THE RISE OF HATE

Mass murder at a mosque.  “How to spot a Jew” makes headlines in a Polish paper.  A photo of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg defiled by anti-Semitic slurs.  Hate is on the rise here and abroad, with deadly consequences. Tonight, we take a look at the personal side of hate in America and the rise of white nationalism in the age of President Trump.

Aired on March 20, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

THERE'S A TROUBLING RISE IN HATE CRIMES BOTH HERE IN THE CITY AROUND AROUND THE COUNTRY AND THAT HAS SURFACED OVERSEAS WHERE FUNERALS STARTED THIS WEEK IN NEW ZEALAND FOR THOSE KILLED DURING MASS SHOOTINGS AT TWO MOSQUES THAT LEFT 50 DEAD.

THE ACCUSED MURDERER IS A SELF-DESCRIBED WHITE SUPREMACIST.

IT IS NOT THE FIRST ACT OF HATE WE HAVE SEEN THIS MONTH.

JUST LAST WEEK, THE RIGHT WING POLISH NEWSPAPER RAN A FRONT PAGE STORY INSTRUCTING READERS ON HOW TO RECOGNIZE A JEW.

AND BACK HERE IN BROOKLYN, THE NYPD IS INVESTIGATING AFTER THIS SUBWAY POSTER OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICE BADER GINSBURG HAD THE WORDS DIE JEW.

AS OF MARCH 10th, 86 HATE CRIMES WERE REPORTED IN THE CITY.

A 62% SPIKE FROM LAST YEAR.

FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT'S DRIVING THE HATE, JACK FORD CAUGHT UP WITH THE EDITOR FROM 'THE NEW YORK TIMES,' AND AUTHOR OF 'SEMITISM, BEING JEWISH IN AMERICA IN THE AGE OF TRUMP.'

HE ASKED ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BOOK'S TITLE AND THE PARENTHESIS THAT SURROUND IT.

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

I SENT SOMETHING OUT ON TWITTER AND I GOT A REPLY BACK FME CALL TRUMP.

ALL IT WAS IT SAID HELLO WISEMAN.

BECAUSE MY NAME WAS IN THREE PARENTHESIS.

I REPLIED TO HIM AND CARE TO EXPLAIN?

HE CAME BACK SAYING, WHAT HOLD THE VAUNTED INTELLIGENCE, IT'S A DOG WHISTLE.

I HAVE BELLED THE CAT FROM MY FELLOW GOYIM.

WHAT IT IT IS THOSE THREE PARENTHESIS WERE USED TO MARK JEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND THEN THESE NEAT KIND OF SWARMS OF NEO-NAZIS HAD THIS SPECIAL SOFTWARE CALLED THE COINCIDENCE INDICATOR AND THEY COULD DOCH F TARGETS THAT WERE BELLED TO GO AFTER.

SO THOSE ACTUALLY SIGNIFY WHO WAS TARGETED ONLINE.

IS IT HYPERBOLIC TO SAY A MODERN DAY ARM BAND?

THAT'S WHAT THEY CALL IT ACTUALLY.

THEY DO?

THIS IS OUR WAY OF SLAPPING THE YELLOW STAR ON THEIR CHEST SO THAT'S CERTAINLY WHAT THEY WOULD CALL IT.

LET ME TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES THEN.

AS A JOURNALIST, YOU'RE ACTUALLY -- YOU'RE FAR MORE PUBLIC AND AS YOU SAID YOU'RE ENGAGED ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

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

THE UGLINESS OF THE ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE HATE REALLY TOOK ME ABACK.

OBVIOUSLY WE KNOW THERE'S BIGOTRY IN THIS COUNTRY BUT HAVING YOUR FACE, YOU KNOW, PHOTOSHOPPED ON A PICTURE OF SOMEBODY OF A CONCENTRATION CAMP VICTIM OR SOMEBODY KNEELING DOWN ABOUT TO BE SHOT IN THE BACK OF A 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.

THERE WAS ONE GUY WHO SENT ME AN IMAGE OF THE VERY FAMOUS GATES OF AUSCHWITZ, BUT INSTEAD OF SAYING WORK MAKES YOU FREE IN GERMAN IT SAID MOCKEN AMERICA GREAT AMERICA.

IT WAS A WEIRD MOTIF OF THE HOLOCAUST AND TRUMPISM OVER AND OVER.

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

WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE WHAT YOU'RE DOING AS A WAY OF FIGHTING BACK, PUSHING BACK OR WERE YOU JUST TRYING TO ILLUMINATE THIS?

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

MY MAIN GOAL WAS TO SHOW THE LEVEL OF HATRED OUT THERE AND THAT HAD BEEN STIRRED UP DURING THIS CAMPAIGN.

AND I WILL ADMIT -- IN SOME WAYS I WAS PLAYING INTO THE KIND OF NEO-NAZI TRAP HERE BECAUSE --

HOW?

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

AND SO BY SENDING IT OUT I WAS SOMEWHAT AMPLIFYING THEIR MESSAGE.

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

IN FACT, THE HEAD OF THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE SAID I GET WHAT YOU'RE DOING, JONATHAN, MAYBE COOL IT DOWN FOR A WHILE.

BECAUSE OF THAT?

YOU WERE GIVING A VOICE TO THE FOLKS WHO DIDN'T HAVE THE VOICE THAT YOU OR OTHERS DID?

I THINK 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 WRESTLED WITH A LOT.

I HAVE A WHOLE CHAPTER ABOUT HOW TO CONFRONT THIS RISING WHITE NATIONALISM.

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

I REMEMBER TALKING TO A RABBI IN WASHINGTON SAYING, YOU HAVE TO LOOK TO THE TORAH, TO THE RELIGIOUS BOOKS.

WHEN THE JEW FINDS INJUSTICE STAND UP TO INJUSTICE.

IF YOU LOOK TO OUR OWN TEACHINGS, YOU COME AWAY WITH THINKING WE DO HAVE TO FIGHT BACK.

WE SHOULDN'T JUST PUT OUR HEADS IN THE SANDS AND HOPE IT GOES AWAY.

WHAT IS IT YOU WANTED TO DO WITH THIS BOOK?

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING THAT WILL COME FROM IT?

YOU KNOW, I WANTED TO SEND OUT A WAKE-UP CALL BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE THERE HASN'T BEEN A LOUD ENOUGH RESPONSE TO IN RISING BIGOTRY.

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

THIS ISN'T A QUESTION OF NOW DECIDING WHO'S GOT IT WORSE.

IT'S REALLY A QUESTION OF UNIFYING AROUND THIS NOTION OF DEMOCRATIC 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 CALLED 'SEMITISM BEING JEWISH IN AMERICA IN THE AGE OF TRUMP.'

IT'S VERY PROVOCATIVE WORK.

THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME WITH US.

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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