ADL Calls on Dearborn Mayor to Permit Publication of Journal Focused on Henry Ford’s Antisemitism
A top US-based Jewish civil rights organization is urging a Michigan municipal leader to reconsider a decision to bar distribution of an issue of a local historical journal focused on the antisemitism of late industrialist Henry Ford.
Explaining the move on Friday, Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr. said, according to a New York Times report, “It was thought that by presenting information from 100 years ago that included hateful messages — without a compelling reason directly linked to events in Dearborn today — this edition of The Historian could become a distraction from our continuing messages of inclusion and respect.”
In a statement on Monday, Carolyn Normandin — the ADL’s Michigan regional director — took issue with that approach, saying there was “no disputing” Ford’s “bitter and prolific antisemitism” and “no reason to hide this sordid moral flaw in his character.”
“Particularly in light of the fact that antisemitism has risen dramatically in the past few years, it is more important than ever that the public understand the roots of this most virulent form of hate and the historical underpinnings of its recurrent resilience in America,” she added.
Ford’s antisemitic worldview was apparent on the pages of his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, and his book, The International Jew — a four-volume text that influenced Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.