• Revision ID 95779 REVISION
  • 2019-01-16 23:08:34
  • by John Clayton (talk | contribs)
  • Note: Changed placement of periods inside quotations; Deleted some superfluous language; Some grammatical fixes; Clarification of summary statement
 
   
Title Title
Fact check: Jon Meacham's attributed quote to Clifford Walker, at a 1924 convention of the Ku Klux Klan Fact check: Jon Meacham's attributed quote to Clifford Walker, at a 1924 convention of the Ku Klux Klan
Summary Summary
What did Clifford Walker really say at the 1924 convention of the Ku Klux Klan? What did Clifford Walker really say at the 1924 convention of the Ku Klux Klan?
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<ul> <ul>
<li><strong>In his "Address to the Nation", Donald Trump spoke about a "steel barrier" against immigrants at the southern border  <li><strong>In his "Address to the Nation", Donald Trump spoke about a "steel barrier" against immigrants at the southern border
</strong></li> </strong></li>
<li><strong>Jon Meacham recalled a statement of Clifford Walker about a "wall of steel" in a speech to the KKK in 1924 </strong></li>  <li><strong>Jon Meacham recalled a statement of Clifford Walker about a "wall of steel" in a speech to the KKK in 1924 </strong></li>
<li><strong>Media read this as an equation of Donald Trumps thoughts and the KKK</strong></li>  <li><strong>Media read this as an equation of Donald Trumps thoughts and the KKK</strong></li>
<li><strong>But Trump and Walker, using the same words, did not speak about the same</strong></li>   <li><strong>Trump and Walker, using the same words, did not speak about the same thing.</strong></li>
</ul> </ul>
Jon Meacham, the American author <a href="https://twitter.com/jmeacham/status/1082804235996200960">wrote a tweet quoting Georgia Gov. Clifford Walker</a> , claimed the following: Jon Meacham, the American author <a href="https://twitter.com/jmeacham/status/1082804235996200960">wrote a tweet quoting Georgia Gov. Clifford Walker</a> , claimed the following:
https://twitter.com/jmeacham/status/1082804235996200960 https://twitter.com/jmeacham/status/1082804235996200960
Six houres earlier, President Donald Trump had issued his <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-address-nation-crisis-border/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Address to the Nation on the Crisis at the Border</a>. In context of the cost for a physical barrier, he claimed: "At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall". Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer <a href="https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/1819-2/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">responded</a>: "We can secure our border without an expensive, ineffective wall".  Six houres earlier, President Donald Trump had issued his <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-address-nation-crisis-border/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Address to the Nation on the Crisis at the Border</a>. In context of the cost for a physical barrier, he claimed: "At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall." Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer <a href="https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/1819-2/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">responded</a>: "We can secure our border without an expensive, ineffective wall."
<strong>Claim:</strong> <strong>Claim:</strong>
Walker said "America should 'build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven' against the flow of immigrants.--Georgia Gov. Clifford Walker, at a 1924 convention of the Ku Klux Klan"  Georgia Governor George Walker said "America should 'build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven' against the flow of immigrants" at a 1924 convention of the Ku Klux Klan.
<strong>Fact Check: Mostly false / Needs context <strong>Fact Check: Mostly false / Needs context
</strong> </strong>
The <a href="https://ia802304.us.archive.org/25/items/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_text.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">full text</a> of Proceedings of the Second Imperial Klonvocation of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, held in Kansas City, MO in September 1924 includes Clifford Walker’s speech, the following passage contains the direct quotation in Meacham’s claim:  The <a href="https://ia802304.us.archive.org/25/items/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_text.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">full text</a> of  "Proceedings of the Second Imperial Klonvocation of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, held in Kansas City, MO in September 1924" includes Clifford Walker’s speech, the following passage contains the direct quotation in Meacham’s claim:
I would build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven, against the admission of a single one of those Southern Europeans who never [thought?] the thoughts or spoke the language of a democracy in their [illegible].  "I would build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven, against the admission of a single one of those Southern Europeans who never [thought?] the thoughts or spoke the language of a democracy in their [illegible]."
<strong>Part of the claim is literally true</strong>: <strong>Part of the claim is literally true</strong>:
Walker said "build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven"  Walker said "build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven."
<strong>Part of the claim can be considered true</strong>, provided that "America should" and "I would" are analogous: <strong>Part of the claim can be considered true</strong>, provided that "America should" and "I would" are analogous:
Walker said that America should "build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven"  Walker said that America should "build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven."
<strong>Part of the claim is false</strong>: <strong>Part of the claim is false</strong>:
Firstly, Walker's wall was not thought to be directed against a flow of immigrants. True is, that Walker was concerned about a those of the Southern European immigrants who behaved in a specific manner.  
Secondly, by hashtag, "#PastIsPrologue", Meacham established a connection between the 1924 statement and the present time. This sheds a light on the underlying meaning of the statement Meacham had  in mind when tweeting.  
At present time, the predominating topic on the political stage is the endeavour of the President to achieve the financing of a wall along the Mexican border. By this it is as good as certain that the public will interpret "the wall" in the tweet as a real, physical one. Walker was concerned about Southern European immigrants specifically in this quotation. By hash-tagging his tweet "#PastIsPrologue", Meacham established a connection between the 1924 statement and the present time. This sheds a light on the underlying meaning of the statement Meacham had  in mind when tweeting.
Walker's "The wall" however is to be taken symbolically. This becomes obviously only by the context that Meacham 's statement excluded:  
  At present time, the predominating topic on the political stage is the endeavour of the President to achieve the financing of a wall along the Mexican border. It is nearly certain that the public will interpret "the wall" referenced in the quotation as a real, physical one. However, Walker's "wall" is to be taken symbolically. This becomes obvious only by the context that Meacham 's statement excluded:
Walker continued: "I would go further. I would place not only every one of those [that?] shall come here in the future, but every one of those of recent about whom there is any doubt as to their loyalty, on probation. I would let them ... go to school in the academy of democracy ... and if at the end of that reasonable time he did not speak our language and did not qualify as a one hundred per cent American, then I would, if necessary, send them back across the ocean". He also said: "I remind you that our forefathers, every one of them, were foreigners. If you can, make proper provision for the labor conditions of this Union, ..."  Walker continued: "I would go further. I would place not only every one of those [that?] shall come here in the future, but every one of those of recent about whom there is any doubt as to their loyalty, on probation. I would let them...go to school in the academy of democracy...and if at the end of that reasonable time he did not speak our language and did not qualify as a one hundred percent American, then I would, if necessary, send them back across the ocean."
After all, the tweeted claim that  
Walker said on a 1924 convention of the KKK, "America should 'build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven' against the flow of immigrants", whereby by the historical context of tweeting, "wall" had to be understood as a material one,  To summarize, the claim that Walker said at a 1924 convention of the KKK that "America should 'build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven' against the flow of immigrants" is true. However, the notion that the referenced "wall" should be understood to be a material one, is false.
is false.  
Categories Categories
Article type Article type
Tags Tags
Border wall, Donald J Trump, fact check, Immigrants, Ku Klux Klan 1924, Mexico, Refugees, US politics Border wall, Donald J Trump, fact check, Immigrants, Ku Klux Klan 1924, Mexico, Refugees, US politics
Author byline Author byline
Yes Yes
Has hero Has hero
Yes Yes
Hero Alignment Hero Alignment
full full
Hero Image URL Hero Image URL
None None
Featured Image URL Featured Image URL
https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2019/01/13090043/30035792410_632e50b6ff_o.jpg https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2019/01/13090043/30035792410_632e50b6ff_o.jpg
Sources Sources
<p>Proceedings of the Second Imperial Klonvocation of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, held in Kansas City, MO in September 1924<br /> <p>Proceedings of the Second Imperial Klonvocation of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, held in Kansas City, MO in September 1924<br />
<a href="https://archive.org/details/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://archive.org/details/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation</a><br /> <a href="https://archive.org/details/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://archive.org/details/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation</a><br />
Image scan (see esp. p. 17)<br /> Image scan (see esp. p. 17)<br />
<a href="https://ia802304.us.archive.org/25/items/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_text.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://ia802304.us.archive.org/25/items/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_text.pdf</a><br /> <a href="https://ia802304.us.archive.org/25/items/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_text.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://ia802304.us.archive.org/25/items/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_text.pdf</a><br />
Text scan:<br /> Text scan:<br />
<a href="https://archive.org/stream/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_djvu.txt" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://archive.org/stream/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_djvu.txt</a></p> <a href="https://archive.org/stream/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_djvu.txt" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://archive.org/stream/ProceddingsOfTheSecondImperialKlonvocation/Klon_djvu.txt</a></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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