Reagan undeserving of hero status

By Gus Bode

Former President Ronald Reagan died two weeks ago.

The canonization of Reagan was in full force. He was capitulated into hero status. The myth of Reagan’s valor and gallantry was unrelenting during the weeklong tribute to him. Reagan was transformed into America’s knight in shining armor. There is even speculation that Franklin Delano Roosevelt may be replaced on the U.S dime with Reagan’s image.

Why is it that everyone forgot about the onslaught on the poor in America under Ronald Reagan’s administration? Everyone forgot about Iran-Contra. Everyone in the media forgot about Reagan’s assault on free speech at the University of California during the Vietnam War. Everyone forgot that he ignored the AIDS epidemic for years.


There are many issues to these phenomena of propelling dubious individuals into epic-like heroes as a result of death, when in fact their lives were less than honorable.

Such is the case of former President Reagan, who as governor of California, targeted U.C. Berkeley students who protested the Vietnam War with the following statements:”Get them out of there. Throw them out. They are spoiled and don’t deserve the education they are getting. They don’t have a right to take advantage of our system of education.”

Maybe we all forgot that Ronald Reagan presided over the Iran-Contra scandal. Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh reported President Reagan was aware of much that went on regarding the affair and participated in efforts to withhold facts and mislead Congress.

Maybe we all forgot that Ronald Reagan embraced racism. As president, he used racist code words such as “welfare queens in Cadillacs,” and also supported the apartheid regime of South Africa.

Moreover, Reagan kicked off his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., the scene of the shocking murders of three civil rights workers.

He did not acknowledge the horror of those brutal murders. It was a critical

message sent by Reagan, who expressed his support for “states’ rights,” that the concerns and sentiments of blacks were of no consequence to him.


Maybe everyone forgot Reagan attempted to reverse the policy of denying tax-exempt status to private schools that practice discrimination and his effort to exempt Bob Jones University.

The legacy of Ronald Reagan is antipathy toward civil rights, the Iran-Contra scandal, a total neglect and disregard of the poor in America and the conservative revolution that made Reagan’s policies fashionable.

In closing, I will not cry for Reagan. I will not forget the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

It is not mourning in America for me.

Death does not transform scoundrels into heroes. The transfiguration of

Reagan is frightening. However, perhaps Reagan had to be re-constructed in death because the myth is more comforting than the reality of his heartlessness and the media’s spurious iconology.