January 16, 2009
The KKK, Hollywood and President WilsonBy Ben-Peter Terpstra
There are some things you need to know about President Wilson's AmeriKKKa.
1. You need to know that Wilson was the first President to screen a movie at the White House. 1915's The Clansman - that is.
President Wilson's film contributor/author friend, Thomas Dixon, contacted him, about screening The Clansman (also known as The Birth of a Nation). It pays to know racists. Soon after, the first film was screening at the White House.
Wilson and Dixon were social friends at John Hopkins University. And, they were also professional networkers. Wilson, for example, introduced, Dixon to the Baltimore Mirror's editor, where new writing opportunities were opening up.
It is hard to discuss The Clansman by Dixon, without mentioning Wilson, although leftwing writers seem to be very good at it.
As Anthony Slide points out in American Racist: The Life and Films of Thomas Dixon (p.83): "Wilson and Thomas Dixon are far closer in racial philosophy than most liberal biographers of the president might have one believe."
Also, for example: "He believed that blacks held an inferior position in society, and as president of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, he did not welcome African American students." I'll let you deconstruct his positions on "Jew York."
Wilson: Renowned intellectual
2. You need to know that Wilson's support of The Clansman helped to revive the political Klan.
I never associate racism with the South alone. There were many racists in Los Angeles and New York, especially in the eugenics community (although they didn't always wear white sheets). Many of them were also Democrats. In fact, thanks to Hollywood, the Klan received a huge public relations shot.
Turning to primary sources, you get a sense that Wilson was leading America back to Egypt. Under, the Republican Teddy Roosevelt, in 1901, the first African American scored an invite to the White House. Under, Wilson, the Democrat, the White House became a Whites-Only House.
Wislon, the Democrat, and The Clansman infuriated Republicans. A man of intellect? As Slide also notes: "Nevertheless, under Woodrow Wilson's presidency, Republican blacks were replaced by white Democrats, and for the first time since the Civil War, government departments were segregated."
More: "Following the White House screening, Dixon was able to arrange a second presentation a day later for members of the Supreme Court after Chief Justice Edward D. White had confirmed to him that he had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan and Dixon, in turn, had assured White that the film told the true story of the Klan." It was cool to be a Klux again!
Wilson: Princeton's Knickerbocker Aristocrat
3. You need to know that Wilson was promoting terrorism through "art." The Ku Klux Klan was and is a terrorist organization, plain and simple. The Clansman was a recruitment picture for Jew-baiters. And it paid off. As a result, the Klan's membership skyrocketed. And, yes, Northern Democrats and Californians were packing cinemas.
Children were also groomed. In one review, "The Photo De Luxe, ‘The Clansman' at Strand Tonight," in California's Woodland Daily Democrat (March 15, 1916), for instance, you'll see a sweet photograph of little May Marsh, one of The Clansman stars.
Anti-terrorist Republicans stopped some screenings, but the Woodland Daily Democrat puffed: "The Clansman continued to pack Clune's Auditorium theater in Los Angeles at almost every performance of its last week there" in 1916!
"And in New York and Boston ‘The Clansman' has proven to be fully as popular; while from all directions come requests from theatrical managers that they be allowed to play ‘The Clansman' in their city." White Power!
Sure, May Marsh was cute and all, but I don't know, the big white men in white sheets appear political. And there's an eerily familiar message: Never give a "Negro" a gun!
Wilson: America's Commander in Terrorist Chic
4. You need to know that Hollywood sold The Clansman as history.
One brownnoser praised the racist movie in "his" page two piece, "Features That Tend to Make ‘The Clansman' Greatest Movie Yet Taken," in California's Woodland Daily Democrat (1916-01-12). Furthermore, in "the greatest and most wonderful moving picture ever produced" accuracy ruled. "Raids of the famous Ku Klux of the South," reproduced were noted, along with the "thrilling battles between Ku Klux and negroes, in which thousands of both factions participate."
Naturally, "a quaint cabin village showing the negro quarters of a Southern plantation was built for ‘The Clansman.'" Plus: "The negro life on the old plantation is faithfully reproduced" without the white-on-black rape scenes. And, in the reviewer's mind, the Clansman "was staged according to historical data." Much like a Michael Moore film.
Indeed. "A well known professor at the University of Southern California spent two months in making a painstaking research to discover exact data for staging the picture." So it must be true! "No expense was spared" in making the film and the big sell: "Historically and technically ‘The Clansman' is perfect."
But, gee, where were all the historically correct noose scenes?
As David Barton points out in Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White (page 115):
Today, cowardly elites are busily singling out Southerners and their Confederate flag bumper stickers. Why? Because taking their pitchfork brigades to Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, requires real courage.