Henry Ford’s great, great-grandson, Henry Ford III, has joined the board at the New York-based Ford Foundation. It’s the first time in more than 40 years that a Ford family member who works as an executive for the automaker has joined the foundation’s board. How will police officers in Detroit respond to a member of the Ford family and an auto executive for the Ford Motor Company from their hometown working with the radical Ford Foundation to defund police departments across America?
Known as Sonny within the family, Ford III is a former teacher. He earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.
“Henry has been an advocate for these efforts, and I am delighted he will bring his dedication to social justice to his board service. Although we were established to be an independent institution, our recent efforts in southeastern Michigan have marked a reconnection with the Ford family, coming full circle with Henry’s election to our board.
Ford Motor Company currently provides about 65 percent of police vehicles in the US.
In 2019, Ford Motor Company bragged about its new Interceptor police vehicle:
“Whether patrolling or sitting idle, the all-new Police Interceptor Utility will change the way officers work,” says Bill Gubing, chief engineer for the Explorer. “Everything about it was designed for keeping police officers safe, comfortable and ready for action.”
Meanwhile, in New York City, the Ford Foundation is proudly taking part in the Defund the Police movement on its website:
“We’ve seen our grantees at the forefront of the change that’s taken place over the last few days—from the City Council of Minneapolis’s pledge to dismantle the police department to reimagine public safety, to Mayor Garcetti’s commitment to divest $250 million of the LAPD’s budget.”
According to the National Pulse – Founded in 1936 by Edsel Ford, the Ford Foundation is one of the country’s most recognized charitable organizations. In 2019, it handed out $500 million in grants to promote a “just, fair, and peaceful world with opportunity for all.”
But now, for the first time since 1976, a member of the Ford Motors dynasty sits on the Board of the Foundation.
Henry “Sonny” Ford, joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in February of 2019 to help drive its “racial injustice” agenda.
Speaking in February 2019, Foundation president Darren Walker said: “Although we were established to be an independent institution, our recent efforts in southeastern Michigan have marked a reconnection with the Ford family, coming full circle with Henry’s election to our board.”
To understand how the Foundation harnesses its grantees to create a juggernaut like the Defund the Police movement, it is helpful to view them as a broker. The Foundation acts as an intermediary between their paid grantees – all of kindred spirits – who work on behalf of the Foundation to change, and then to set, American domestic policy.
Since 2016, Ford Foundation has given roughly $7.8 million to Black Lives Matters and other similar groups through a partnership with Borealis Philanthropy. These groups are now the public face of the Defund the Police movement.
But the movement was born from a group seeded by the Foundation back in 2015 called Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) at the University of Chicago. Their mission was to “Disband, Disarm, Disempower” the police.
Since the group’s founding, the Ford Foundation has given them $3.1 million. BYP100 now serves as central command – recruiting protesters, providing professional protester training, and coordinating protests in cities across the U.S.
But the Foundation knows protesters alone cannot strip police departments from coast-to-coast.
‘RACISM AND VIOLENCE AT THE HEART OF THE AMERICAN STORY’.
Mr. Ford oversees grant-making policies, management, and governance at the Foundation. He also serves as a public ambassador for the Foundation’s work.
The move is aimed at giving the Ford Foundation more legitimacy as it presses forward with its social justice policies. But it could spell trouble for the Ford car company.
To find the core of Ford Foundation’s push to abolish the police in America, we turn to their website:
“The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and Sean Reed are the result of an ugly, painful legacy of systemic racism and violence at the heart of the American story. It’s a story that begins with the genocide of indigenous peoples and continued with the enslavement of African people, whose free labor built the wealth of countless white Americans.”
The Ford Foundation also pours millions into think-tanks, media outlets, and legal groups to create a public echo chamber preaching the gospel of abolishing the police. The Brookings Institution, Center for American Progress, Forward Justice, ACLU, Center for Popular Democracy, the Guardian newspaper, and ProPublica make up part of the Foundation’s brain trust.
Does Mr. Ford, who also works at Ford Motors, care about the impact that defunding the Detroit PD would have on thousands of the company’s other employees living in the city?
As the Foundation’s campaign gains traction, how will owners of America’s 3,000 Ford dealerships feel about the association of their brand with efforts to Defund the Police in their own hometowns?
And how will the Defund efforts carried out by the Foundation impact the sale of those new high-tech police vehicles the Ford Motor Company is rolling out?
*Our original title stated that the Ford Motor Company is donating millions to “defund the police” movement. The title should have instead, said the Ford Foundation is donating millions to the “defund the police” movement.