Posted by | January 17, 2011 13:28 | Filed under: Top Stories

Michael Reagan has an op-ed piece at, where he first says he could make a better case for his dad being “the first black president” than the case Toni Morrison made for Bill Clinton, but that out of respect for African-Americans and there being an actual black president, he won’t. Of course, this begs the question: Why bring it up? Reagan goes on to say:

Ronald Reagan was a far better friend to black Americans than Barack Obama has been. Just compare the Reagan and Obama records. Under Obama, black unemployment rose from 12.6 percent in January 2009 to 16.0 percent today. This means that black unemployment has increased by more than one-fourth since Obama took office.

And the Reagan record? African-American columnist Joseph Perkins has studied the effects of Reaganomics on black America. He found that, after the Reagan tax cuts gained traction, African-American unemployment fell from 19.5 percent in 1983 to 11.4 percent in 1989. Black-owned businesses saw income rise from $12.4 billion in 1982 to $18.1 billion in 1987-an annual average growth rate of 7.9 percent. The black middle class expanded by one-third during the Reagan years, from 3.6 million to 4.8 million.

In my own book, Red White and Liberal, I noted:

During the Clinton era, minorities did especially well. Unemployment among blacks dropped from 14.1% to 7.8% between 1992 and 1999 and black teen unemployment went from 40.5% in January 1993 to 28.6% in August 1999.

But it isn’t just raw numbers that define a presidency’s effect on a population.  As I wrote, there’s more:

Clinton was the first president to acknowledge some of our own sordid history concerning the treatment of minorities. We presume to own the high ground when it comes to humanitarianism, but we have conveniently forgotten episodes like the Tuskegee experiments. Our government used poor, black, illiterate sharecroppers from Alabama as though they were lab animals. And this isn’t ancient history. The Tuskegee experiments began in 1932 and continued until they were exposed forty years later. Three hundred ninety-nine men in the late stages of syphilis were told they were treated for “bad blood.” In fact, they were being treated for nothing. It wasn’t their live bodies the government wanted, but their dead ones, so their corpses could be used by the U.S. Public Health Service to see how syphilis affected them differently than whites. Because husbands who believed they were being treated were deceived, wives were infected and children were born with congenital syphilis during these experiments. When penicillin was invented in the 1940’s, it was purposely denied to these men. When asked about it, the Public Health Service claimed these people were participating voluntarily. And, if that’s not shocking enough, when President Clinton apologized for what the government did, his detractors accused him of pandering to the black community. Here’s what President Clinton said: “The United States government did something that was wrong—deeply, profoundly, morally wrong. It was an outrage to our commitment to integrity and equality for all our citizens. . . . clearly racist.”

Michael Reagan uses the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to take another swipe at our first actual black president:

Unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that America’s first black president has made life worse for us all—and especially for black Americans.

No we don’t. And what is incalculable is how many young black men and women can look with pride at a man from humble beginnings who made it to the White House for them all to see. We will never know in what ways that will have inspired not only black Americans, but all Americans to live their dreams.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.