Author of article on Henry Ford's anti-Semitism fired by Dearborn mayor
DEARBORN, Mich. – The Dearborn Historian is a magazine chronicling Dearborn's rich history, but the latest edition, focused on Henry Ford's anti-Semitism, may never see the light of day -- and now the author has been fired by Dearborn's mayor.
It's a controversy that could've been contained to about 250 people, if Mayor Jack O'Reilly did nothing. The Dearborn Historian is circulated to about 250 people, but now anyone can read the article, "Henry Ford and the International Jew" since it was published by Deadline Detroit.
Local 4 went looking for an explanation Friday but were told O'Reilly was too busy to comment.
"The museum has a protocol in place and unfortunately, that protocol was not followed for this edition," said Mary Laundroche, Dearborn's director of public relations.
This edition had been discussed for weeks by the Dearborn Historical Museum staff. The only surprise was when the mayor saw the cover, which he called inflammatory. The author, Bill McGraw, was let go.
"The mayor thought this wouldn't be a benefit," said Laundroche.
"I would strongly disagree with that," said Andrew Kercher.
Kercher is the assistant chief curator at the museum.
Issues of Ford's newspaper, "The Dearborn Independent," can be read by the public at the museum.
"Suppressing anti-Semitism is really a form of anti-Semitism," Kercher said.
Employees said McGraw's work was well-researched from the museum's archives.
So why was McGraw, a former reporter and editor of 37 years at the Detroit Free Press, let go?
"I don't think it would take a Watergate-level investigative journalist to put two and two together," Kercher said.
When asked if the mayor's office feared a backlash from the Ford Motor Company, Local 4 was only told the city wanted to focus on inclusion and the future, rather than dwelling on a checkered past.