What Nixon did was more insidious than he is given "credit" for in history because it cuts into the very heart of how the next generations treated racism and what it means today.
His administration successfully designed and implemented the "racism as individual behavior of individual people" that everyone subscribes to today.
Prior to that, racism was seen purely as its construct was -- institutional.
Nixon siezed upon the overt bigotry created by the system during the civil rights movement to "attach a face" to it (A tactic still used today, think, "illegal immigrant" and the "face" of a Mexican appears in your mind, even unconsciously).
Once this paradigm was set into place, it paved the way for "reverse discrimination," and most notably, "reverse racism," where black people could share the distinction by merely calling it out.
In this way, the institutions could continue to flourish, and grow with Reagan et al., because racism itself had become a person and not a thing.
This is why there is so much confusion today and why I write so much about the differences between bigotry and prejudice, and racism.