THE RISE OF HATE

March 21, 2019 at 5:15 am

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.

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>> 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.

Mutual of America PSEG

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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