SPECIAL REPORT: HATE, FAITH AND FORGIVENESS

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. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS.'

SPECIAL REPORT.

BLESS WITH US THE COURAGE TO OVERCOME TRAGEDY.

BLESS WITH US THE STRENGTH TO HEAL THE WOUNDS OF HATRED AND BLESS WITH US SOLIDARITY TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE.

THE RABBI WHO SURVIVED THE ATTACK CALLS FOR UNITY AND THE COMMUNITY ANSWERS.

WHAT DO WE WANT?

NO HATE, NO FEAR.

WITHOUT HATE OR FEAR, 25,000 HE MARCH IN THE SOLIDARITY AGAINSTATE SEMITISM.

THE PROTEST WAS SPARKED BY A RECENT SPREE OF ATTACKS IN THE NEW YORK METRO AREA.

THE GOVERNOR IS NOW CALLING FOR STRICTER PENALTIES AGAINST PERPETRATORS OF HATE AS THE MAYOR RECOMMENDS GRADE SCHOOL PROGRAMS TO THE ROUT IT OUT BEFORE IT CAN BE LEARNED.

TONIGHT, WE'LL SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON HATE, FAITH AND FORGIVENESS.

WITH TWO COMMUNITY LEADERS, ONE JEWISH AND ONE MUSLIM, WHO BOTH ATTENDED THE SOLIDARITY MARCH AND ARE BOTH FIGHTING FOR CHANGE.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

> 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.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY...

Funders

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

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