Tuesday, July 18, 2006

J.D. Hayworth's Racist Blast From The Past

Finally, finally, this story made its way from the blogs to the mainstream media. The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix picked up the story in its editorial in the issue published two days before my column appeared in The Tribune. But the credit on this one goes to the blogs, which are linked below.

And if to prove my final point, so far there's been nothing but silence from ADL on Hayworth's book. Absolutely nothing on the ADL website. Just to make sure, I called today to the Phoenix regional director, who says he's emailed national HQ, but hasn't heard back. After all, there's a crisis in Israel and ADL's mission statement may have it working on issues of prejudice and such, but apparently the crisis in Israel takes precedence over what's ostensibly ADL's actual mission. So it sure look like that as long as Hayworth votes for foreign aid for Israel, there's no real problem here, move along, they might issue a press release--after the November elections. So it's time for my usual ADL rant; once again, IOKIYAR.

East Valley Tribune, July 16, 2006

One of the more tiresome tropes of American life is “the good old days” -- but always with some selective editing. In reality, “the good old days” weren’t that good, and by almost every statistical measure, today is better. Usually, the only thing that was better in the past is the speaker. Back in the day, those cranky old guys probably were a little less cranky, and they certainly weren’t as old. Everything else, not so much.

The “good old days” folks always disclaim any intent to restore, or even knowledge of, the bad stuff from the past. What they really want, they say, is only the good stuff while keeping all the ways today is better. Of course, that only creates a new argument, because in a lot of situations, what’s better for me is worse for you.

So the “greatest generation” myth requires that we credit them with winning World War II and an economic boom, but segregation and poverty were existing conditions for which they bore no responsibility. A top GOP Senator saying we’d have “avoided a lot of problems” if Strom Thurmond had been elected president on his segregationist platform was merely a desire for less raunchy lyrics in popular music, and had absolutely nothing to do with keeping blacks down.

The latest prematurely cranky old guy to put his foot into one of the less appetizing puddles of the past is Rep. J.D. Hayworth, whose anti-immigration-but-not-anti-Hispanic-even-if-that’s-what-his-supporters-really-want book, Whatever It Takes, lauds Henry Ford and his campaign for “Americanization.” As noted on numerous blogs -- wait, there's one more (and thanks to Howie Klein for the graphic at left) -- Hayworth salutes Ford as a leader, lauding his call that immigrants “must be taught American ways, the English language, and the right way to live.” Hayworth says Ford “had a better idea” than today’s “liberal elites” and “must be spinning in his grave.”

What Hayworth doesn’t say is that Ford had a very specific program in mind, which he outlined in his screed, Jew Objection to Americanism:

To ‘Americanize’ means, in our ordinary speech, to bring into sympathy with the traditions and institutions of the United States, but the Jews do not mean only the United States when they say 'America.' They mean also South and Central American -- where so many revolutions have occurred. There are large numbers of Jews in Argentina, and many are found in other countries. It would probably give a wrong slant o the fact to say that the Jewish leaders are wholly anti-America, but it is true to say that they are against the ‘Americanization’ of the Jewish immigrant stream. That is, that the trend of ‘Americanism’ is so different from the trend of ‘Judaism’ that the two are in conflict.

Maybe if you’re not Jewish, you never learned that Henry Ford was a notorious anti-Semite, that he published the fraudulent Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and that in 1938 he received the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest “honor” that the Nazis could give a non-German. But if you were writing a book and were casting about for historical analogies, you might want to do a bit of research on just what Henry Ford meant when he said what he said.

Hayworth might have done a quick Google search, because searching for “Henry Ford” and “anti-Semitism” yields about 88,000 hits. It’s a bit trickier searching for “Henry Ford” and “Americanism,” which gets some 25,000 hits -- but 2 of the top 10 are from the website jewwatch.com. To most people, that might have been a clue.

So if your alternative to today’s “liberal elites” and “multicultural and diversity” advocates is Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic rants from the “good old days,” I’ll stay with today, thank you very much.

Hayworth, of course, won’t suffer any for his invocation of notorious racism (for which Ford later apologized repeatedly -- but, naturally, Hayworth hasn’t). He’s learned the Republican’s route to survival in the Jewish political world. Just vote for $3 billion in foreign aid to Israel each year, and you’ll be amazed at what you can get away with.

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