White House receives backlash over plans to unveil stamp honoring former First Lady Nancy Reagan during Pride Month
Will the White House host an event where a new stamp honoring Nancy Reagan is released? We took a look.
On 1 June, the first day of Pride Month, the White House announced that First Lady Jill Biden would participate in an event unveiling a new stamp that honors former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Gay rights activists quickly criticized the move, noting the Reagans’ anti-LGBTQ record, including the callous and deadly handling of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The press release, which has since been removed from the White House website, read that the vent was to take place Monday 6 June. The US Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, as well as representatives from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and members of the Reagan family, were also invited. Since the tweet viral the White House has not offered any updates as to whether or not ht event will be moving forward.
Will the event take place?
No cancelations have been announced in spite of online backlash. It does seem that the Biden Administration will try to keep the event and media conversation surrounding it as small as possible to avoid further criticisms. There have been no posts on social media by the First Lady, President Biden, the White House, the United States Postal Service, or any of the organizations that will be in attendance.
June 6th was selected as it would have represented Nancy Reagan’s 100th birthday. The former-First Lady passed away at ninety-four years old in 2016.
Backlash as Pride Month begins
The White House has been quick to promote their commitment to celebrate Pride Month. President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation to " honor the resilience of LGBTQI+ people.” Part of the resilience has stemmed from the communities efforts to raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic throughout the 1980s and the majority of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. While, a wife should not be made to bear the failures of her husband, her unwillingness and failure to provoke or call attention to the thousands of fatalities and health crisis, from such a high position of power, will always be reflected in her legacy.
In the wake of the announcement, various outlets have published stories highlighting Nancy Regan’s resistance to pushing her husband to act during the AIDS epidemic.
It took years for the Reagan administration to take the public health crisis seriously and even when they began to talk about it, they actively undercut federal efforts to investigate the disease and combat transmissions.
Activist Cameron Kasky noted the optics and impact the White Houses’ announcement had on the queer community as Pride Month got started.