixon speaks frankly about race destruction, welfare,
Mexico, homophobia, horny Popes & Nuns and the
Bohemian Grove ....
transcript from Harper's Magazine article
a May 13, 1971, conversation among President Richard
Nixon, John D. Ehrlichman, and H. R. Haldeman.
On October 5, 1999, the National Archives made
available to the public 445 hours of previously
unreleased Oval Office tapes. The following dialogue
was transcribed by Chicago Tribune reporter James
NIXON: We're going to [put] more of these little
Negro bastards on the welfare rolls at $2,400
a family--let people like Pat Moynihan and [special
consultant] Leonard Garment and others believe
in all that crap. But I don't believe in it. Work,
work--throw 'em off the rolls. That's the key.
D. EHRLICHMAN: The key is Reagan's neutrality.
If Reagan blasts this thing and says it's not
strong enough on the work-requirement end, that
will be very bad.
I have the greatest affection for them [blacks],
but I know they're not going to make it for 500
years. They aren't. You know it, too. The Mexicans
are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage.
At the present time they steal, they're dishonest,
but they do have some concept of family life.
They don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the
Negroes do live like.
The Mexican American is not as good as the Mexican.
You go down to Mexico--they're clean, they're
honest, they're moral.
Mexico is a much more moral country.
Monterrey, Cuernavaca. Go into slum areas, and
by God they come out with clean shirts on a Sunday
The church. You find a helluva lot less marijuana
use in Mexico than the United States.
The unions are actually a stronger force down
there than the church.
For conduct and social policy.
... CBS ... glorifying homosexuality.
A panel show?
R. HALDEMAN: No, it's a regular show. It's on
every week. It's usually just done in the guy's
home. It's usually just that guy, who's a hard
That's right; he's a hard hat.
He always looks like a slob.
Looks like Jackie Gleason.
He has this hippie son-in-law, and usually the
general trend is to downgrade him and upgrade
the son-in-law--make the square hard hat out to
be bad. But a few weeks ago, they had one in which
the guy, the son-in-law, wrote a letter to you,
President Nixon, to raise hell about something.
And the guy said, "You will not write that
letter from my home!" Then said, "I'm
going to write President Nixon," took off
all those sloppy clothes, shaved, and went to
his desk and got ready to write his letter to
President Nixon. And apparently it was a good
What's it called?
"Archie's Guys." Archie is sitting here
with his hippie son-in-law, married to the screwball
daughter. The son-in-law apparently goes both
ways. This guy. He's obviously queer--wears an
ascot--but not offensively so. Very clever. Uses
nice language. Shows pictures of his parents.
And so Arch goes down to the bar. Sees his best
friend, who used to play professional football.
Virile, strong, this and that. Then the fairy
comes into the bar.
don't mind the homosexuality. I understand it.
Nevertheless, goddamn, I don't think you glorify
it on public television, homosexuality, even more
than you glorify whores. We all know we have weaknesses.
But, goddammit, what do you think that does to
kids? You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality
destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We
all know that. So was Socrates.
But he never had the influence television had.
You know what happened to the Romans? The last
six Roman emperors were fags. Neither in a public
way. You know what happened to the popes? They
were layin' the nuns; that's been goin' on for
But the Catholic Church went to hell three or
four centuries ago. It was homosexual, and it
had to be cleaned out. That's what's happened
to Britain. It happened earlier to France.
look at the strong societies. The Russians. Goddamn,
they root 'em out. They don't let 'em around at
all. I don't know what they do with them. Look
at this country. You think the Russians allow
dope? Homosexuality, dope, immorality, are the
enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists
and left-wingers are clinging to one another.
They're trying to destroy us. I know Moynihan
will disagree with this, [Attorney General John]
Mitchell will, and Garment will. But, goddamn,
we have to stand up to this.
It's fatal liberality.
It's fatal liberality. And with its use on television,
it has such leverage.
You know what's happened [in northern California]?
San Francisco has just gone clear over.
But it's not just the ratty part of town. The
upper class in San Francisco is that way. The
Bohemian Grove, which I attend from time to time--it
is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever
imagine, with that San Francisco crowd. I can't
shake hands with anybody from San Francisco.
They got to do something. But we don't have to
glorify it. You know one of the reasons fashions
have made women look so terrible is because the
goddamned designers hate women. Designers taking
it out on the women. Now they're trying to get
some more sexy things coming on again.
2000 Harper's Magazine Foundation