METROFOCUS: March 23, 2021

On March 23, 2020, Rochester police officers put a spit-hood over the head of a mentally distraught Black man, Daniel Prude, then pressed his body against the pavement until he stopped breathing. Police initially described his death as a drug overdose. But six months later, their body camera video proved otherwise. Now one year later, a grand jury has ruled the officers will not face criminal charges. An independent investigation into the city of Rochester’s response to the death has determined officials “suppressed” information and lied to the public. And now a wrongful death suit has been filed on behalf of his five children. Tonight, the community wants answers. As part of our Chasing The Dream initiative we take you to Rochester, New York where lead pastor at Spiritus Christi church, Reverend Myra Brown tells us about the community she’s preaching to heal. Plus she shares her own family’s recent grief over the police killing of her cousin just two weeks ago, by Rochester police during a mentally unstable encounter spurred by the loss of his grandmother and great grandmother.

For so many New Yorkers last week’s shootings in Atlanta were an all too painful reminder of the hate Asian Americans encounter every day. Some of New York City’s leading voices have been sounding the alarm about the severity of this problem well before the Georgia attack. And as the investigation continues into the shootings- which many believe to have clearly been racially motivated- there’s also a push to counter the spread of hate here at home by raising awareness about the issues and history at hand. Tonight, as part of our Exploring Hate initiative, Frank Wu, Queens College President, author of “Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White” and one of the voices driving this conversation both nationally and on campus joins us.

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, THE JPB FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME STO S TO 'METROFOCUS.'

ONE YEAR AGO DANIEL PRUDE, A 41-YEAR-OLD BLACK MAN, WAS KILLED AFTER BEING PHYSICALLY RESTRAINED BY POLICE IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK.

BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE LATER REVEALED THAT EXCESSIVE FORCE USED BY POLICE ULTIMATELY LED TO PRUDE'S DEATH.

PROTESTS ERUPTED IN RESPONSE TO THE FOOTAGE WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS STEPPING UP TO SEE THAT OUTRAGED CITIZENS COULD PEACEFULLY PROTEST WITHOUT FEAR OF FURTHER VIOLENCE BY POLICE.

THE ROCHESTER CITY COUNCIL HELD ITS OWN INVESTIGATION, WHICH ALLEGED THAT SEVERAL PROMINENT CITY OFFICIALS, INCLUDING THE MAYOR, MAY HAVE KNOWN MORE ABOUT THE ACTIONS OF POLICE THAN THEY INITIALLY CLAIMED TO.

TONIGHT AS PART OF OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE, WE'RE JOINED BY LEAD PASTOR AND PRIEST AT SPIRITUS CHRISTIE CHURCH REVEREND MYRA BROWN TO REVISIT THE DANIEL PRUDE INCIDENT ONE YEAR LATER.

REVEREND BROWN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

I FIRST WANT TO START OFF BY GIVING MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCES FROM ALL OF US AT CHANNEL 13 FOR THE LOSS OF YOUR COUSIN TYSON JONES WHO WAS KILLED BY ROCHESTER POLICE JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO.

CAN YOU JUST TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HIM?

YEAH.

TYSHAWN WAS A BRIGHT YOUNG MAN.

HE WAS IN POSSESSION OF HIS MENTAL HEALTH, HE WAS BRILLIANT, HE WAS KIND, HE WAS HUMBLE, VERY SPIRITUAL.

HE LOVED READING HIS BIBLE AND SENDING BIBLE QUOTES TO HIS FATHER AND HIS GRANDMOTHER WHO PRACTICALLY RAISED HIM IN THE CHURCH AND TAUGHT HIM HIS FAITH.

THERE WAS NOTHING HE WOULDN'T DO FOR YOU.

HE WAS ALWAYS INSPIRING HIS BROTHERS AND HIS SISTERS.

YOU KNOW, HE WAS UNIQUE.

HE WAS A UNIQUE YOUNG MAN, BUT HE WOULD REALLY GIVE YOU THE SHIRT OFF HIS BACK, YOU KNOW.

IT WASN'T HIS FAULT THAT HE ENDED UP WITH MENTAL ILLNESS THAT TOOK HIM AWAY FROM HIMSELF.

WE NEVER THOUGHT THAT HIS MENTAL ILLNESS WOULD BE A DEATH SENTENCE ON THE STREETS OF ROCHESTER AT THE HANDS OF POLICE.

IT ENDED UP BEING JUST THAT.

TY, SHAWN WAS ENCOUNTERED BY POLICE WHO ASSUMED THAT HE DIDN'T BELONG THERE, THAT HE WAS A HOMELESS MAN.

HE ACTUALLY LIVED 15 MINUTES FROM WHERE THEY FOUND HIM.

SO THEY TOOK HIM TO A HOMELESS SHELTER.

HE GOES INTO A HOMELESS SHELTER AND HE TOOK A KNIFE AND STARTED CUTTING HIMSELF, SO OF COURSE THEY CALLED THE POLICE.

THE POLICE SHOWED UP.

THEY KNEW IT WAS A MENTAL HEALTH CALL.

YOU COULD HEAR ON THE VIDEO THAT THE OFFICER KNEW THAT HE WASN'T ACTING HIMSELF.

YET THEY SHOWED UP WITHOUT A PLAN.

LIKE THEY CALLED FOR EITHER A TASER OR BEANBAG GUN.

YOU HEAR AN OFFICER AFTER TYSHAWN HAS BEEN SHOT SAYING, WHO WANTS THE BEANBAG, WHICH IS WAY TOO LATE.

SO THE OFFICER GETS OUT AND ENGAGED HIM BY YELLING AT HIM TO DROP THE KNIFE, AS IF PEOPLE WHO WERE IN MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS CAN SET THEIR MENTAL ILLNESS ASIDE BECAUSE WE YELL AT THEM, RIGHT?

SO IT BECAME HIS AUTHORITY AND POWER AGAINST TYSHAWN'S MENTAL ILLNESS.

SO HE DIDN'T SEE HIS HUMANITY AND HE CALLED HIM NAMES THAT WOULD NOT HAVE RESONATED AND THEN HE SET UP SORT OF THIS WILD WILD WEST ME VERSUS YOU SCENARIO, THE OFFICER BACKING UP, PULLING OUT HIS REVOLVER.

TYSHAWN CONTINUED TO WALK TORTOWARD HIM MUMBLING SOMETHING ABOUT JESUS AND KILLING.

WE NEED A TEAM HERE, PEOPLE WHO COULD HELP US.

AND IT ENDED BADLY.

HE CONTINUED TO WALK THIS OFFICER BACKWARDS YELLING AT TYSHAWN.

TYSHAWN CONTINUED TO COME TOWARDS HIM.

AFTER OVER 100 STEPS HE CONTINUED TO WALK FASTER TOWARD THE OFFICER AND HE PUT THREE BULLETS IN HIS CHEST AND TWO IN HIS STOMACH AND HE BASICALLY DIED THERE.

FOR THE SAKE OF PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE WONDERING WHY I THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO START OFF WITH THAT QUESTION, I JUST FEEL LIKE THERE'S NO MANY PARALLELS BETWEEN WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR COUSIN TYSHAWN AND WHAT HAPPENED TO DANIEL PRUDE.

I'M WONDERING WHAT DOES THAT TELL US ABOUT WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED, HAVE THERE BEEN ANY CHANGES?

WHERE DOES THE FACT THAT A VERY SIMILAR INCIDENT HAPPENING AGAIN ALMOST AROUND THE SAME TIME OF YEAR, WHAT HAS THAT DONE TO THE ROCHESTER COMMUNITY?

YEAH.

THE ROCHESTER COMMUNITY UNDERSTANDS THAT WE'RE UP IN ARMS REALLY.

REALLY THE COMMUNITY WANTS CHANGE AND THEY WANT IT QUICKLY.

YOU KNOW, WHAT WE HAVE SAID ON THE GROUND IS WE'VE TRACED REALLY THESE EXPERIENCES, BOTH OF THOSE BACK.

IN ROCHESTER WE ARE WORKING FROM AN 18-19 POLICING BLUEPRINT WHICH IS PATTERNED AFTER SLAVE PATROLLED.

IN STEEPED IN WHITE SUPREMACY PATTERNS.

AFS IT WAS FORMULATED TO PROTECT WHITE WEALTH AND PROPERTY.

IT WASN'T DESIGNED TO PROTECT PEOPLE OF COLOR.

WE'RE NOT GETTING IT ON THE GROUND.

WE REALIZE THIS BLUEPRINT IS A PROBLEM AND WE NEED AND WE'RE CALLING FOR A NEW POLICING BLUEPRINT.

THERE ARE OTHERS IN THE COMMUNITY CALLING FOR REFORMS.

IF WE DON'T FIX THE BLUEPRINT OF 1819, ANY REFORMS WE PUT ON TOP OF THAT WILL FAIL.

FAULTY REFORMS WILL FAIL BECAUSE THEY WILL BE ON A FAULTY BLUEPRINT.

WE NEED TO REIMAGINE THE BLUEPRINT OF PUBLIC SAFETY IF WE ARE GOING TO MAKE REAL CHANGES.

SO THERE'S LOTS OF ACTIVITY AND EFFORTS HAPPENING ON THE GROUND.

THE MAYOR HAS PUT OUT A REFORM DOCUMENT AS A RESPONSE TO THE GOVERNOR'S EXECUTIVE ORDER 203 CALLING FOR REFORMS.

MANY COMMUNITY GROUPS MYSELF, GROUPS THAT I'M A PART OF, THE PASTORS' ROUNDTABLE, THE UNITED CHURCH LEADERSHIP MINISTRIES.

THERE'S A RACE COMMISSION THAT HAS BEEN MEETING LOOKING AT STRUCTURAL AND INSTITUTIONAL RACISM.

THERE'S BEEN OF THESE GROUPS THAT HAVE BEEN SUBMITTING, THE POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD HAS MADE RECOMMENDATIONS.

SO RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN COMING FROM EVERYWHERE.

RIGHT NOW THAT'S KIND OF WHERE WE ARE, IS THERE'S A PLETHORA OF RECOMMENDATIONS.

THEY'VE NOW BEEN SENT TO OUR CITY COUNCIL WHO WILL VOTE ON THAT THIS THURSDAY.

THEY HAD A COUPLE OF COMMUNITY HEARINGS AND HEARING FROM THE COMMUNITY.

LOTS OF PEOPLE CALLING FOR CHANGE, BUT NO CLEAR DIRECTION ON WHERE WE'RE GOING WITH THAT CHANGE.

AND THERE IS SOME RESISTANCE TO START WITH CHANGING THE BLUEPRINT.

THEY ARE REALLY WANTING TO NIBBLE AROUND THE EDGES ON REFORM.

IF THEY DO THAT, THAT'S GOING TO BE UNFORTUNATE.

SO WHEN IT COMES TO CHANGE, BECAUSE OF COURSE WHAT WE'VE SEEN UNFOLDING IN ROCHESTER IS NOT JUST THE BEHAVIOR OF THE POLICE BASED ON THIS BLUEPRINT THAT YOU JUST MENTIONED, BUT ALSO SOME QUESTIONABLE CHOICES BY CITY OFFICIALS.

I MENTIONED MAYOR LOVELY WARREN IN THE INTRO.

FROM THE COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE, I'M WONDERING WHAT IS IT THAT ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO HAPPEN FIRST?

LIKE, IF THERE WAS A FIRST STEP, IS IT A CHANGE IN POLICING POLICY, IS IT A CHANGE IN PERHAPS CITY LEADERSHIP?

WHAT IS THAT CRITICAL FIRST STEP THAT NEEDS TO BE SHOWN THAT THERE IS AN UNDERSTANDING AND AT LEAST AN APPRECIATION OF WHAT'S HAPPENING AND WHAT NEEDS TO NOT HAPPEN?

YEAH.

I THINK FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE WE'D LIKE THE GOVERNOR OR STATE POLITICIANS TO ACTUALLY PUT FORTH LEGISLATION THAT SAYS ANY POLICING BLUEPRINT THAT WAS CONSTRUCTED FOR CITIES IN THE 1800s NEEDS TO GO.

WE NEED TO DISSOLVE THAT AND START A NEW POLICING BLUEPRINT PROCESS WHERE PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE ACTUALLY AT THE TABLE INSTEAD OF BEING ON THE MENU, RIGHT, IN TERMS OF THE LACK OF SAFETY THAT WE FEEL.

WITHOUT THAT, I THINK WE'LL BE DOING THIS FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, TEN YEARS FROM NOW AND LEAVING THAT FOR GENERATIONS THAT COME AFTER US.

I THINK THIS IS OUR MOMENT TO FIX THE POLICING BLUEPRINT AND DECLARE WE'RE REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THE OVERHAUL OF POLICING.

THE CULTURE ATTACHED TO AN 1819 BLUEPRINT DOES NOT SERVE IT AND IT DOES NOT HELP WHITE OFFICERS OR OFFICERS OR COLOR WHO ARE ALL SWIMMING IN THIS MESSAGING ABOUT BLACK AND BROWN BODIES DIFFERENT THAN WHITE BODIES.

WE HAD PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT HAD KNIVES AFTER POLICE AND THEY DIDN'T END UP IN THE MORGUE.

WE HAD WHITE PEOPLE WHO ENDED UP IN THE HOSPITAL.

THEY DIDN'T END UP SEGMENTS LIKE DANIEL PRUDE ON THE STREETS AND DEAD AND HAVING HIS LIFE SUCKED AWAY FROM HIM.

WE HAVE A WHITE SUPREMACY RACE PROBLEM IN POLICING IN ROCHESTER AND WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT.

THEN THE VERY NEXT STEP REALLY IS TO GET RID OF THESE PRACTICES, THESE TRAININGS THAT HARM DISPROPORTIONATELY BLACK AND BROWN FOLKS, RIGHT, THE CHOKEHOLDS, THE SEGMENTING, THE PEPPER SPRAYING OF CHILDREN AND MOTHERS WITH CHILDREN.

THAT'S HAPPENED IN ROCHESTER SINCE DANIEL PRUDE.

SO WE HAVE ALL THESE PRACTICES THAT ARE DISPENSED AGAINST CITIZENS, PARTICULARLY BLACK AND BROWN CITIZENS REALLY THAT ARE INAPPROPRIATE AND DISPROPORTIONATE IN HOW WHITE CITIZENS ARE TREATED IN THE DELIVERY OF PUBLIC SAFETY.

WE'RE NOT SAFE.

PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE NOT SAFE IN THE ROCHESTER COMMUNITY SO WE REALLY NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE FOR AN OVERHAUL OF HOW DUO PUBLIC SAFETY, AND THE GOAL NEEDS TO BE DEVELOPING A REAL CONCEPT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND THRIVING COMMUNITIES, WHICH WILL INCLUDE SHARED CONTROL OF OUR COMMUNITY, WHICH WILL INCLUDE REAL REALLOCATING FUNDS SO WE CAN INVEST NORTHBOUNIN COMMUNITIES AND REDUCE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AND CRIME AND HELP COMMUNITIES TO THRIVE.

THAT ECONOMIC DEPRIVATION IS A REASON WE ARE NOT SAFE.

UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE.

REV REEREND MYRA BROWN, THANK Y FOR JOINING US.

> WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

FOR SO MANY NEW YORKERS, LAST WEEK'S SHOOTING IN THE ATLANTA AREA WAS AN ALL-TOO-PAINFUL REMINDER OF THE HATE ASIAN AMERICANS ENCOUNTER EVERY SINGLE DAY.

SOM AS THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES INTO THE VIOLENCE, WHICH MANY FEEL WAS CLEARLY RACIALLY MOTIVATED, THERE'S ALSO AN EFFORT TO RAISE THE AWARENESS ABOUT THE COMPLEX HISTORY AT HAND.

OUR NEXT GUEST IS HELPING DRIVE THIS CONVERSATION NATIONALLY AND ON CAMPUS.

FRANK WU IS PRESIDENT OF QUEEN'S COLLEGE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AND AUTHOR OF THE BOOK 'YELLOW, RACE IN AMERICA, BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE.'

HE ALSO WROTE THE FORWARD TO THE RECENT REPORT FROM THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK ON THE SURGE OF HATE DURING COVID.

AND HE JOINS US NOW AS PART OF OUR EXPLORING HATE INITIATIVE EXAMINING THE INTERSECTION OF ANTI-SEMITISM, RACISM AND EXTREMISM IN AMERICA.

WELCOME PRESIDENT WU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME TO TALK ABOUT SUCH AN IMPORTANT SUBJECT.

ABSOLUTELY.

FIRST, I JUST WANT TO START WITH WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MESSAGE THAT YOU'VE BEEN AT LEAST TRYING TO GET TO STUDENTS ON CAMPUS AND OF COURSE THE LARGER NEW YORK COMMUNITY, ESPECIALLY FOLLOWING THE ATLANTA SHOOTINGS?

WELL, I CAME TO QUEENS COLLEGE BECAUSE THE BOROUGH WAS THE MOST DIVERSE PLACE NOT JUST IN THE CITY, NOT JUST IN THE NATION, BUT ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET.

QUEENS AS A COUNTY ACTUALLY HAS MORE LANGUAGES SPOKEN THAN ANY OTHER PLACE ANYWHERE, PROBABLY IN HUMAN HISTORY.

SO WE KNOW THAT FOR MANY OF OUR STUDENTS, THESE ISSUES ARE ALL TOO REAL.

MY MESSAGE TO THEM IS WE WILL BE A SAFE PLACE FOR YOU AS WE EMERGE FROM THIS PANDEMIC.

WE HAVE BECOME AWARE THAT AS WE REBUILD WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, THE RACIAL DISPARITIES THAT ARE JUST ALL AROUND US AND IT'S FINALLY BECOME APPARENT AND IT'S BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED.

MANY HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN, BUT NOW THE WORLD IS AWARE.

THIS IS SERIOUS.

IT'S A PATTERN.

IT'S A PROBLEM.

HOW DO YOU ADDRESS PERHAPS CONCERNS OR FEARS NOT JUST OF THE KIDS ON CAMPUS, BUT THE COLLEGE STUDENTS AND OF COURSE THE LARGER COMMUNITY IN QUEENS ABOUT THE CRIMES THAT MIGHT BE HAPPENING OR COULD CONTINUE TO HAPPEN IN THIS CHARGED EMOTIONAL CLIMATE RIGHT NOW?

RIGHT.

FOR ASIAN AMERICANS THE DIFFICULTY IS GETTING ANYONE TO PAY ATTENTION.

THESE ISSUES AREN'T NEW, BUT THE AWARENESS IS.

ASIAN AMERICANS HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE THE UNITED STATES CIVIL WAR.

MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THAT.

THERE ARE SIXTH, EVEN SEVENTH GENERATION ASIAN AMERICANS.

THERE ARE AFRO ASIANS.

THERE ARE EVEN ASIAN AMERICANS ADOPTED BY WHITE PARENTS.

WE TRY TO PUT EVERYONE INTO JUST ONE OF TWO BOXES.

THE POINT I'VE TRIED TO MAKE IS, LOOK, THAT PICTURE OF THE WORLD JUST ISN'T ACCURATE.

THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE LEGITIMATE, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE MIXED, PEOPLE WHO ARE JEWISH, PEOPLE WHO ARE ARAB, WHO ARE PROUD OF WHITE ETHNIC ROOTS.

WHEN WE TALK AS IF EVERYTHING IS BLACK AND WHITE, THAT DOESN'T GIVE US AN ACCURATE PICTURE, A GOOD UNDERSTANDING.

THE OTHER ISSUE IS WE LIKE EVERYTHING TO BE FIGURATIVELY BLACK AND WHITE, FOR IT TO BE VILLAINS AND VICTIMS.

WE WANT OUR BIGOTS TO BE WICKED AND IN YOUR FACE SHOUTING THEIR HATRED AND THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THE CASE.

OF COURSE.

AND THAT DOES SEEM TO BE SOMETHING THAT AMERICA STRUGGLES WITH, WHICH IS ACTUALLY SOMETHING THAT I FEEL LIKE YOUR BOOK HAS SORT OF TOUCHED ON BEYOND RACE, BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE.

AS YOU TALK ABOUT, AS YOU JUST MENTIONED, THE HISTORY OF ASIAN AMERICANS IN THIS COUNTRY, I'M ALSO WONDERING IF YOU COULD SORT OF ALSO ADD IN THE ISSUE OF HOW WIDE AND BROAD AND HOW MUCH DEPTH THERE IS WITHIN THE D DIASPORA.

WE PAINT WITH THIS BROAD BRUSH WHEN THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY THE CASE.

SURE.

GROWING UP I USED TO HEAR ALL THE TIME, WE ALL LOOK ALIKE, RIGHT?

IN MANY OF THESE HATE CRIMES WHAT HAPPENS IS IT'S MISTAKEN IDENTITY TWICE OVER.

SOMEONE GETS MAD ABOUT A REAL ISSUE.

RIGHT NOW IT'S COVID-19.

BEFORE IT WAS VIETNAM OR PEARL HARBOR.

THEY JUST GO AFTER ANYONE WITH THIS COLOR OF SKIN, TEXTURE OF HAIR, SHAPE OF EYES.

SOMETIMES THEY ATTACK SOMEONE WHO IS JAPANESE, KOREAN, BURMESE, NOT CHINESE.

AND THEY ATTACK SOMEONE WHO'S AN AMERICAN.

MAYBE THEIR FAMILY HAS BEEN HERE FOR THREE GENERATIONS LIVING IN CHINATOWN.

THEY'VE NEVER BEEN TO ASIA, RIGHT?

SO THEY HAVE THE WRONG ETHNIC BACKGROUND AND THEY'RE LOOKING AT A CITIZEN NOT A FOREIGNER.

NOW, IT WOULDN'T BE RIGHT IF THEY WENT AND FOUND SOMEONE RANDOM AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF WHO THEY WERE MAD AT.

BUT WHEN SOMEONE'S GOING TO SPIT ON YOU, WHEN THEY'RE GOING TO STAB YOU, WHEN THEY'RE GOING TO SHOOT YOU, THEY DON'T PAUSE AND SAY, DO YOU HAVE YOUR PASSPORT, BECAUSE IF YOU'RE A U.S. CITIZEN WE'LL LEAVE YOU ALONE.

NO.

THEY STILL SHOVE YOU TO THE GROUND.

ELDERLY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN FORCED TO BREAK BONES EVEN IF YOU'RE NO DIFFERENT.

SOME PEOPLE THINK ASIAN AMERICANS ARE ALL WELL TO DO OR IN THAT PEJORATIVE PHRASE FRESH OFF THE BOAT, WHEN MANY OF THEM ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN NEIGHBORS AND COWORKERS.

BUT THAT GIVES ME HOPE.

SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE REACHED OUT, COLLEAGUES, ACQUAINTANCES HAVE REACHED OUT AND SAID I WANTED TO CHECK ON YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR FATHER.

MY FATHER IS 85.

I AM SO TOUCHED BECAUSE I'VE NEVER SEEN THIS.

ON THE ONE HAND, IT'S A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY.

THERE ARE ALL THESE INCIDENTS.

WE SEE THE VIRAL VIDEOS.

NOW THAT PEOPLE ARE AWARE, AGAIN AND AGAIN, HEADLINE AFTER HEADLINE.

BUT THE POSITIVE ASPECT IS ALL THESE FOLKS, RIGHT LEFT, LATINO, NOT JUST PEOPLE OF ASIAN BACKGROUND REACH OUT AND SAY, I'M HERE FOR YOU.

THAT GIVES ME HOPE.

SPEAKING OF THE HOPE THAT YOU HAVE, WHICH I THINK SO MANY PEOPLE ARE DESPERATELY HUNGRY FOR RIGHT NOW.

TO GIVE SOME MORE CONTEXT TO OUR AUDIENCE, YOU HAVE SOMETHING OF A UNIQUE BACKGROUND, YOUR UPBRINGING AND OF COURSE THE BEGINNINGS OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER THAT GIVES YOU A MUCH MORE CONOF A CONTEXT?

SURE.

I'M FROM DETROIT.

WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, THERE WAS A BRUTAL HATE CRIME.

SOMEONE NAMED VINCENT CHIN WAS BLUDGEONED TO DEATH WITH A BASEBALL BAT.

THE ATTACKERS WERE TWO AUTO WORKERS WHO WERE WHITE AND THEY BLAMED HIM FOR THE SUCCESS OF JAPANESE CARS.

NEVER MIND THAT HE WAS CHINESE AMERICAN.

I WENT AS THE FIRST ASIAN AMERICAN TO BE A FACULTY MEMBER AT ITS STORIED LAW SCHOOL.

THAT MADE ME -- WELL, I LEARNED AS MUCH AS I TAUGHT.

IT MADE ME REALIZE I AM PREJUDICED DESPITE MYSELF.

I ENJOY PRIVILEGE I DON'T EVEN NOTICE.

AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO JOIN AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY, THE HISTORIC BLACK STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY.

WHEN I RESEARCHED IT I REALIZED WHEN MALCOLM X SPOKE IN 1963, THE NEXT LINE YOU REMEMBER IS, WE CANNOT WALK ALONG.

THE JAPANESE AMERICAN CITIZENS SENT A DELEGATION UNDER HOT SUN THERE TO BE WITH HIM.

WHEN MALCOLM X WAS KILLED, HIS CLOSEST ASSOCIATE -- HE'S DYING IN THE AUDUBON BALLROOM.

THERE'S A PETITE ASIAN WOMAN HOLDING HIS HEAD.

SHE WAS PART OF HIS INNER CIRCLE.

THOSE WERE FOLKS WHO SET AN EXAMPLE FOR ME, BECAUSE THEY KNEW THIS STRUGGLE WAS ONE THEY COULD JOIN AS AN ALLY.

HOW MUCH OF A MORE THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMPLEX AND INTERWOVEN NARRATIVE OF RACE, AGAIN, BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE AS YOUR BOOK SAYS, IS CRITICAL TO NOT ONLY BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND BUT ADDRESS THE ISSUES THAT WE'RE FACING NOW?

IT'S SO IMPORTANT JUST TO START WITH THE FACTS.

IT'S NOT OUT OF ETHNIC PRIDE THAT I WANT ASIAN AMERICANS TO BE INCLUDED.

PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE, THERE ARE FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE WHO WILL RECRUIT ASIAN AMERICANS AND CELEBRATE THEM AS THE MODEL MINORITY, HOLD THEM UP WITH FALSE FLATTERY AND SAY AFRICAN-AMERICANS, LATINOS AND OTHER PEOPLE, LOOK AT THE ASIANS, THEY MADE IT, WHY CAN'T YOU?

AN INAPPROPRIATE COMPARISON.

MY HOPE IS WE CAN ENTER THIS PICTURE POSITIVELY AND SAY HOW CAN WE BUILD THESE BRIDGES.

WE REALIZE THERE ARE COALITIONS.

WE'VE JUST FORGOTTEN ABOUT THEM.

THERE HAVE BEEN LABOR MOVEMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN JOINED BY PEOPLE OF EVERY ETHNIC BACKGROUND WHO HAVE REFUSED TO BE DIVIDED.

THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE AFRO-ASIAN.

JAZZ GREAT CHARLES MINGUS WAS CHINESE.

IT WAS HIS GRANDFATHER THAT HE WAS PAYING HOMAGE TO ON THE ALBUM COVER.

THERE'S THIS HISTORY THAT GOES BACK.

IT'S ALWAYS BEEN THERE.

WE'VE JUST FORGOTTEN IT OR IT'S BEEN COVERED OVER.

THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF TALK RIGHT NOW ABOUT PUSHING FOR BETTER STRONGER HATE CRIME LEGISLATION FOR ANTI-ASIAN CRIMES BUT FOR ALL HATE CRIMES.

AND I'VE BEEN ASKING SO MANY PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT SEEMS TO BE A CONTENTIOUS ISSUE OF JUST GETTING SOMETHING CONSIDERED TO BE A HATE CRIME.

ARE TOUGHER LAWS THE ANSWER?

DOES THERE NEED TO BE PERHAPS TRANSPARENCY AND DOES IT NEED TO COME FROM THE FEDERAL LEVEL OR CAN WE RELY, AS SOME PEOPLE WOULD PREFER, ON A STATE TO STATE METHOD OF ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES?

WE NEED MORE ENFORCEMENT.

WE NEED TOUGHER LAWS.

WE NEED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

YES TO ALL OF THAT.

I'LL EXPLAIN WHY.

THE LAW HAS ALWAYS LOOKED AT A PERSON'S SPENT.

IF YOU RUN SOMEONE OVER NEGLIGENTLY, THAT'S DIFFERENT IF YOU'RE DRUNK OR YOU INTENTIONALLY RUN THEM OVER.

THE HATE CRIMES LAW WE HAVE NOW IS UNLESS SOMEBODY COMES AT YOU AND SHOUTS AT YOU 'I AM A WHITE SUPREMACIST AND I AM COMING AFTER YOU,' YOU CAN'T GET THE PROSECUTORS TO PRESS THOSE CHARGES, YOU CAN'T GET THE JURY TO CONVICT.

EVEN KILLERS KNOW RIGHT AWAY TO SAY, OH, THIS WASN'T ME.

YOU LOOK AT THIS ATLANTA CASE.

THE POLICE OFFICIAL IN CHARGE, OH, HE WAS JUST HAVING A BAD DAY.

THIS IS AFTER EIGHT PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND THE KILLER CONFESSED, RIGHT?

SO NO ONE'S WONDERING IS HE GUILTY, HE DID IT.

BUT PEOPLE WANT TO SAY, AS IF TO EXCUSE HIM, BECAUSE HE SAID HE'S NOT A BIGOT, THEN IT'S OKAY.

YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THINGS, MAYBE WE CAN'T SEE INTO SOMEONE'S HEART.

WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE THEY WERE RACIST ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

MAYBE THEY WEREN'T, BUT THE EFFECT IS RACIAL, THE CONSEQUENCES ARE RACIAL, BECAUSE THE SUFFERING IS RACIAL, DIRECTED AT ONE COMMUNITY THAT'S TRAUMATIZED AND TERRORIZED.

SO THIS RECENT CASE ALSO SHOWS SADLY WHY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED, BECAUSE THE LOCAL OFFICIALS -- THAT POLICE OFFICER THAT WAS TAKEN OFF THE CASE ALSO WAS POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT THE CHINA VIRUS.

SO IT'S NO WONDER HE DIDN'T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

SIX OUT OF EIGHT OF THOSE PEOPLE WERE OF ASIAN DESCENT.

HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED THAN THE PERSON DROVE AROUND TO ASIAN BUSINESSES SPECIFICALLY TARGETED A MINORITY GROUP AND THEN ADMITTED TO KILLING ALL THESE PEOPLE?

THAT CASE, THAT'S A PRETTY CUT CASE BUT EVEN THEN THERE'S THAT IS ALL HESITANCY BECAUSE THE LAW IS WRITTEN NOW UNLESS THE PERSON JUST ADMITS NOT ONLY DID I KILL THESE PEOPLE, BUT LET ME SAY I'M A BIGOT.

EVEN MURDERERS KNOW NOT TO DO THAT.

UNFORTUNATELY WE HARE GOING O HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE.

PRESIDENT WU, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO JOIN US AND GIVING US A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON ABOUT RACE IN AMERICA AND HELPING US BETTER UNDERSTAND WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW AND WHAT'S HAPPENING.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AND HOPEFULLY WE'LL SPEAK AGAIN SOON.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

ABSOLUTELY.

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

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, PATTI ASKWITH KENNER.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, 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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