JEWISH IN THE AGE OF TRUMP

The statistics on anti-Semitism are sobering. Join us as we take a look at being Jewish in America in the age of President Trump.

Aired on May 02 & August 16, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> HATE CRIMES ARE SKY ROCKETING IN THE NATION AND IN NEW YORK CITY.

A RECENT REPORT FROM THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE NOTES THAT THE NUMBER OF ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENTS IN NEW YORK ROSE BY OVER 90% IN 2017 COMPARED TO 2016.

90%. ACCORDING TO A NEW BOOK TITLED SEMITISM, BEING JEWISH IN THE AGE OF TRUMP, THE SITUATION COULD GET WORSE AND POTENTIALLY MORE DANGEROUS.

IN HIS BECOME, JONATHAN WEISSMAN, THE DEPUTY WASHINGTON EDITOR OF 'THE NEW YORK TIMES,' DESCRIBES HIS OWN ENCOUNTERS WITH WHITE NATIONALISTS AND LOOKS AT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THEM AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS MAKING US FACE A RISING TIDE OF HATE.

AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO HAVE SERGEANT JONATHAN WITH US.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

I WANT TO GET TO YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE THAT ARE A BIT OF A SPRINGBOARD FOR ALL OF THIS.

BUT I WANT TO ASK A FIRST QUESTION ABOUT THE TITLE.

I'M CURIOUS.

YOU CAN LOOK AT IT HERE.

SEMITISM, BEING JEWISH IN AMERICA IN THE AGE OF TRUMP.

AND SEMITISM HAS THREE PARENTHESES AROUND IT AND WHAT'S THE SIGNIFICANCE.

DURING THE 2016 CAMPAIGN I WAS ON TWITTER AS I OFTEN AM.

AND I SENT SOMETHING OUT ONTO AT WHICH TIMER AND GOT A APPLY BACK FROM SOMEBODY CALL THEM THEMSELVES CYBERTRUMP.

SAYING HELLO WISEMAN BUT MY NAME WAS IN THREE PARENTHESES.

I INTUITED I HAVE A JEWISH SOUNDING NAME.

I WONDER WHAT IT MEANS.

I REPLIED, CARE TO EXPLAIN.

'I KAEM BAKE WHAT HO THE ASHKENAZI INTELLIGENCE.

I HAVE BELLED THE CAT FOR MY FRO GOYIM.

WHAT IS IT IS, THOUGH THREE PARENTHESES WERE USED TO MARK JUICE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND THEN THESE NEAT KIND OF SWARMS OF NEONAZIS THIS SPECIAL SOFTWARE CALLED THE COINCIDENCE INDICATOR AND THEY COULD DOWNLOAD IT AND SEARCH FOR THE TARGETS BELLED TO GO AFTER.

THOSE SIGNIFY WHO WAS TARGETED ONLINE.

IS IT TOO HYPERBOLLIC TO SAY A MODERN DAY ARP BAND.

THEY CALL IT THAT ACTUALLY.

THEY DO.

THEY SAY THIS IS OUR WAY OF SLAPPING THE YELLOW STAR ON THEIR CHEST.

THAT'S CERTAINLY WHAT THEY WOULD CALL IT.

LET ME TALK MORE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES THEN.

AS A JOURNALIST YOU ARE ACTUALLY FAR MORE PUBLIC CERTAINLY.

AS YOU SAID YOU ARE ENGAGED ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

ONE DID YOU FIND THEN THAT YOU WERE BEING SUBJECTED TO?

WELL, I MEAN, THE UGLINESS OF THE ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE HATE REALLY TOOK ME ABACK.

OBVIOUSLY WE KNOW THERE IS BIGOTRY IN THIS COUNTRY.

BUT HAVING YOUR FACE PHOTO SHOPPED ON A PICTURE OF SOMEBODY -- A CONCENTRATION CAMP VICTIM OR SOMEBODY KNEELING DOWN ABOUT TO BE SHOT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD BY A NAZI, OR BEING IN A GAS CHAMBER WITH A DONALD TRUMP FIGURE IN NAZI REGALIA ABOUT TO TURN ON THE GAS.

IT WENT ON AND ON AND ON.

THERE WAS ONE GUY SENT ME AN IMAGE OF THE VERY FAMOUS GATES OF AUSCHWITZ BUT INSTEAD OF SAYING WORK MAKES YOU FREE IN GERMAN IT SAYS MAKAN AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

AND THIS WEIRD MOTIF OF THE HOLOCAUST WSH PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS AND TRUMPISM KEPT RECURRING OVER AND OVER.

IT TOOK ME SO ABACK THAT I REALLY TRIED TO SEND IT OUT INTO THE WORLD AND SHOW WHAT WAS REALLY OUT THERE.

WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE WHAT YOU WERE DOING AS IN A WAY FIGHTING BACK WSH O, PUSHING BACK OR JUST TRYING TO ILLUMINATE THIS.

YOU KNOW, I THINK I WOULD SAY I WAS PUSHING BACK.

MY MAIN GOAL WAS TO SHOW JUST THE LEVEL OF HATRED OUT THERE THAT I'VE BEEN STIRRED DURING THIS CAMPAIGN.

AND IN SOME WAYS ADMIT -- IN SOME WAYS I WAS PLAYING INTO THE NEONAZI TRAP HERE.

HOW?

YOU KNOW, LOOK, I HAVE A LOT MORE FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER OR FACEBOOK THAN THEY DO.

AND SO BY SEN GOING OUT I WAS SOMEWHAT AMPLIFYING THEIR MESSAGE.

I DID IT IN BURSTS BUT DIDN'T DO IT IN A SUSTAINED WAY.

IN FACT THE HEAD OF THE AND I DEFAMATION LEAGUE SAID I GET WHAT YOU'RE DOING MAYBE YOU SHOULD COOL IT DOWN FOR A ZBLIEL BECAUSE YOU WERE GIVING A VOICE TO FOLKS THAT DIDN'T HAVE NEARLY THE VOICE ESSENTIAL THAT YOU OR OTHERS DID.

I THINK THAT THAT WAS HIS THOUGHT.

YOU KNOW, IT WAS IMPORTANT TO RAISE AWARENESS.

BUT THAT AT SOME POINT YOU MAY BE GIVING THEM TOO MUCH OF A PLATFORM.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

IT'S SOMETHING I WRESTLE WITH A LOT.

IN WRITING THIS BOOK I HAVE A CHAPTER ABOUT HOW TO CONFRONT THIS RISING WHITE NATIONALISM.

AND THERE CERTAINLY ARE VERY STRONG SMART VOICES WHO SAY, THE BEST WAY TO DO IT IS JUST IGNORE IT BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE WANT THE ATTENTION.

WITH YOU I REMEMBER TALKING TO A RABBAI IN WASHINGTON WHO SAID, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO LOOK TO THE TORAH TO -- THE RELIGIOUS BOOKS.

AND IT SAYS WHEN THE JEW FINDS INJUSTICE, THE JEW MUST STAND UP TO INJUSTICE.

SO, YOU KNOW, IF YOU LOOK TO OUR TEACHINGS, YOU COME AWAY WITH THINKING WE DO HAVE FIGHT BACK AND SHOULDN'T PUT OUR HEADS IN THE SAND AND HOPE IT ALL GOES AWAY.

WHAT IS IT YOU WANTED TO DO WITH THE BOOK?

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING COMES FROM IT?

YOU KNOW I WANTED TO SEND OUT A WAKE UP CALL.

BECAUSE I JUST FEEL LIKE THERE HASN'T BEEN A LOUD ENOUGH RESPONSE TO THIS RISING BIGOTRY.

AND I THINK THAT JEWS AND MUSLIMS AND LATINOS AND IMMIGRANTS AND ALL OF THESE PEOPLE -- ALL THESE GROUPS THAT HAVE BEEN TARGETED IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS REALLY NEED TO SPEAK TOGETHER.

THIS ISN'T A QUESTION OF, YOU KNOW, DECIDING WHO HAS IT WORSE.

IT'S REALLY A QUESTION OF UNIFYING AROUND THIS NOTION OF DEMOCRAT PLURALISM, THAT WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A WHITE HOMELAND.

AND WE HAVE TO STAND UP FOR THAT.

AGAIN, IT'S CALLED SEMITISM, BEING JEWISH IN AMERICA IN THE AGE OF TRUMP.

JONATHAN, IT'S A MARVELLOUS AND COMPELLING AND VERY PROVOCATIVE WORK HERE.

WE APPRECIATE YOU SPENDING TIME WITH US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

YOU BE WELL.

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.

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