SPECIAL REPORT: HATE, FAITH AND FORGIVENESS

January 17, 2020 at 5:30 am

An in-depth look at what’s driving the violence and hate in the aftermath of recent anti-Semitic attacks in the New York metro area.

 

For more information on the Manhattan Jewish Experience, click here. 

For more information on Dr. Gail Saltz, click here. 

For more information on the Muslim Community Patrol, click here. 

 

Aired on January 16, 2020. 

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>>> GOOD EVENING.
WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL EDITION
OF "METROFOCUS."
THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF 2019 SAW
AT LEAST 14 REPORTED
ANTI-SEMITIC ASSAULTS.
ONE OF THE MOST REASON ACTS OF
VIOLENCE HAPPENED RIGHT OUTSIDE
THE CITY IN MUNCY, NEW YORK,
WHERE A HANNUKKAH CELEBRATION
WAS INTERRUPTED BY A MACHETE
ATTACK.
WITH THE COMMUNITY UPSET, THE
RABBI HAD THIS UNIFYING MESSAGE.
>> I WILL NEVER FORGET THE
HORROR OF THAT NIGHT AND I WILL
NEVER FORGET HOW WE CELEBRATED
AFTER THAT ATTACK.
HOW WE CONTINUE TO REJOICE IN
THE MIRACLE OF HANNUKKAH.
I WILL NEVER FORGET THE
RESILIENCE ON DISPLAY THAT NIGHT
AND IN THE FOLLOWING DAYS.
THE RESILIENCE OF JEWISH PEOPLE
AND THE RESILIENCE OF NEW YORK.
>> THE SUSPECT, 38-YEAR-OLD
GRAFTON THOMAS, WAS ARRESTED IN
HARLEM AFTER POLICE TRACKED HIS
LICENSE PLATE.
AMIDST THE VIOLENCE, NYPD
COMMISSIONER DERMOT SHEA MADE A
SURPRISING ANNOUNCEMENT.
>> WE JUST ENDED THE YEAR IN
WHICH WE SAW FEWER OVERALL
CRIMES.
BUT AS IS ALWAYS THE CASE IN OUR
PROFESSION, THERE ARE AREAS OF
CONCERN AS WELL.
MURDER, SHOOTINGS AND ROBBERY
ARE UP.
HATE CRIMES ARE ALSO UP.
SPECIFICALLY DRIVEN BY
ANTI-SEMITISM.
>> SO WHY HAS THERE BEEN A SPREE
OF ANTI-SEMITIC ADVICE?
HOW DO WE STOP THIS CYCLE OF
HATE?
HERE TO HELP US WITH SOME OF THE
ANSWERS, HOPEFULLY, ARE RABBI
MARK WILDES, FOUNDER AND
DIRECTOR OF THE MANHATTAN JEWISH
EXPERIENCE.
DR. GAIL SALTZ, AND PSYCHO
ANALYST OF THE NEW YORK PSYCHO
ANALYTIC EXPERIMENT.
AND MUHAMMAD KAHN, A CIVILIAN
ORGANIZATION WORKING TO PROTECT
LOCAL COMMUNITIES FROM HATE
CRIMES.
SO WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU.
WE HAVE A LOT TO TALK ABOUT.
I WANT TO FOCUS FIRST ON HISTORY
AND CAUSES AND THEN WE'RE GOING
TO GET INTO IDEAS OF SOLUTIONS
AND REVENUES.
BUT LET'S START AT THE
BEGINNING, A GOOD PLACE TO
START.
THAT IS THE HISTORY OF
ANTI-SEMITISM.
MARK, I'LL ASK YOU FIRST.
I SUSPECT IF WE ASK YOUNGER
PEOPLE, ASK ABOUT THE HISTORY OF
ANTI-SEMITISM, THEIR
INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY MIGHT NOT
GO BACK THAT FAR.
ANTI-SEMITISM GOES BACK MUCH
FARTHER.
>> I WISH IT WAS AS RECENT AS
THE HOLOCAUST.
ANTI-SEMITISM BEGAN AS JUDAISM
BEGAN.
ABRAHAM WAS REFERRED TO AS A
HEBREW.
HE WAS LOOKED AT AS DIFFERENT OR
OTHER.
WASN'T TOO AMONG THE ANCIENT
ISRAELITES WERE ENSLAVED BY THE
EGYPTIANS.
AND THEN THE ASSYRIANS AND THE
BABYLONIANS AND THE PERSIANS AND
THE ROAMANS.
THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY PERIODS
OF ANTI-SEMITISM, CULMINATING IN
THE HOLOCAUST.
>> WHY DO WE THINK TODAY, AND
GAIL, I'LL ASK YOU FIRST.
WHY DO WE THINK TODAY WE ARE
SEEING THIS?
YOU CAN ALMOST CHARACTERIZE IT
AS AN EXPLOSION OF ANTI-SEMITIC
ACTIVITY.
DO WE THINK IT IS THE MERELY
MORE REPORTING OF IT OR MORE
INCIDENTS TAKING PLACE, AND WHAT
IS IT ABOUT THIS ERA, DO YOU
THINK?
>> THERE DO SEEM TO BE MORE
INCIDENTS.
I THINK THE REASON WE'RE SEEING
IT NOW.
IF YOU LOOK AT SOCIAL
PSYCHOLOGY, THE DATA THAT HAS
BEEN UNDERSTOOD AND REPORTED
OVER A LONG PERIOD OF HISTORY.
WHAT IS DURING NOW, YOU HAVE A
GROUP THAT IS AS YOU BROUGHT UP,
THE OUTGROUP.
SEEN AS DIFFERENT.
BUT MOREOVER, THEY'VE BEEN
HISTORICALLY SEEN AS A
SOCIOECONOMICALLY COMPETENT
GROUP.
AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT PREJUDICE,
WHICH OCCURS, I'M THE IN GROUP,
YOU'RE THE OUT GROUP.
AND YOU ADD TO IT, ENVY.
SO WE'RE NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT
ANOTHER GROUP, LET'S SAY, THE
ELDERLY OR THE HOMELESS OR THE
MENTALLY ILL.
THESE OTHER DISCRIMINATED
AGAINST GROUPS.
THEY'RE BENIGNLY THIS SEEN AS
NOT AS COMPETENT.
WE JUST DISMISS THEM.
WHEN A GROUP IS SEEN AS
PROSPEROUS, DOING WELL.
THEN WE BECOME ENVIOUS.
IN TIMES, WHICH I WOULD ARGUE
NOW WE ARE IN A TIME OF
POLITICAL OR SOCIAL UPHEAVAL.
CERTAINLY ECONOMIC UPHEAVAL.
EVEN POLITICAL OR SOCIAL
UPHEAVAL.
PEOPLE BECOME, AT LEAST
UNCONSCIOUSLY FEARFUL ABOUT NOT
HAVING RESOURCES.
WHEN A GROUP THERE OF SEEN AS
HAVING RESOURCES, THEY
EXPERIENCE ENVIOUS PREJUDICE,
WHICH UNLIKE OTHER FORMS OF
PREJUDICE, TENDS TO BE HANDLE IN
THE MORE VIOLENT WAYS, MORE
FEARFUL, VEER LENT WAYS.
SO I WANT TO ERADICATE YOU
BECAUSE YOU'RE TAKING UP
RESOURCES AND I WANT THE
RESOURCES.
>> A CLASSIC ILLUSTRATION IS
NAZI, GERMANY.
HITLER ROSE TO POWER IN A
SIGNIFICANT PILLAR OF HIS RISE
WAS SAYING, GERMANY HAS BEEN
BEATEN DOWN.
WHOSE FAULT IS IT?
THE JEWS.
>> PEOPLE WERE FRIGHTENED.
THEY COULDN'T GET ENOUGH.
SO IT FIT WITH THEIR WISH TO GET
RID OF WHOEVER WAS BEING
SUCCESSFUL AND TAKING THE
RESOURCES.
THAT'S EXACTLY, FROM A SOCIAL
PSYCH STANDPOINT, WHAT SPURRED
ON THE HOLOCAUST.
>> HOW ABOUT YOU?
FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR GROUP AND
WHAT DO YOU.
>> I'M FROM MUSLIM PATROL
SERVICES.
WE WORK WITH VARIOUS RELIGIOUS
COMMUNITIES.
AND SOMETHING THAT WE'VE
REALIZED IS THAT, ESPECIALLY IN
TODAY'S TIME, A LOT OF KIDS ARE
BEING MORE REPORTED.
PEOPLE ARE GETTING TO KNOW
PROCESS BECAUSE OF COMMUNITY
PATROL ORGANIZATIONS LIKE
OURSELVES.
THE JEWISH PATROL, THE ASIAN
PATROL, WHAT THESE PATROL
ORGANIZATIONS, WHAT WE HAVE
TAKEN THE INITIATIVE OF DOING IS
BRINGING OUT, MAKING IT SUPER
SIMPLE FOR ANYONE.
FOR ALL THE IMMIGRANTS.
NEW YORK CITY IS THE MELTING
POT.
MANY PEOPLE DO NOT SPEAK THE
LANGUAGE.
THEY FEEL SHY OR THEY FEEL
FEARFUL.
SO WE HELP THEM THROUGH THAT
PROCESS AND WE'VE NOTICED, MANY
PEOPLE ARE REPORTING THESE HATE
CRIMES OR INCIDENTS OF BECAUSE
THEY'RE NOW GETTING TO
UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS OR
THERE'S SOMEONE TO GUIDE THEN
WILL THROUGH IT.
I FEEL THAT BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A
TIME WHERE SOCIAL MEDIA KEY IN
EVERYTHING, EVERYONE SEES
SOMEONE ELSE'S WEALTH AND THEY
WANT TO LIVE THAT LIFE.
THIS PERSON IS EATING WELL.
I WANT TO EAT WELL WHY.
DOES HE HAVE IT AND I DON'T HAVE
IT?
YOU START ON BUILD THIS HATE
WITHIN YOU.
SOONER OR LATER, WE START TO
SHOW.
I JUST LIKE AS WE MENTIONED, THE
NAZIS.
WHAT THEY'VE GROWN.
THEY'VE GROWN ENVIOUS OF OUR
JEWISH BROTHERS.
>> LET ME COME BACK TO THE
NOTION OF OTHERNESS.
WE'VE ALL TOUCHED ON THAT A
LITTLE BIT.
THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF
OTHERNESS.
TALK IN TERMS OF JUST THE
IDENTITIES OF THE VICTIMS AND
HOW THEY LOOK DIFFERENT HERE.
>> SO THAT'S AN IMPORTANT
QUESTION.
I JUST WANT TO MENTION ONE OTHER
THING.
THAT SO MUCH OF THIS IS
PERCEPTION.
BECAUSE ALTHOUGH THE JEWISH
COMMUNITY HAS REPUTATION AND
THERE IS A REALITY TO THE GREAT
WEALTH THE JUICE HAVE AMASSED IN
THE UNITED STATES, PARTICULARLY
JEWS LIVING BELOW THE POVERTY
LINE.
SO I'M SURE THIS PERCEPTION IS
REAL AND I'VE SEEN INTERVIEWS
WHERE UNFORTUNATELY, PEOPLE ARE
SAYING THEY'VE GOT IT.
AND THERE IS A SMALL PIE AND
THEY'RE TAKING OUR RESOURCES.
>> RIGHT.
THE PERCEPTION THAT IT IS REAL
BUT ALSO LUMPING THE ENTIRE
GROUP TOGETHER.
YOU'RE SAYING, THERE ARE SOME
JEWS DOING WELL ECONOMICALLY,
OTHERS ARE NOT.
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT PREJUDICE,
IT IS TAKING A GROUP AND SAYING
EVERYBODY IS LIKE THAT.
THEY'RE ALL LIKE THAT.
>> I THINK IGNORANCE ADDS TO
PREJUDICE.
I FEEL THAT BECAUSE OF THEIR
IGNORANCE, IN GENERAL, WE FAIL
TO SEE EVERYONE.
WE JUST PUT AN IMAGE IN
EVERYONE.
HE HAS IT.
THIS PERSON ALSO HAS IT.
BECAUSE HE'S AFRICAN-AMERICAN,
HE WILL HAVE IT LIKE THIS.
BECAUSE HE'S JEWISH, HE'LL HAVE
IT LIKE THIS.
BECAUSE HE'S MUSLIM, HE'LL HAVE
IT LIKE THIS.
WE DECIDE TO PUT ONE IMAGE ON
TOP OF THAT WHOLE GROUP OF
PEOPLE.
WHETHER IT IS THEIR PSYCH, THEIR
GENDER, THEIR RELIGION OR RACE
OR WHATEVER IT MAY BE.
>> WHAT ABOUT THE ROLE THAT
SOCIAL MEDIA HAS PLAYED?
>> WE BELIEVE THE SOCIAL MEDIA
INFORMATION THAT WE ARE VIEWING
SO CONSTANTLY.
AND I WOULD ADD TO THIS THAT
WE'RE IN A TIME IN HISTORY WHERE
THERE ARE A LOT OF POPULIST
LEADERS THAT HAVE COME TO THE
FORE, AND THE DIALOGUE USED ON
SOCIAL MEDIA AND EVERYWHERE
TRICKLES DOWN, AND THE IDEA THAT
YOU ARE ENTITLED TO SAY, THESE
PEOPLE WITH ME ARE GOOD.
PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WITH ME ARE
BAD.
AND MAKE IT THAT CUT AND DRY SO
THERE'S NO NUANCE.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE BAD
PEOPLE IS THIS WE GET RID OF
THEM.
AND THE LANGUAGE BEING USED FROM
LEADERS FROM A PSYCHO ANALYTIC
PERSPECTIVE.
THESE ARE THE PARENTS OF THE
COUNTRY, WE LOOK TO THEM ONSET A
CERTAIN TONE.
WHEN THE TONE TRICKLES DOWN TO
EVERYONE, IT MAKES IT MORE
DIFFICULT TO USE AN IMPORTANT
MORAL COMPASS TO DECIDE HOW
EMPATHICALLY WE WANT TO TREAT
PEOPLE.
AND YOU'RE HEARING A LOT OF VERY
INFLAMED DIALOGUE.
>> THE FOUNDATION OF POPULISM IS
ESSENTIALLY, US VERSUS THEM.
THEN CAN'T BE.
AS A CONSEQUENCE, WE NEED THE
EJECT THEM SO IT IS JUST US
HERE.
AND THE NOTION OF, CLEARLY,
THERE WERE OTHERS, THE NAZIS,
ESPECIALLY.
THAT WERE SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT THE
ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA.
BUT THE PLAY BOOK SEEMS THE SAME
WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT.
THE INFLAMMATORY COMMENTS.
>> AT THE TIME, IT WAS DIALOGUE
TO LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE.
>> BIG RALLIES.
THE NUREMBERG RALLIES.
>> THE LEADERS OF MINORITY
GROUPS HAVE TO BE VOCAL.
IF ALL YOU GET ON YOUR FACEBOOK
FEED ARE CERTAIN KINDS OF STEREO
TYPE THAT'S CONFIRM OTHER KINDS
OF IMPRESSIONS YOU HAVE OF OTHER
PEOPLE AND YOUR OWN LEADERS,
WHERE YOU GO TO CHURCH, A MOSQUE
OR A SYNAGOGUE, ARE NOT SPEAKING
UP AGAINST THOSE PERCEPTIONS.
WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN
THIS COUNTRY.
GOD BLESS WE CAN DO THAT.
SO EVERYBODY IS EXERCISING THAT.
BUT WHAT COMES WITH THAT IS THE
NECESSITY THEREFORE FOR THERE TO
BE OPPOSING VOCAL VOICES.
AND I'M NOT SEEING THAT ENOUGH.
>> WE'VE HEARD THE MEN INVOLVED
IN THE MACHETE ATTACK IN MUNSEY.
HIS FAMILY SAYING HE'S MENTALLY
ILL.
WE'VE HEARD THAT A LOT WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT THESE TYPES OF
ATTACKS.
SO THIS IS A BIG QUESTION.
THE ROLE OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN
ANTI-SEMITISM, HOW DO WE DEFINE
IT?
HOW DO WE IDENTIFY IT?
>> I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR
PEOPLE TO LOOK AT THE NUMBERS.
WHEN WE LOOK AT VIOLENCE IN
GENERAL, WHICH CAN BE PROPAGATED
BY PREJUDICE OR OTHER THINGS,
FOR THAT MATTER.
THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WITH
MENTAL I HAVENESS THAT CAN
COMMIT VIOLENT ACTS IS BASICALLY
IN THE LOW 20s.
A SMALL NUMBER.
I WON'T SAY THAT IT IS ZERO
BECAUSE IT'S NOT.
>> JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE MENTALLY
ILL DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE VIOLENT.
>> VERY MUCH THE CASE.
IF YOU'RE MENTALLY ILL, YOU ARE
FAR MORE LIKELY TO BE A VICTIM
OF VIOLENCE THAN TO PERPETRATE
VIOLENCE.
SO I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT TO
UNDERSTAND.
OBVIOUSLY SOMEONE WITH MENTAL
ILLNESS CAN BE JUST AS
SUSCEPTIBLE AND MAYBE DEPENDING
ON THE TYPES OF MENTAL ILLNESS,
MAYBE TAKING IN THE INFORMATION
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, THE
DESENSIZATION TO, I'M GOOD,
YOU'RE BAD.
I CAN GET RID OF YOU IF I WANT
TO OR YOU CAN BE EXTERMINATED.
SO THEY'RE NOT IMMUNE IF YOU
HAVE MENTAL ILLNESS BUT IT DOES
NOT PROPAGATE PREJUDICE
PARTICULARLY.
IT DOES NOT PROPAGATE A
PROPENSITY TO COMMIT A VIOLENT
ACT.
>> IT SOUNDS LIKE A CONVENIENT
REMEDY.
>> TO ANOTHER, THEY WOULD LIKE
TO POINT TO ANOTHER MARGINALIZED
GROUP FROM WHICH THEY CAN DIVIDE
THEMSELVES AND SAY, THAT'S NOT
ME OR MINE TO ANOTHER GROUP THAT
WE PREJUDICE AND STIGMATIZE.
THAT'S MORE COMFORTABLE THAN THE
REALITY WHICH IS --
>> LET'S TALK SOLUTIONS.
LET'S START WITH COMMUNITY
INVOLVEMENT.
TALK ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY
INVOLVEMENT AND HOW YOU THINK
WHAT YOU ALL ARE DOING CAN BE
UTILIZED TO HELP, TO HOPEFULLY
ELIMINATE ACTS OF VIOLENCE
DIRECTED AT MUSLIMS.
AT JEWS.
ANY OF THE TARGET GROUPS.
>> AT LOVE COMMUNITIES HAVE THE
FEELING THAT THE MUSLIM AND THE
JEWISH COMMUNITY CAN NEVER GET
ALONG.
WHAT WE'VE DONE, WHEN HANNUKKAH
WAS TAKING PLACE, WE'VE DECIDED
TO WORK THE JEWISH PATROL
ORGANIZATION AND REACHED OUT TO
THEM WEST WISHED THEM HAPPY
HOLIDAYS AND WE'VE PATROLLED THE
SYNAGOGUES.
AND THE CHURCHES IN THE
CHRISTMAS SEASON.
AND WE'VE MADE SURE THAT OUR
VOLUNTEERS WERE OUTSIDE MAKING
SURE THE COMMUNITY IS SAFE AND
SECURE.
A LOT OF OUR OFFICERS ARE NOT IN
THE PRECINCT BECAUSE OF THE
HOLIDAY SEASON.
MANY OF THEM TAKE OFF SO WE MAKE
SURE THAT WE'RE THERE EXTRA,
GIVING TO LATE NIGHT.
IT WAS VERY UNFORTUNATE THAT WE
HAD TO GATHER TOGETHER IN
BROOKLYN BECAUSE OF AN ATTACK.
WHAT TOOK PLACE, 40 MINUTES FROM
HERE.
AND THAT WAS VERY UNFORTUNATE
THAT IT TOOK PLACE IN A RABBI'S
HOUSE.
WE DON'T EXPECT THAT.
SOMETHING WE ARE DOING AS A
MUSLIM COMMUNITY, MAKING THEM
FEED HOMELESS.
WE COME BACK AND FEED THE
HOMELESS.
WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO
GATHER WITH PEOPLE, SPEAK TO
PEOPLE.
THE SAME THING WHEN WE GO ON
PATROL.
WE TALK TO EVERYONE.
MUSLIM, NONMUSLIM, ATHEISM,
WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE.
IT IS A DIALOGUE.
BECAUSE WE'RE HAVING THESE
DIALOGUES, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE
BETTER UNDERSTANDING OUR
CULTURE, OUR DIFFERENCE OF
BELIEF.
AND IT IS MOST LIKELY THEY WILL
BECOME MORE ACCEPTING OF IT.
>> LET ME ASK BUT THIS.
ONE OF THE SOLUTIONS, AND THERE
IS NOT A SINGLE SOLUTION.
THERE'S MORE POLICE PRESENCE.
IS THERE A POINT WHERE YOU GET
TOO MUCH OF THE POLICE PRESENCE?
OR IS TOO MUCH NOT EVEN ENOUGH?
>> I THINK MORE OF A POLICE
PRESENCE, WHEN THERE IS A
CLEARLY IDENTIFIED PROBLEM, IS A
GOOD THING.
I THINK THAT FRANKLY ALL
INSTITUTIONS THAT HAVE TEACHABLE
ABILITY, LET'S SAY, STATEMENT
ABILITY, NEED TO CONTRIBUTE.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE POLICE,
WE COULD BE TALKING ABOUT
SCHOOLS AND WE SHOULD BE TALKING
ABOUT, OF COURSE, THE FAMILIES.
>> I'M GOING TO GET TO ALL OF
THOSE.
>> WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, IT
IS HUMAN NATURE TO FEEL SOME OF
THESE FEELINGS THAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT.
YOU DON'T BELONG TO ME OR I ENVY
YOU.
BUT IT IS SOCIETY'S DUTY, IF YOU
WILL, TO CIVILIZE PEOPLE AND
TEACH THEM EMPATHY, AND HAVE
THEM HAVE A MORAL COMPASS.
>> DO YOU BOTH AGREE, THE NOTION
OF MORE POLICE PRESENCE CAN BE
HELPFUL?
>> IT IS NECESSARY.
WE NEED IT.
UNFORTUNATELY, SYNAGOGUES, I'VE
GONE TO EUROPE MANY TIMES.
YOU GO TO EUROPE, YOU OFTEN
CAN'T TELL WHERE THE SYNAGOGUE
IS.
YOU CAN FIGURE IT OUT WHEN YOU
SEE THE TWO OR THREE GUYS WITH
SUB MACHINE GUYS IN ZPRONLT THEY
ASK TO SEE YOUR PASSPORT AND ASK
YOU TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
PRAYERS TO AFFIRM THAT YOU'RE
JEWISH.
>> ARE WE CLOSE TO THAT?
>> CLEARLY, THAT WOULD PROVIDE
PROTECTION.
IS THAT WHAT WE WANT?
>> NO.
IT WOULD BE THE GREATEST SHAME
IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WHICH CELEBRATES PLURALISM AND
EQUALITY AND TOLERANCE THAT WE
WOULD HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THAT.
THAT'S THE WAY JEWS HAVE HAD TO
LIVE.
AND DEPENDING ON HOW WE DEAL
WITH THIS SITUATION IS WHETHER
OR NOT IT WILL BE, TO BECOME THE
NEW NORMAL.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE NOTION
OF SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES.
THE MARCHES HAVE BEEN MARVELOUS,
IMPORTANT DEMONSTRATIONS OF
SOLIDARITY.
HERE'S THE REALITY.
THE PEOPLE MARCHING ARE NOT THE
PROBLEM.
THEY'RE NOT GOING OUT THERE AND
CREATING DIFFICULTIES.
SO SOMEHOW WE HAVE TO GET TO THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT IN THE
MARCHES.
THOSE ARE THE ONES TO GET TO.
I'M NOT SAYING THIS ISN'T
VALUABLE.
IT IS.
DEMONSTRATIONS OF SOLIDARITY AND
DEEP BELIEF AND RESILIENCE ARE
IMPORTANT.
AND IN MANY WAYS, I'LL GO TO YOU
WITH THIS, I DON'T THINK YOU'VE
COME OUT OF THE WOMB INBRED
HATRED.
>> YOU DON'T.
BUT YOU CAN BE TAUGHT TO HATE.
BUT YOU MIGHT FEEL FEELINGS OF
HATE WITHOUT BEING TAUGHT, TO BE
HONEST.
THERE IS A SADISTIC SIDE TO
HUMAN NATURE.
WE ALL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE
SOMEWHAT FASCINATED BY GORY
THINGS, BY DISTURBING THINGS, BY
COOL THINGS.
IT IS AN INTEREST, LET'S SAY.
BUT SOCIETY TEACHES US WHAT IS
OKAY AND WHAT IS NOT OKAY.
SO WHILE YOU COULD COME TO HATE
WITHOUT BEING NECESSARILY, AND
YOU COULD BE TAUGHT TO HATE,
UNFORTUNATELY, MANY CHILDREN DO
HEAR THIS RHETORIC IN THEIR HOME
AND THEY GROW UP WITH PEOPLE WHO
HATE.
BUT MOREOVER, YOU HAVE TO BE
TAUGHT TO BE EMPATHIC.
TO HAVE A GOOD MORAL COMPASS.
THAT'S THE POINT IN PARENTING.
PARENTS ARE SUPPOSED TO SAY,
HEY, THIS IS RIGHT, THIS IS
WRONG.
WE DON'T DO THIS AND THIS IS
WHY.
IF WE DO THIS, WE FEEL BAD.
PREJUDICE NEEDS TO BE PART OF
CURRICULUM, ESSENTIALLY.
>> MY QUESTION IS THIS.
I HOPE IT ISN'T TRUE.
WE HEAR PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT IT.
AND THE MAYOR WAS TALKING ABOUT
GETTING PROGRAMS INTO THE
SCHOOLS.
MIDDLE SCHOOLS, HIGH SCHOOLS.
AND MY QUESTION IS, IS THAT TOO
LATE?
HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE ALREADY FORMED
SO MUCH OF WHO THEY ARE,
INCLUDING THAT NOTION OF WHO
THEY HATE BY THE TIME THEY GET
TO MIDDLE SCHOOL?
BY THE TIME THEY GET TO HIGH
SCHOOL?
>> PEOPLE IN MY PROFESSION WILL
TELL YOU, THIS SHOULD START IN
THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND IT
SHOULD BE PRESENT AT HOME AND
EARLIER.
BECAUSE IN THOSE EARLIER YEARS,
A MORAL COMPASS IS FORMING.
AND YOU'RE RIGHT THAT BY, IT'S
NOT, LOOK, YOUR BRAIN IS PLASTIC
AND YOU CAN KEEP ACQUIRING
THINGS AND YOU CAN KEEP
EVOLVING.
YOU'RE UNDOING A CERTAIN AMOUNT
BY LATER.
SO EARLIER IS BETTER.
>> SO LATER, YOU'RE CORRECTING.
>> ESSENTIALLY.
>> HOW AWESOME WOULD IT BE IF IN
OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM, AND BY THE
WAY, IMPORTANT TO BE IN PUBLIC
AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
>> YES.
>> THAT ALL KIDS ARE EXPOSED TO
LEADERS, NOT EVEN LEADERS.
JUST MEMBERS OF OTHER FAITHS AND
ETHNICITIES SO THEY CAN HAVE
THAT POSITIVE IMAGE OF OTHER
PEOPLE.
BECAUSE IF THEY HAVEN'T REALLY
MET, AND WE DON'T SPENT ENOUGH
TIME, EVEN IN NEW YORK CITY.
WE DON'T SPEND ENOUGH TIME
GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER.
IF EVERY KID WAS REQUIRED TO GET
TO KNOW SOMEBODY FROM A
DIFFERENT FAITH OR GROUP AND
THEY GREW ONE THAT IMPRESSION,
THAT COULD AT LEAST FIGHT
AGAINST THE IMAGES OF THINGS
THEY HEAR.
>> I AGREE.
JUST LIKE WE HAVE CAREER DAYS.
POSSIBLY HAVE A DAY WHERE WE
BRING DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS OF
PEOPLE, DIFFERENT ETHNICITIES,
PEOPLE WHO COME IN AND SHARE WHO
THEY ARE AND HOW THEY FEEL.
>> WHAT THAT DOES, WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT HUMANIZING.
AND ONE OF THE BEST WEAPONS, I
GUESS I'LL SAY, OF PREJUDICE, IS
DEHUMANIZING.
>> WE CAN INTRODUCE PRESUMES TO
SCHOOLS.
WE CAN DO THAT.
HOW DO WE GET TO PARENTS?
HOW DO WE GET TO THE CHILDREN
WHEN THEY'RE YOUNG AND
IMPRESSIONABLE AND MALLEABLE?
AND LEARNING THESE THINGS?
HOW DO WE GET PARENTS TO
UNDERSTAND THE EXTRAORDINARY
POWER THEY HAVE TO TEACH EMPATHY
AND NOT HATRED.
>> I DON'T MEAN TO SOUND
CYNICAL.
I THINK WE HAVE TO START WITH
THE LAW.
I THINK PARENTS NEED TO KNOW,
NOBODY WILL GET AWAY WITH A HATE
CRIME.
WITH A BIAS CRIME.
AND THEY NEED TO BE AFRAID TO
COMMIT THESE ACTS AND THEY NEED
TO TEACH THEIR KIDS THAT THEY
WILL HAVE SEVERE CONSEQUENCES.
THIS NEW BAIL LAW IN NEW YORK
CITY WHICH IS ALLOWING PEOPLE
WHO COMMIT HATE CRIMES, AS LONG
AS THEY'RE NOT RIDICULOUSLY
VIOLENT, THEY GET OUT UNTIL
THEIR TRIAL.
AND WE'VE HAD SITUATIONS IN THE
LAST COUPLE WEEKS.
PEOPLE HAVE COMMITTED ATTACKS.
AND WERE LET OUT.
THAT HAS TO CHANGE.
>> MUHAMMAD?
>> I FEEL LIKE WITH A RABBI MARK
SAID IS VERY IMPORTANT.
ALSO, IF WE CAN START CORRECTING
AS DR. GAIL HAS MENTIONED, START
CORRECTING THESE PARENTS.
AS A CHILD, WE GET THESE
PERCEPTION OF THE MINORITIES AS
A CERTAIN WAY TO HATE TOWARD
THEM.
IF THE PARENTS WOULD START
CORRECTING THEIR HATE, CATCHING
THEMSELVES BEFORE COMMITTING THE
MISTAKE.
THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO TEACH
THEIR CHILDREN.
MANY PEOPLE HATE ANOTHER GROUP
OF PEOPLE, MINORITIES, WITHOUT
REALIZING THAT THEY'RE HATING
SOMEONE.
UNTIL THEY DEHUMANIZE THAT
PERSON.
NOW THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE ARE NO
LONGER HUMANS TO THEM SO THEY
DON'T FEEL EMPATHY, THEY DON'T
FEEL ANYTHING TOWARD THEM.
ONE THE OF BEST WAYS WOULD BE TO
FIRST GETTING PARENTS TO LEARN
ABOUT HATE ITSELF.
WHAT IT IS THAT THEY HATE.
WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE HATE.
BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE
MIGHT HATE, WE JUST SPREAD IT
ALL OVER.
>> EDUCATION IS USUALLY
IMPORTANT.
I THINK MOST PARENTS WOULD
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY WANT TO
BRING UP A CHILD WHO WILL COME
INTO A WORLD THAT WE WOULD WANT
TO BE IN.
THEY WANT A CHILD WHO WILL BE A
GOOD CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.
AND I THINK BASICALLY, TALKING
WITH PARENTS, WHETHER IT IS
SCHOOLS TALKING WITH PARENTS,
PROGRAMS LIKE THIS.
BEING ABLE TO TALK TO PARENTS
ABOUT HOW THEY CAN BEST DO THAT.
BASICALLY, EDUCATION ABOUT THESE
THINGS.
IT REALLY STARTS AT HOME.
EVEN WHEN THEY GO TO SCHOOL,
THEY STILL COME HOME.
THE PARENTS WILL STILL BE THE
BIGGEST INFLUENCE EVEN IN THE
TEEN YEARS WHEN THEY THINK THEIR
KIDS LISTENING AT ALL, THEY ARE.
SO WE HAVE TO EDUCATE PARENTS
ABOUT WHAT THEY CAN BE DOING.
WHEN THEY GO TO A SYNAGOGUE,
WHEN THEY GO TO CHURCH AND HOW
THEY INTERACT WITH OTHERS AND
HOW THEY TALK WITH THEIR
CHILDREN ABOUT IT.
>> THESE ARE EXTRAORDINARILY
COMPLEX ISSUES.
THEY ARE EXTRAORDINARILY
IMPORTANT ISSUES.
I THINK HAVING THESE
CONVERSATIONS, HAVING THE THREE
OF YOU HERE, CONTRIBUTING YOUR
THOUGHTS HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL.
THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US.
>> AND THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING
US FOR THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF
"METROFOCUS."
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RABBI
WILDES ORGANIZATIONS, MUHAMMAD
KAHN AND DR. GAIL SALT DOES Z.

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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