Ethics Dunce And Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month (Yes, Even More Than Virginia’s Gov. Northam!): Dearborn, Michigan Mayor Jack O’Reilly

Henry Ford was an important industrialist, innovator and inventor, and a towering figure in automotive history. Nobody, however, mistook him for nice guy. In addition to many ruthless tendencies, Ford was well documented anti-Semite, even by the ugly standards of his time, when that particular form of bigotry was generally considered reasonable. However, when the city-funded Dearborn Historian included a article documenting Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism, the city’s mayor, Jack O’Reilly, killed the issue, ordering the museum that produces the magazine not to mail it out.

Dearborn is where Ford was born, where his estate is, and where he built his flagship motorcar factory. For some reason that apparently means to O’Reilly that the folks who live there should know less about their town’s most famous and accomplished resident that everyone else. Ford’s hatred of Jews is, after all, hardly news: he was open about it when he was alive; there are books about it; and his family has been trying to live down the shame of that part of his legacy for decades.

Oh, never mind all that: the false lesson being pushed on our society in recent years is that inconvenient history disappears if you erase the record of it. This is the message of all the screeching and crunching metal sounds from The Confederate Statuary Ethics Train Wreck, and all the other attempts to airbrush the bad stuff from industrial, local, national and personal histories. O’Reilly is a true believer that Henry Ford’s not-exactly-good name will be cleansed by making sure as few citizens as possible know what a creep he was when he wasn’t revolutionizing American industry and changing lives of Americans for the better. He is, in other words, a censorious fool.

Now  O’Reilly has ordered the museum to fire the magazine’s editor for the crime of accurately reporting history. Veteran Detroit journalist Bill McGraw,  the Historian’s part-time editor, said he was informed of his dismissal  by Jack Tate, curator of the Dearborn Historical Museum, who said he was acting on the Mayor’s orders.

Morons. Apparently they have never heard of the Streisand Effect in Dearborn—maybe  articles about that have also been sent down the memory hole. After City Hall banned the quarterly “The Historian”when it arrived from the printer last week with a 10-page cover story marking the 100th anniversary of Ford buying the Dearborn Independent weekly to attacke Jews, Deadline Detroit published McGraw’s story, “Henry Ford and ‘The International Jews” on the web, and it has spread far beyond the magazine’s small circulation.  Michigan Radio, WDET-FM and the Jewish News have reported the story; CNBC interviewed the fired editor this week.

Since this just came up, I must note that Deadline Detroit is a loyal progressive publication: see if you can find the mayor’s party affiliation anywhere in their story. Maybe they felt it wasn’t necessary; after all, everyone knows which political party now endorses suppressing history, taking down monuments, and censoring speech.

Don’t they?

19 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce And Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month (Yes, Even More Than Virginia’s Gov. Northam!): Dearborn, Michigan Mayor Jack O’Reilly

  1. Do you think that because Dearborn has the largest Muslim immigrant population in America that might be influencing his decision.

    His demand to fire an employee for just doing his job professionally without political considerations is an abuse of power.

    • I am actually not surprised it wasn’t published exactly FOR that reason.

      Henry Ford’s prejudices are a very interesting topic and more complex than today’s society is prepared to accept. I have read that Henry Ford never understood why his Jewish friends stopped talking to him after he made statements like that. He never understood why his Polish friends were mad at him after he made statements about ‘stupid Polacks’ etc. Henry Ford seemed pretty typical for a working class man of his times, a real Archie Bunker type of guy.

    • Do you think that because Dearborn has the largest Muslim immigrant population in America that might be influencing his decision.

      So, they wanted to suppress the article on Ford so as not to give ammunition to Muslims?

      • Aliza, quite the opposite. Suppressing the article would avoid giving the impression that Dearborn is the home of anti semetic people. Why draw attention to this point of view. It would not matter if the Muslim population was pro zionist or quietly longing for Isreal’s destruction, the Mayor could be projecting his own biases and suppressing the article avoids a political issue that has no upside for him.

  2. Oh, never mind all that: the false lesson being pushed on our society in recent years is that inconvenient history disappears if you erase the record of it. This is the message of all the screeching and crunching metal sounds from The Confederate Statuary Ethics Train Wreck, and all the other attempts to airbrush the bad stuff from industrial, local, national and personal histories.

    The issue is even larger, much larger, much more consequential.

    It is not only that “inconvenient history disappears if you erase the record of it”, it is imperative to control how a given thing or event is seen and understood, to patrol the borders and edges, and stop important issues from being discussed.

    Certain issues then get so loaded with psychic detritus, so hot, so problematic, that they must be avoided completely.

    We live in times that are the result of those efforts: the effort to prohibit the flow of information and *difficult topics*.

    So, yes, they want to erase the evidence of the history. But much more dangerous is that they demand that they control the interpretation of history and of all different manner of things. It is therefore a sort of ‘regime’ that dominates ideation and perception-formation.

    Speaking of *all that*, I just ordered an interesting book by Jonathan Weisman called (((Semitism))) Being Jewish in the Age of Trump. He writes for the NYTs.

  3. Using progressive logic; it’s the Jews he hated so based on progressives talk over recent years I think they are “okay” with being bigots and hating the Jews.

    Using social justice warrior logic that they’ve repetitively used in the past; all Ford manufacturing plants and new car lots should be picketed and smeared in the public until Ford has to completely shut down operations and puts all their workers out of a job. But I honestly don’t think that this will happen because social justice warriors seem to be the social foot soldiers of progressives and if progressives are okay with Ford hating the Jews then it’ll all be rationalized and swept under the rug.

    Using that thing that progressives and social justice warriors know nothing about, common sense, this is history and historical knowledge shouldn’t wreak havoc on the world around us today. We should possess the knowledge for what it is – history – and run it through our own moral and ethical grinder so we as individuals can learn from it and thus society can hopefully be better place knowing the actual facts as they were and not suppressing them because we oppose them.

      • slickwilly wrote, “Unions work for Ford. Progressives are not so stupid as to bite the hand that feeds them… in most cases.”

        You might be right; however, social justice warriors are fully consumed progressive imbeciles, they really don’t give a damn about logic or unintended consequences, it’s all about gaining power and control.

  4. This story is infuriating. I wonder though: this seems like a classic case of government censorship—a prior restraint, actually. While 1st Am law certainly isn’t my speciality, it seems like someone should have standing to sue this pathetic pea-brain of a mayor in federal court.

  5. Zoltar writes:

    Using that thing that progressives and social justice warriors know nothing about, common sense, this is history, and historical knowledge shouldn’t wreak havoc on the world around us today. We should possess the knowledge for what it is – history – and run it through our own moral and ethical grinder so we as individuals can learn from it and thus society can hopefully be better place knowing the actual facts as they were and not suppressing them because we oppose them.

    Esteemed and Respected Zoltar. I understand what you are saying and I have to point out that, said in this, our present, it is very very naive. I will explain why. It is pretty simple.

    Allow me to choose a culture-molding power: the NY Intellectual Establishment, and to make a few statements about it. (I accept that this ‘establishment’ exists, is real, and has culture- and idea-forming power.) This establishment, this entity, this tendency in intellectual life and the formation of opinion, cannot — absolutely cannot — allow *history* as you say to be reviewed and discussed without, first, being run through a specific interpretive *mill* and being turned out in a specific form.

    History is in no sense of the word accessible in the way that you imply. You imply that if you simply present the facts (of history) that *common sense* will go to work on it within our ‘moral and ethical grinder’ and, abracadabra, out the other end will come the *true* version which any person with *common sense* will see and recognize. But *history* and historiography is a total interpretive effort and project. It is not bias-free but is bound up in value-definitions and whole sets of a prioris.

    Right now in our present, among wide groups of different people, certain pre-formed historical narratives (those extruded from the ‘mill’ of specific interpretation) are reexamining the primary materials and are making different interpretations of it. These interpretations challenge the pre-formed and culturally-mediated versions of history which, for one example, the NY Intellectual Establishment is invested in.

    The NY Intellectual Establishment, through one of its vehicles of communication (The Times) provides examples every day of a) what its system of values is (progressive, radical, liberal, hyper-liberal are possible terms), and b) demonstrates what manipulation of ideas, perceptions, historical view and interpretation of history entails, and c) why this is essential to its *project*.

    That project is to hold onto and maintain a certain and specific view of history, and largely one that pertains to the Postwar Era. The NYTs shows a form of American progressive-radicalism in action.

    Now, I know that you are saying that the truth about Henry Ford should not be obscured. That someone wants to do this (a city manager) indicates, I gather, a desire to protect the reputation of a town. So, yes, the information about Henry Ford’s views should not be suppressed.

    But the issue that is in the background here is much larger, and in truth more consequential. Progressives and SJWs, as well as the ‘state system’ and the ‘national historical system’, and in fact an entire cultural and economic system, has very many good reasons to sanitize history, to interpret it in specific ways, and the educate (or indoctrinate if you wish) the people into seeing things in certain ways and not in others.

    The views of that *System*, if you will permit this generalization, are now being challenged and contested and, I suggest, this cannot be allowed. And this points to the tremendous contention that we seem to deal with in our present.

    Here is what I consider a naive statement (though it does make sense to me):

    …run it through our own moral and ethical grinder so we as individuals can learn from it and thus society can hopefully be better place knowing the actual facts as they were and not suppressing them because we oppose them.

    What interests me here is (please excuse me for using this word) how ignorant it is! [late Middle English: via Old French from Latin ignorant- ‘not knowing’, from the verb ignorare] I think that you must not be aware, or sufficiently so, that there are substantial groups and academic interests within our own country who are challenging the ‘constructs’ on which our present *received views* have been built.

    You must know that issues related to Judaism and Zionism are being critically re-examined and that people are arriving at views and perspectives that are not that of the Establishment! You must know that this is not a mere local affair but is common all through Europe and America?

    Therefore, I suggest that if people — average people — are actually given the chance to examine history (and all issues and problems, including all the *hot topics*) there is a strong possibility that they will make interpretations that do not accord with the structural views presented as *truths* in our present. Therefore, there is an idea-war going on and it has a great deal to do with interpretation.

    It seems to me that even without going into the debate-points of specific issues — which will surely be rigorously contested — that at the very least 1) we can recognize that there is an idea-war going on and it does have to do with *interpretation*, and 2) that if it is left to itself and gains momentum, that it may or it will challenge perceptions and viewpoints that are part of a kind of thought-regime in our present, and that 3) The System will not and cannot allow this.

    Finally, the question What do you mean by *better place*? must be asked. You surely must understand that everything hinges on how this notion of *better place* is interpreted!

    Is it a moral or ethical wrong to point this out?

  6. Right after reading this, I subjected myself to a HuffPo article entitled, “What if America looked like Dearborn, Michigan?”

    The juxtaposition of two was so droll, I laughed long and hard.

  7. You’re welcome. It’s only slightly pertinent to this discussion as it involves influencing the future with small changes in the past, but thought you might need a break from the heavier” material you seem to usually consume;-).

    On second thought, you might prefer The Mongoliad, since it involves a group on a quest to assassinate Ogedei Khan and stop the Mongol incursion into Europe.

    And to entirely change the subject again, did you once say you live in Argentina?

    • I’m from Venezuela — the tragic republic — but became naturalized in the US (while still keeping strict hold on my own proper nature).

      Now, I live in Colombia. It has plusses and minuses.

      Thanks for the recommendation. I have a note here to look into it. The premise is interesting.

      [What I am consuming today may end consuming me: The Tempest. It is very hard to read old English and it takes hours and hours of pre-translation before I get the whole sense].

      • Ah, thought I remembered something like that. Just thought of it because I’ve been in Buenos Aires & points south for the last couple of weeks.

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