THE STATE OF HATE IN NEW YORK

“Proud anti-Semite.” That’s the boast spotted on a bumper sticker of a car driving on Route 110 in Farmingdale, Long Island. A sign of the times? Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League joins us to share some sobering statistics.

Aired November 20, 2017.

TRANSCRIPT

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO I'M JACK FORD, FOR OVER A CENTURY ANTIDEFAMATION LEAGUE OR ADL HAS STOOD TALL AGAINST NOT JUST ANTI-SEMITISM BUT ALL FORMS OF BIGOTRY.

NEW BOOK 'THE GOOD FIGHT: AMERICA'S ONGOING FIGHT FOR JUSTICE' THE LEAGUE USES EVERYTHING TO DETAIL THEIR FIGHT FOR JUSTICE IN AMERICA.

BOOK SHOWCASES AMONG OTHER THINGS LIFE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., BRAVE EFFORTS OF LGBTQ COMMUNITY AND STRUGGLES OF NATIVE AMERICANS.

JOINING ME NOW, JONATHAN, NICE TO HAVE YOU BACK.

TELL ME HOW THE BOOK CAME ABOUT.

I HAD BEEN ON THE JOB ABOUT TWO YEARS AT ADL.

WANTED TO DO RESEARCH BEFORE I STARTED.

CIVIL RIGHTS AND TAYLOR BRANCH AND STUFF ABOUT STONEWALL BUT COULDN'T FIND ONE BOOK FOR ALL THE STRUGGLES.

GAP ON THE BOOK SHELF.

THEN AT T.E.D. CONFERENCE.

SMOELEN, A 'NEW YORK TIMES' BEST SELLING AUTHOR, RICK WAS JUST COMING OFF A PROJECT.

SAID TO HIM, I WAS THINKING ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES, WOULD YOU EVER BE INTERESTED ABOUT DOING A BOOK ABOUT ALL THE DIFFERENT CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLES IN THE U.S.? LED TO CONVERSATION AND PROCESS THAT GENERATED THIS BOOK 'THE GOOD FIGHT' AND BACK TO THAT TIME, ISSUE SEEMED ABSTRACT AND THEORETICAL, TODAY I THINK THERE'S URGENCY TO THE BOOK THAT'S POWERFUL.

THAT'S A GOOD WAY TO PUT IT, THERE IS URGENCY BECAUSE OF WHAT IS TAKING PLACE AROUND US.

MIGHT BE SURPRISED TO LEARN AS I MENTIONED IN OPENING, ADL NOT FOCUSED EXCLUSIVELY ON ANTI-SEMITISM.

WHEN IT WAS FOUNDED, FOUNDERS WROTE MISSION STATEMENT, PURPOSE TO STOP DEFAMATION OF THEUISH PEOPLE AND SECURE JUSTICE FOR ALL.

THAT FOCUS ON JUSTICE UNITED.

AMICUS BRIEF FOCUSING ON HOUSES THAT KEPT BLACKS AND JEWS FROM LIVING IN CERTAIN AREAS AND FILED ANOTHER, COMING OUT IN FAVOR OF SCHOOL DESEGREGATION.

OUR LEADERSHIP, THE COURAGE OF THOSE PEOPLE BEFORE ME HELPED FORGE BONDS TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY.

BEN NOT ONLY MARCHED WITH DR. KING IN SELMA BUT STOOD WITH HIM WHEN THEY SIGNED THE VOTING RIGHTS ACTS.

AND IN THE '50s, ADL ON BEHALF OF IMMIGRANTS.

ANTI-IMMIGRANT SENTIMENT, SOUNDS FAMILIAR, WORKED WITH YOUNG JUNIOR SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS FROM FAMILY OF IMMIGRANTS.

WOULD YOU WRITE A BOOK, TALK ABOUT COUNTRY OF REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS.

PRESIDENT KENNEDY WROTE 'PROFILES OF COURAGE' AND 'A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS,' ADL.

A BOOK RIGHT REACH OUT TO TRADITIONAL HISTORIANS AND GET WRITINGS, BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU DID HERE.

LOT OF CREDIT TO RICK SMOELIN, THE AUTHOR, ENVISIONED ROLE NOT JUST AS AUTHOR BUT CURATOR.

PULLS VOICES FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE SPECTRUM.

ESSAYS, NOT ACADEMIC PROSE BUT ACTIVE PRESENT.

ARTISTS, FILMMAKERS, ACTIVISTS, ADVOCATES, INCREDIBLY RICH RANGE OF VOICES FROM DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES.

GEORGE TAKEI, THE ASIAN-AMERICAN ACTOR FROM 'STAR TREK' WROTE ABOUT BEING IN JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMP.

FOUNDER OF THE AIDS QUILT AND LGBTQ AMERICANS.

YOU HAVE HGBTQ, LATINO, ASIAN-AMERICAN, JEWISH, MUSLIM.

BUT FORWARD BY PULITZER PRIZE WINNING COLUMNIST BRETT STEVENS.

POINT THIS OUT BECAUSE HE GREW UP IN MEXICO CITY, JEWISH.

IMMIGRANT AND JEWISH PERSPECTIVE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, HE'S A CONSERVATIVE.

WORKED FOR 'WALL STREET JOURNAL' FOR YEARS.

EQUALITY IS NOT DEMOCRATIC ISSUE, IT'S EVERYONE'S ISSUE.

THOSE WHO TRY TO RELEGATE THIS TO JUST YOU PROGRESSIVES, NO, CONSERVATIVES, LIBERALS, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS ALL HAVE A STAKE IN SHARED FUTURE AND NOTION OF E PLURY BUS UNUM.

WHAT ARE WE ABOUT THE GROWTH OF GROUPS REFERRED TO AS HATE GROUPS.

SEEN A SURGE SINCE THE ELECTION OF LAST YEAR, CRIMES AFFECTING LATINOS, IMMIGRANTS, GAYS, AFRICAN-AMERICANS.

IN PARTICULAR A SURGE OF ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENCES.

OVER FIRST THREE QUARTERS OF THE YEAR, 67% INCREASE OVER LAST YEAR.

MORE THAN DOUBLE IN SCHOOLS THIS YEAR OVER LAST YEAR.

SO WE'RE DEFINITELY SEEING AN INCREASE.

AND THEY'RE WHAT I'LL CALL THE SO-CALLED ALT-RIGHT OR WHITE SUPREMACISTS, VERY SOPHISTICATED.

TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF LOOPHOLES ON SOCIAL MEDIA, LEVERAGED FACEBOOK AND TWITTER AND SPECIFICALLY TARGETED YOUNG PEOPLE.

WE HAVE 26 OFFICES AROUND THE COUNTRY AND TRACK THIS WORK VERY CLOSELY.

WE SAW NINE INCIDENCES OF WRITE SUPREMACIST GROUPS RECRUITING AND ACTIVE ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES.

2016, NINE INCIDENCES.

THIS YEAR, 80 INCIDENCES.

8-0, ALMOST TENFOLD INCREASE.

ARE WE SEEING ACTUALLY MORE PEOPLE BECOMING INVOLVED IN THESE GROUPS OR IS IT THAT THEY'RE JUST FOR WHATEVER REASON MORE EMBOLDENED?

MEMBERSHIP ROLES HAVE INCREASED IN SOME OF THE WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUPS BUT SECOND PART OF THE QUESTION IS ALSO CORRECT.

EXTREMISTS FEEL EMBOLDENED IN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THE PRESIDENT EQUIVOCATES ON THESE ISSUES.

THINK ABOUT THE CHARLOTTESVILLE RALLY, UNITE THE RIGHT RALLY, LARGEST WE'VE SEEN IN UNITED STATES IN 15 YEARS.

ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM ELECTED OFFICIALS, SENATE, HOUSE, GOVERNORS, CEOs, OTHER PUBLIC FIGURES, FORMER PRESIDENTS, EVERYONE UNANIMOUSLY CONDEMNED THE EVENT EXCEPT THE PRESIDENT WHO TALKED ABOUT FINE PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES.

TO DENY THE REALITY OF WHITE SUPREMACISTS WITH TIES TO THE WEST WING IS A PROBLEM.

IT IS A DENIAL OF REALITY AND SOMETHING WE'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH.

YOU TOLD ME SOMETHING I HAD NOT BEEN AWARE OF, RELATIONSHIP THAT ADL HAD WITH THE FBI IN 1930s, CONCERN OVER THE GROWTH OF NAZIISM.

OUR WORK TO COLLABORATE WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT BEEN GOING ON FOR GENERATIONS.

LITERALLY IN THE '30s, ADL WORKED WITH YOUNG GOVERNMENT BUREAU, THE FBI, TO HELP IDENTIFY NAZI SYMPATHIZERS ON THE ATLANTIC SEABOARD AND SEND THEM BACK TO GERMANY.

TRUST WE'VE DEVELOPED WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT OVER THE DECADES IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

ALLOWED US TO TRAIN THEM TO DEAL WITH HATE AND HATE CRIMES AND EXTREMISM.

WE TRAIN MORE THAN ANY OTHER NGO ON THESE ISSUES.

OUR TRAINING IS MANDATORY FOR THE FBI.

BECAUSE OF THE TRUSTED RELATIONSHIP MOVING TO NOT ONLY TRAIN THEM ON EXTREMISM BUT LOOKING AT ISSUES OF INTRINSIC BIAS.

ALWAYS GOOD TO TALK WITH YOU, THE BOOK IS JUST A MAGNIFICENT LOOK.

NOT JUST HISTORY OF THE ADL BUT THIS NATION.

THANK YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019