Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Louis Marshall Says Klan Preaching is Treason to Republic

October 30, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Hiram W. Evans’s statement in Dallas, Texas., as Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, of the Klan’s opposition to Roman Catholics, Jews and Negroes, was commented on by Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee who, in an interview appearing in the World Sunday, broke his silence on the hooded organization.

The Imperial Wizard spoke of “three powerful and numerous elements that do now and forever will defy every fundamental requirement of assimilation” and said the Rouman Catholics hold a greater allegiance to Rome than to this country, that the Jew is an unblendable element and that the Negro cannot attain the Anglo-Saxon level of mentality.

“Hitherto I have regarded the Ku Klux Klan movement as so utterly ridiculous as to be undeserving of serious consideration”, Mr. Marshall said. “Now that the Imperial Wizard has openly defined its program, it may perhaps be permissible to comment upon it.

“In substance it is, that the right to live in this country is to be confined to those who are white and Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. Negroes are to be excluded because of their color, Anglo-Saxon blood may have been co-mingled and blended with that of their African ancestors, who were forcibly brought to this country in shackles by Anglo-Saxon slave dealers. They may be Protestant. And yet the ten millions of them, who had no choice as to their coming here, must disappear.

“The recorded history of the Jews is an inspiring narrative of unrivaled patriotism. While there have been Anglo-Saxons invincible in peace and invincible in war, those of other origins have proved their loyalty to this country, and none to a greater degree than the Jew. He certainly, in common with all good citizens reveres the Constitution of the United States and loves the insitutions of this country, and feels a deep sense of gratitude for the rights whixh have been accorded to him here.

“The Imperial Wizard, however, preaches a violation of the Constitution. Apparently, he is seeking to impose a religious test, to establish the Protestant religion, to prohibit the free exercise of any other religion, to abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, to deny to those within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws and to nullify the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Does this represent patriotism as the Anglo-Saxon feels it.

“to do more than to state the proposition is an insult to the American people. It is not for the Negro or the Jew or the Catholic to join issue with any organization that entertains such abominable theories. It is for the American people as a whole, it is for the Protestant churches, as many of them have sponteneously done, to repudiate so iniquitous a program. It is an insult to them that doctrines of so monstrous a nature can possibly be regarded by them otherwise than with impatience and contempt. I have such confidence in their sense of justice and fairness and in their genuine patriotism that I regard it as entirely appropriate to resume my former attitude of indifference toward the Ku Klux Klan and its works”.

Recommended from JTA