It’s All Your Fault, Brother Smith!
Nashville Globe – February 15, 1907
“Apropos to the preparing of a set of inoffensive resolutions relating to the suppression of “The Clansman” in this city and to the forceful presentation of them to Mayor Freirson, Rev. Joe Smith, pastor of the First Congregational Church, and member of committee on resolutions, as the shades of night drew on, saw pandemonium break loose, negroes defenselessly shot down; the streets coated with human gore. Weak-kneed and vascillatingly he sought the chambers of the city council and pleased for a return of said resolution for fear that his name would be endangered he failed in maintaining the courage of his convictions.
“The sense of the signed citizens was to offer the protest, feeling that the good of the community of white and black demanded it. But by a play of diplomacy on the part of Brother Joe the council assembled and adjourned without the presentation of these resolutions. We wish therefore to have this article convey the sense that there is nothing contained in the withdrawal of above resolutions that was a suggestion of fear of engendering hard feelings. We therefore adopt this method of announcing to the general public that the sentiment of the signers still maintains, Brother Joe Smith to the contrary notwithstanding.
“Further, we wish to express earnest appreciation of the manifested intent of the councilmen of registering a vote against said presentation of “The Clansman,” should the resolutions have been presented.
This communication to Rev. Smith was in the nature of a round robin as it was not signed by those signing the resolution, though it is the consensus of opinion that it expresses the sentiments of a majority of them. In the meanwhile, The Clansman appeared as per schedule and played before crowded houses, having profited by the free advertisement which it had been so kindly furnished it.