Reagan was affable and likeable b/c he was rarely interested in discussing the truth. His administration participated in a shameless campaign of near-constant dog whistling that supported the continued subordination of black peoples, people of color, and the LGBQTI community. If examples of strength and leadership are suggested, perhaps we should stick with people at least marginally interested in: 1. The truth; and 2. Basic human morality. The Reagan administration was not interested in either. This should be perceived as a national embarrassment, not a reason to stick his name on an airport; this elaborates the embarrassment.
America is racist. It was specifically established to privilege white people at the expense of pretty much everybody else, worldwide. This onerous Macchiavellianism — the establishment of the inferiority of the non-European world — was completed before any statement of equality was written into the Constitution. Politics, science, social sciences etc in Europe devoted themselves to declaring the rest of the human race ‘subhuman,’ a word Kant actually used repeatedly in his writing. So, ‘people’ only included 10% of the human race, primarily Europeans.
Thus, by the time they wrote all ‘people’ equal in the Constitution, it was clear that only whites were actually ‘people.’ How long could this sort of deception possibly last? It’s already gone on for much too long. The Constitution still lacks apology to African-Americans and Native Americans, never mind a wholesale acknowledgment of the damage incurred by all peoples of color at some level or another.
Of these ‘people,’ it will be the subgroup of racially privileged ones who simultaneously lack intrinsic value to society (as society defines it at that particular time) who will fight against any changes which create equality. Equality will force an equal competition, and privileged people without the capacity to compete on an intrinsic basis understand that this means their one ‘asset’ — unearned and superficial as it is — is something critical to their success. Without it, they don’t have much of anything. Thus, we see this very population vigorously defending whiteness; lacking other socially-useful traits, it’s all they have. However, it has nothing to do with merit, achievement, or an actual contribution to society.
Of course, this sort of approach is fallacious, never mind immoral. Subbing a superficial trait for actual achievement cannot work in the long run, because the society will have privileged non-achievers running the show, which will cause deterioration of the nation as a whole. Sound familiar?
Here’s the reckoning: the US will be primarily, fundamentally racist until whites have the courage to admit that, no matter how hard they feel like they are working as individuals, they are still profoundly privileged as members of a larger group; ie, less merit is required in order for them to achieve success relative to people of color, and in particular black people.
As a group, whites need to find this courage in order for this country to be one that can ever claim equality.