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  #1  
Old 01-14-2007, 04:56 PM
solkoe solkoe is offline
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Henry Ford and other famous anti-Semites

The book "the Englishman's boy" by Guy Vanderhaeghe briefly claims the Henry Ford was an anti-Semite who actually bought a newspaper to help spread his view. Feel free to dispute this, but it got me thinking about other famous anti-Semites (no Mel Gibson jokes please). Do you know any?
Also, I am not 100% clear on all this anti-Semite stuff. I know the argument that they killed Christ but that seems pretty lame to me. There must be something else. The only other thing that I've thought of is that they are very industrious and tended to be business owners and therefore more wealthy. Since, historically, they did not have a county of their own, they were seen as outsiders stealing the wealth of a nation.
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2007, 05:02 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:06 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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The International Jew appeared in Ford's newspaper The Dearborn Independent. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...tism/ford.html

From what I've heard, anti-Semitism was 'normal' at the time.
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:16 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Antisemites hate Jews because they think Jews are evil. They think Jews are evil because they hate Jews. It really is that simple.

In the words of George Orwell, writing in the UK during World War II:
Quote:
Here are some samples of antisemitic remarks that have been made to me during the past year or two:

Young intellectual, Communist or near-Communist: “No, I do not like Jews. I've never made any secret of that. I can't stick them. Mind you, I'm not antisemitic, of course.”

Middle-class woman: “Well, no one could call me antisemitic, but I do think the way these Jews behave is too absolutely stinking. The way they push their way to the head of queues, and so on. They're so abominably selfish. I think they're responsible for a lot of what happens to them.”

Chartered accountant, intelligent, left-wing in an undirected way: “These bloody Yids are all pro-German. They'd change sides tomorrow if the Nazis got here. I see a lot of them in my business. They admire Hitler at the bottom of their hearts. They'll always suck up to anyone who kicks them.”

Intelligent woman, on being offered a book dealing with antisemitism and German atrocities: “Don't show it me, please don't show it to me. It'll only make me hate the Jews more than ever.”
He continues:
Quote:
The other is that antisemitism is an irrational thing. The Jews are accused of specific offences (for instance, bad behaviour in food queues) which the person speaking feels strongly about, but it is obvious that these accusations merely rationalise some deep-rooted prejudice. To attempt to counter them with facts and statistics is useless, and may sometimes be worse than useless. As the last of the above-quoted remarks shows, people can remain antisemitic, or at least anti-Jewish, while being fully aware that their outlook is indefensible. If you dislike somebody, you dislike him and there is an end of it: your feelings are not made any better by a recital of his virtues.

[snip]

Yet one of the marks of antisemitism is an ability to believe stories that could not possibly be true. One could see a good example of this in the strange accident that occurred in London in 1942, when a crowd, frightened by a bomb-burst nearby, fled into the mouth of an Underground station, with the result that something over a hundred people were crushed to death. The very same day it was repeated all over London that “the Jews were responsible”. Clearly, if people will believe this kind of thing, one will not get much further by arguing with them.
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2007, 05:22 PM
mks57 mks57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
The International Jew appeared in Ford's newspaper The Dearborn Independent. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...tism/ford.html

From what I've heard, anti-Semitism was 'normal' at the time.
Ford's anti-Semitism was far in excess of anything that might be considered normal for the time.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2007, 05:25 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks57
Ford's anti-Semitism was far in excess of anything that might be considered normal for the time.
Was it? Or was it just that he had the means to spread it?
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2007, 05:30 PM
x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solkoe
Also, I am not 100% clear on all this anti-Semite stuff. I know the argument that they killed Christ but that seems pretty lame to me. There must be something else.
You might find this pretty interesting.
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2007, 05:32 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Try naming a famous person from, say, any time before, World War II, and the overwhelmingly odds are that the person was overtly or covertly anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism was part of all European cultures dating back as far as we can trace and the immigrants brought it with them.

Jews did not tend to be business owners. A small fraction of Jews did prosper in the 19th century and earlier in banking, because Christians were bound by rules against usury and Jews were able to move in a niche that opened for them.

Until recently, all businesses operated like that. Jews could not run large businesses because the WASP elite in this country (as in other European countries) would not hire them. Jews could found businesses but the WASP money interests would not lend to them. The successes they did have were in industries that were considered too declasse to interest the elites. The garment industry, the movie business, and others were run by Jews because the elites didn't want to be associated with them until they were built up and the money involved was overwhelming. A few Jewish banking firms, along with A. Giannini's Catholic Bank of Italy (later the Bank of America) made fortunes by being willing to bankrool them.

This is all capsulized in one amazing anecdote from Neal Gabler's An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood:
Quote:
Years later when he [Harry Warner] and Western Electric were locked in another dispute over sound [movies], the president of the Bell System invited him to air their grievances together. "As he [Harry] walked into the office," recalled producer Milton Sperling, "he said, 'Mr. Gray, this can be a very short meeting. I will give you all rights to our patents. I will withdraw all our suits... I'll do it immediately and at no cost to you, if you'll do one thing. If you'll give me the name of one Jew who works for your company.'

"And the man looked horrified. 'What do you think - it's the policy of our company to be anti-Semitic?'

"He said, 'No. Just give me the name of a Jew working for your company.'

"Gray said, 'Realistically, I don't think I can produce one.'

"Harry said, 'It's a policy of your company not to employ Jews. It's a policy of my company not to do business with you.' And he walked out of the room."

Apparently Gray was so embarrassed that he ordered his lawyers to work out a settlement the very next week.
This is the mere tip of the iceberg. There were quotas at major colleges so too many Jews couldn't attend. Jews couldn't get elected to Congress (except from a few ethnic enclaves). Jews were not part of the cultural arts. T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound were major anti-Semites.

It goes on and on. Things have changed sufficiently, mostly because of WWII, that it seems that people no longer remember this part of the past. But to a good approximation what I said in my first sentence is true: everybody famous was an anti-Semite. Those who weren't were the extremely rare exception. And this held true for all social classes down to the bottom. Ford was simply more overt about it, but he had so many followers that he can't possibly be called unusual or an exception.

Why? The short answer is Christianity.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2007, 05:32 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
Was it? Or was it just that he had the means to spread it?
Oh -- That was not meant to refute. It's an actual question.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2007, 05:34 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
This is the mere tip of the iceberg.
Heh.

d&r
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2007, 06:19 PM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Ford wasn't alone in being biased, of course. Baldwin shows that anti-Jewish attitudes were common in Ford's "tightly circumscribed world of post-bellum midwestern America."

But Ford took anti-Semitism a step further than most of his contemporaries by personally stoking a powerful propaganda campaign. His chief instrument was The Dearborn Independent, an obscure Michigan weekly that Ford built into a national presence beginning in 1919. The publication carried news of the world, photo displays, and a variety of features. But even though Ford car dealers were required to meet a quota for subscription sales, the paper was $284,000 in the red by 1920 and circulation was languishing. Ford and his right-hand man, Ernest Liebold, resolved upon an "educational" campaign to build interest. Thus began a series of 91 successive articles slugged "The International Jew: The World's Problem."
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...3/b3766025.htm (reviewing Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate (2002)).
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:07 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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The Jews are always there and handy to blame for all kinds of problems. If you're poor, you can hate the Jews for being capitalists. If you're rich, you can hate the Jews for being communists. If Jews maintain their own customs, you can hate them for insulting your culture. If Jews assilimate your customs, you can hate them for infiltrating your culture. If you attack a Jew and he lets it slide, you can call him a coward. If you attack a Jew and he fights back, you can call him a militant.
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2007, 09:41 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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The virulence of Ford's hatred toward Jews was not the norm for the time. He was a pathological case.

For a very interesting read, check out The American Axis by Max Wallace, which details Ford's descent into anti-Semitism (he also helped popularize a famous fraud, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion) and also explores the career of Charles Lindbergh, who was prone to similar hatreds and bizarre racial ideas far beyond what Americans of the kind could stomach.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:44 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Make that "Americans of the time".
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:15 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii
The virulence of Ford's hatred toward Jews was not the norm for the time. He was a pathological case.
I'm not so sure. You will recall that Leo Frank was lynched in 1915. The lead-up to that lynching was a wave of anti-Semitic propaganda, promulgated in large part by Thomas E. Watson through his weekly paper The Jeffersonian. I have seen issues of The Jeffersonian from 1915. They contain some of the most vile anti-Semitic rants you could ever imagine.

From the Leo Frank article:

Quote:
The Frank trial was used skillfully by Watson to work up enthusiasm for rebuilding the Ku Klux Klan, which the federal government had destroyed during Reconstruction. The new Klan was inaugurated in 1915 at a mountaintop meeting, led by William J. Simmons, and attended by aging members of the original Klan, along with members of the Knights of Mary Phagan. In keeping with its origins in the Leo Frank lynching, the reorganized Klan had a new anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, and nativist slant. This was consistent with the new Klan's greater success at recruiting in the US Midwest than in the South.
Soon adding to the atmosphere of anti-Semitism was the Red Scare of 1919, a nation-wide hysteria arising from a fear of Communist revolution in the US. According to this article:
Quote:
Anti-Semitism had flared with the Red Scare in 1919, Jews seen as having been prominent in the Bolshevik revolution and Jews having been at the forefront in labor struggles in the United States.
So it seems to me there was a lot of anti-Semitism percolating in the US even before Ford began his campaign of hatred.

Recommended reading: Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel by C. Vann Woodward. Really fascinating to read about Watson's downward spiral from idealistic young populist (and Presidential nominee) to twisted old bigot.
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  #16  
Old 01-14-2007, 10:43 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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I don't dispute there was a substantial amount of anti-Semitism prevalent in the U.S in Ford's day. It was not, however, generally of the kind that manifested itself in the form of newspaper crusades against the Menace of International Jewry, or lynchings. Discrimination common at the time does not compare with attempting to stir up hatred on a mass scale.

Wallace's book is useful in part because it looks at public opinion of the period, contrasted with Ford's brand of bigotry. He also does this in the case of Lindbergh, noting that while a majority of Americans in the late '30s were isolationist, unlike Lindbergh their sympathies were with Britain and other countries struggling against Nazism. And they did not buy into Lindbergh's frequent hints (and later direct accusations) that Jews were trying to push America into war.

Excuse the slight digression regarding Lindbergh, but this thread (and having read the Wallace book) give me a chance to add something to an earlier discussion about him. Both Lindbergh and Ford had views that resonated with numerous people, but it's a far cry from the claim that typical Americans were in sympathy with the virulence of their hatreds.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:39 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Most Americans opposed lynchings of blacks at the time as well, yet prejudice against blacks was omnipresent in all sectors of American society. Blacks were discriminated against in every industry, were treated cruelly and roughly by police, lived under official Jim Crow laws, were regularly mocked in all entertainment media when they weren't being actively barred from them, and existed in direst poverty.

Gays were subjected to similar treatment, although they were more invisible and could more easily hide. There were not public lynchings of gays that I am aware of, but beatings or murders probably happened and probably were hushed up.

Jews, blacks, and gays were not evenly dispersed through society. Most Jews lived in Jewish ghettos (the word originally applied to a restricted area for Jews outside Venice) in large cities. Although the percentage of Jews was probably higher 100 years ago than today, fewer Americans had ever encountered one and still fewer were friends with any. They were seen as an outside alien race.

This is true for blacks as well, who were disproportionally in the south and in the rural south until the Depression forced them north in search of jobs. Even then they were limited to ghetto areas almost exclusively.

Gays had a few concentrations, New York and Los Angeles primarily, with the rest being closeted in fear of exposure.

It would be nice to think that because Americans disapproved of overt, vicious or violent attacks on these three communities that this also means that they were not massively, sincerely, and rabidly prejudiced against them. It wouldn't be true, though. When it is the default mode that a population is generally despised then no overt tactics need to be used. Violence towards blacks in the south increased after the civil rights movement started and they began to stand up for themselves and gain outside acceptance, remember.

It's easy to demonize the other, and blacks, gays, and Jews were the "other" to the vast majority of white, straight, Christian America, who were the vast majority. Diversity is often attacked these days, apparently primarily by right-wing pinheads, but we've seen the results of hundreds of years of pure communities in America. That result was hatred, prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, and second-class status. People who are direct competitors for scarce jobs will be hated, certainly - look at immigrants and outsources. But neighbors are harder to apply hatred toward. Assimilation has eased prejudices, evidently to the point when they can be historically denied. They can't and they shouldn't. Anti-Semitism was real enough to prevent Jews from being rescued from Hitler, and it doesn't get realer than that, even if it was a quiet reality.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:57 PM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks57
Ford's anti-Semitism was far in excess of anything that might be considered normal for the time.
I myself heard a few guys in the army during WWII say that , yeah Hitler was pretty bad but "He sure knows how to handle the Jews."

I think that Irwin Shaw's depiction of Noah Ackerman's tribulations in The Young Lions wasn't off the mark.

Henry was pretty far out, but he sure wasn't all by himself.
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:20 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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It's the contention of James W. Loewen in various works that the years 1890 to 1940 were the nadir of race relations (and ethnic/religious relations) in the U.S. He's talking about prejudice against blacks, Asians, American Indians, and Jews in this claim. In the years up to the Civil War, there was a slow decrease in this sort of prejudice in most of the country (although it didn't go too far). Even in the south, racial prejudice was a more of a desperate attempt to prop up slavery than a matter of theory. In the thirty-five years after the Civil War, there was a surprising amount of decrease in the level of prejudice. Blacks, Asians, American Indians, and Jews were more integrated in mainstream society than we might think. After 1890, there were numerous new restrictions in what jobs all these groups could work at, in where they could live, and in how much they could mix socially with other groups. These restrictions were not just the ignorant biases of stupid or poor people. They were propped up by the writings of famous and otherwise intelligent people.
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:45 AM
Sevastopol Sevastopol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
...Jews, blacks, and gays were not evenly dispersed through society. Most Jews lived in Jewish ghettos (the word originally applied to a restricted area for Jews outside Venice) ...
Nitpick. It an area surrounding a square right in Venice.
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:12 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Sevastopol
Nitpick. It an area surrounding a square right in Venice.
No, the Ghetto Vecchio came later, in 1541. The word was first used to describe Ghetto Nuova.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...jw/Venice.html
Quote:
In 1516, the doges, Venice’s ruling council, debated whether Jews should be allowed to remain in the city. They decided to let the Jews remain, but their residence would be confined to Ghetto Nuova, a small, dirty island; it became the world’s first ghetto. The word "ghetto" is from the Italian getto meaning "casting" or Venetian geto meaning "foundry."
Wendell Wagner, Ronald Takaki, in A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, would probably disagree with this, although it's true that the years after the Civil War did not coincide with any of the major influxes of immigration that normally set off the worst waves of bigotry. He'd certainly disagree that blacks or Chinese were ever integrated into mainstream society. Only the tiniest minority were. In fact, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882 during Loewen's accepting period.

It's therefore technically true that prejudice against Jews was much lower before 1890. That's because there were very few Jews in the country before then. Those who were tended to be from Germany. German Jews were the leaders in the Reform Judaism movement, and were normally more assimilated, more urban, better educated, wealthier, and less "different." They moved easily into society, at least to a point, in both Germany and America. (That was a major reason why the Jews of Germany could not believe the danger they were facing once the Nazis came into power.)

The large wave of Jewish immigration came after the Tsar forced all Russian Jews to move into the Pale of Settlement and took away their rights to own land. They were forced to rent in highly overcrowded cities and set up shops that competed against one another for the limited audience. In addition, there were virtually yearly pogroms against them. They started moving to the U.S. in the 1880s. By 1905 the Lower East Side in New York held 500,000 Jews in the most crowded slum in world history. Before World War I, a full third of all the Jews in Eastern Europe and Russia had fled, knowing they could never go back. (Unlike, say, Italian immigrants, as many as a third of whom returned to Italy after making money (or failing) in America.)

These were shtetl Jews, mostly peasants despite forced into cities, with the backwards ways and customs that later became the stereotypical Jew. All the people who push the nonsensical proposition that Judaism is a culture rather than merely a religious belief are looking at this one, admittedly large, group and declaring it to be what Judaism is. German Jews hated them with the insider hatred that rivals anything outsiders can bring. German Jews, Sephardic Jews, Arabic Jews (Baghdad held a community of 400,000 Jews until after WWII), Chinese Jews, Ethiopian Jews, and many others, not to mention converts, put the lie to this stereotype.

But the stereotype did feed prejudice, and their numbers along with the numbers of Italians, Greeks, Poles, and other eastern and southern Europeans forced Congress to pass the Immigration Act of 1924, effectively cutting off the mass migrations, by setting the quotas to the census ratios of immigrations as of 1890. That alone gives the best indication of how few "undesirable" immigrants were in the country at that time. Without the new crush of competitors for jobs and the fact that WWII wiped out unemployment, these older prejudices could begin to fade, making room for the new set against Mexicans and Asians today.
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:08 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Exapno Mapcase writes:

> In fact, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882 during Loewen's
> accepting period.

Loewen was trying a little too hard to have a single date for the beginning of the nadir period. In fact, racial/ethnic/religious prejudice in some respects began to increase in the decade or so before the arbitrary date of 1890 while in other respects it was still decreasing. As you point out, one of the causes of the nadir period was increased immigration.
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