Editor, Remember the great Henry Ford City controversy? A brainchild of former mayor Richard Davis and some others, a major effort was launched to brand many aspects of the Richmond Hill as a “Henry Ford City.” Signs proclaiming this appeared and a host of other publicity measures supported the drive, a stated purpose of which was to bring hoards of Ford-worshipping, free-spending visitors to the fair city.
A few voices spoke up in protest, pointing to the unfortunate fact that Henry Ford perhaps was the worst bigot in United States history, well-known for his many anti-Semitic activities. Among these were his open admiration and monetary support for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, his many anti-Semitic publications and his discriminatory hiring practices.
While these facts were indisputable, the supporters of “Ford City” maintained that it no longer mattered. Fortunately, it was an idea whose time never came and in recent years, with a more reasonable city administration in place, it quietly faded into the trash heap of history.
Fast-forward to the present and the hoopla attending the selection of Richmond Hill as the U.S. location for the Israeli (Jewish) company Caesarstone, with all the benefits that it is projected to bring. A simple question: Would Caesarstone have chosen Richmond Hill if the city still was actively touting itself as the namesake of America’s most powerful and virulent anti-Semite? I think not, but they may not have noticed the “A Henry Ford City” line that remains on Richmond Hill’s two welcome signs along Highway 17.
Isn’t it time for those to be removed?
— Dick Kent, Richmond Hill