October 07, 2014

Dubious Henry Ford Indian quote

This alleged quote gets posted on Facebook and elsewhere every so often:

In one such posting, it deservedly got ripped with the following comments:This is an insulting stereotype that needs to be stopped. Indians never asked the government to take care of us. And the government has never done so. The entire premise of the US-tribal relations has been that we live in our own lands under our own laws. I hate right-wing propaganda that uses Indian people. I know they would sell us out, steal our lands and likely exterminate us for a few dollars.

What they were supposed to do is pay for what they stole at gun point. There isn't enough money in the world to pay for the land, the lifestyle, the ancestors murdered, the languages lost or the traditions.

Henry Ford never said it.

The "American Indian" was doing JUST FINE before "the Government" came along, thanks VERY much!! Ford didn't give a flip about the American indigenous and would've used his own mother to get his own way. Whatever is the agenda of "Gaining Age But Losing Mind," they should find someone else to speak for them besides a common racist like Henry Ford, the country's most infamous Nazi sympathizer, the ONLY American referred to in Hitler's autobiography, "Mein Kampf," and whose photo was hanging behind Der Fuhrer's desk for years.

Yes, he was anti-Jewish. But, ironically, he was not anti-black and hired many blacks to work in the auto industry. It is one reason why Detroit had one of the first widespread thriving black middle classes in the nation. I always say that the the black middle class in Detroit is the reason that Motown thrived.

I didn't think this meant to say that the U.S. Government was taking care of Indians. I thought it was meant as a warning to anyone who believes that the government can or will take care of them, letting them know they are sadly mistaken if they think that because the Indians got screwed royally--all while the U. S. Government was making promises they had no intention of keeping.

Very good, Bert and Rosi, but no matter Ford's ethnic loyalties, he was making the case that government is inherently a bad thing, and so the REAL irony is that he's using the indigenous to try and demean the case for a strong central government which, at the time, was just about all that was keeping "Indians" from being completely destroyed. Certainly "the states" weren't going to look out for the interests of the indigenous. The old white guys who founded this country effectively nixed Ford's political position when they quickly dumped the Articles of Confederation for the Constitution. Like the powerful robber barons of his age, Henry Ford wanted the government to even further ignore corporate cartels and monopolies, all so that he and the others could amass even more wealth, much of it at everyone else's expense, particularly the "American Indians."
Comment:  Anyone who thinks the government can't take care of people should look at the low-cost Social Security and Veterans Administration, which provide health care more efficiently than private enterprise. Or at "socialized" medicine anywhere in the Western world, with lower costs and healthier people than in the US.

I Googled the alleged Ford quote. While many sites repeat it, no one cites a source for it. The Benson Ford Research Center, which looks to be an authoritative source for Henry Ford quotes, doesn't have it.

So it's dubious at best. Someone may have said it, but it probably wasn't Henry Ford.

For another example of a right-wing Internet meme using Indians, see Phony Pro-Gun Indian Image.

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