Trump Says Henry Ford Had “Good Bloodlines, Good Blood”
During his visit to a Ford plant in Michigan, President Donald Trump praised the founder, not for his innovation, but for his bloodlines. The word use struck many listeners as a dogwhistle, an indirect message of supremacy. Though Henry Ford would, later in life, repudiate those positions, during World War II he expressed views that fell right in line with that line of thought, praising Hitler and spreading antisemitism.
On Thursday, Donald Trump traveled to a Ford plant, and gave one of the speeches that have replaced his pre-COVID-19 political rallies. Speaking of the company’s founder, he said, “A man named Henry Ford. Good bloodlines, good bloodlines. You believe in that stuff? He had good blood.”
Audiences turned to social media to express shock, horror, or resignation.
The President says the founder of Ford has good bloodlines.. If you’re not familiar with Henry Ford, I would encourage you to read more about him and specifically his actions during WW2 pic.twitter.com/vniaOSR2sX
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) May 21, 2020
Trump: “Henry Ford had good bloodlines.”
Me: “I think Henry Ford arguing about the superiority of his bloodline was the major problem.” https://t.co/Zj3bY3trey
— Santa Claus, CEO (@SantaInc) May 21, 2020
It is really unfortunate that President Trump would talk about "good bloodlines" in regard to Henry Ford. Is that some type of racist comment? Henry Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle by Nazi officials in 1938 and had a reputation for anti-Semitism. https://t.co/gyn62rvRNc
— Laurence (Larry) Boorstein (@LarryBoorstein) May 21, 2020
"Good bloodlines, good bloodlines. If you believe in that stuff — you got good blood." Donald Trump, using race eugenics language while discussing the infamous racist Henry Ford today.
— Spencer Windes (@spencerwindes) May 21, 2020
In fact, History.com has a biography of Henry Ford, that includes his own views on the superiority of certain bloodlines. He published anti-Semitic views in a local paper, which would later be gathered into a set titled “The International Jew,” expressed high praise of Hitler’s Germany, and even received an award from Nazi Germany.
[Henry Ford] in 1938 accepted the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the Nazi regime’s highest medal for a foreigner.
Henry Ford later renounced those views and sold the paper. The plant Trump visited Thursday is doing a service to the nation, devoting some of its labor and production machinery to building ventilators to boost the supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Trump chooses to use language that calls to mind the founder’s one-time support of eugenics, and it didn’t go unnoticed by the American people.