April 13, 2021

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Dearborn mayor stops publication of an article on Henry Ford’s antisemitism

The print edition that was censored

From AP:

A Detroit-area historical group is protesting a mayor’s decision to stop it from sending out the latest issue of its publication, which delves into Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism.

Officials with the Dearborn Historical Commission say the latest edition of The Dearborn Historian, a city-financed quarterly journal, should be sent to its roughly 200 subscribers and that Mayor Jack O’Reilly should reverse his decision to cut ties with longtime Detroit journalist Bill McGraw, who wrote the Ford piece.

The story, which can be read online, highlights Ford’s writings and views on Jews and explores how they still influence modern neo-Nazi groups. The cover of the halted edition noted that Ford bought a publication called the Dearborn Independent 100 years ago and “used it to attack Jews.” It added, “the hate he unleashed flourishes in the Internet age.”

The mayor is censoring a history journal???

 O’Reilly said in a statement that he thought the publication and dredging up “hateful messages” from a century ago “could become a distraction from our continuing messages of inclusion and respect.” 

No, that’s not the reason the mayor of Dearborn quashed the article.

This is:

 Dearborn now has one of largest communities of Arabs outside of the Middle East.

He is catering to his Arab voter, who (he believes) would be upset at an article about antisemitism.

The article is online and is quite good. The article notes that the topic of Ford’s antisemitism has been “off-limits” in Dearborn. Excerpts:

Under Ford, the Independent became notorious for its unprecedented attacks on Jews. But Ford’s anti-Semitism traveled far beyond the Dearborn borders. Showing the marketing expertise that had catapulted Ford Motor into one of the world’s most famous brands, Henry Ford’s lieutenants vastly widened the reach of his attacks by packaging the paper’s anti-Semitic content into four books. Experts say “The International Jew,” distributed across Europe and North America during the rise of fascism in the 1920s and ‘30s, influenced some of the future rulers of Nazi Germany. 

In 1931, two years before he became the German chancellor, Adolf Hitler gave an interview to a Detroit News reporter in his Munich office, which featured a large portrait of Ford over the desk of the future führer. The reporter asked about the photo.

“I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration,” Hitler told the News.

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