MetroFocus: May 18, 2021

As 24-hour service has returned to the rails, so has crime. Tonight, as Mayor DeBlasio deploys 250 NYPD officers to the subway, making it the largest underground transit force in 25 years, GOP Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis weighs in on what she calls a losing battle against crime and discusses her demands to President Biden and the US Attorney General to send the feds to help the NYPD.

On the eve of what would have been Malcolm X’s 96th birthday, his daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz joins us to discuss her father’s legacy, the importance of his work in such a pivotal year for social justice and the George Floyd verdict. Plus she’ll give us a look inside tomorrow’s virtual birthday celebration and the future of the Shabazz Center.

TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORWARD 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.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

MORE THAN 500 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SHOT IN NEW YORK CITY THIS YEAR ALONE UNTIL THE EARLY PART OF MAY.

ACCORDING TO THE 'NEW YORK TIMES,' THAT'S THE HIGHEST YEAR TO DATE NUMBER IN A DECADE.

THIS SPIKE IN GUN VIOLENCE, INCLUDING A HIGH PROFILE SHOOTING IN TIMES SQUARE, HAS PUSHED CONCERN OVER PUBLIC SAFETY TO THE FOREFRONT IN THE CITY AND INDEED IN THE STATE.

THE CITY'S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AND THOSE RUNNING FOR MAYOR SEEM TO AGREE THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM HERE, BUT MAJOR DIVISIONS REMAIN OVER WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM.

SOME ARE CALLING FOR FEDERAL HELP, INCLUDING CONGRESSWOMAN NICOLE, THE FRESHMAN REPUBLICAN RECENTLY WROTE TO PRESIDENT BIDEN AND ALSO TO ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND URGING THEM TO DEPLOY ADDITIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES TO ASSIST THE NYPD IN THIS INSTANCE HERE.

WE ARE PLEASED TO HAVE HER JOINING US NOW ONCE AGAIN ON 'METROFOCUS' TO TALK ABOUT THIS AND SOME OF THE OTHER ISSUES TAKING PLACE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

THAT HAVE AN IMPACT ON THIS AREA.

CONGRESSWOMAN, WELCOME.

THANK YOU, JACK.

GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

SO LET'S START WITH THIS REQUEST THAT YOU MADE.

WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO SAY IT'S TIME TO REACH OUT TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ASK FOR SOME ASSISTANCE HERE?

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS ESCALATED OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.

WHEN I WAS RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY IN 2017, I WARNED THAT POLICY BEING PUT IN PLACE UNDER MAYOR de BLASIO WERE GOING TO LEAD TO QUALITY OF LIFE DIMINISHING.

UNFORTUNATELY, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS OCCURRED.

THAT RUSH TO CLOSE RIKERS ISLAND, TO EMPTY OUT JAILS, COUPLED WITH BAIL REFORM AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT I SPOKE OUT AGAINST AND WE COULD TALK MORE ABOUT THAT IN A MINUTE.

BUT ALSO, IN ADDITION TO DECRIMINALIZING THE QUALITY OF LIFE CRIMES, TYING THE HANDS OF OUR POLICE AND THE DEFUNDING OF THE NYPD BY ONE-SIXTH OF ITS BUDGET, $1 BILLION, HAS ALL LED TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY WITH CRIME SKYROCKETING.

I TAKE A VERY COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO THIS.

WE NEED TO REINSTATE THE PLAIN CLOTHES UNIT.

WE NEED TO HAVE MORE POLICE OFFICERS ON OUR SUBWAY AND STREETS.

THANKFULLY THE MAYOR HAS FINALLY RECOGNIZED THE NEED TO HAVE MORE POLICE IN OUR SUBWAY SYSTEM.

WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE DON'T TIE THE HANDS OF THE POLICE, THAT WE GIVE THEM THE RESOURCES THEY NEED.

IF THE MAYOR IS NOT GOING TO UNTIE THE HANDS OF OUR POLICE, THEN WE DO NEED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE.

WHETHER IT'S THE FBI OR THE ATF, THERE'S TOO MUCH CRIME HAPPENING IN THE STREETS AND PEOPLE ALL OVER THE CITY ARE TAKING NOTICE, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, REGARDLESS OF RELIGION, ETHNICITY, SEX.

THEY'RE RECOGNIZING THERE IS A CRISIS OCCURRING ON THE STREETS OF OUR CITY.

THAT WAS EVIDENT WHEN YOU SAW A 4-YEAR-OLD GIRL SHOT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT IN TIMES SQUARE.

THERE ARE FOLKS WHO HAVE SAID, YES, INDEED WE NEED HELP HERE, BUT THEY'VE QUESTIONED THE IDEA OF BRINGING FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES INTO A PARTICULAR CITY.

WHY DO YOU FEEL THAT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE?

AS WE SAW WHEN THE CITY AND THE STATE WERE NOT PROSECUTING PARTICULAR CRIMES LIKE HUGE DRUG OFFENSES IN OUR CITY, THAT THE DOJ CAME IN AND CHARGED INDIVIDUALS ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL AND THAT REMOVED INDIVIDUAL FROM OUR STREETS.

SAME THING WITH THE SANCTUARY POLICY IN NEW YORK CITY WHERE WE HAVE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE HERE ILLEGALLY AND THEY ARE COMMITTING CRIMES.

NEW YORK CITY ACTUALLY HARBORS THOSE INDIVIDUALS.

NEW YORK CITY WILL HARBOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS AND PROTECT THEM FROM DEPORTATION.

WE NEED THE FEDS TO STEP IN AND GET THOSE INDIVIDUALS REMOVED.

IF THE NYPD IS GOING TO HAVE THEIR HANDS TIED BY THIS MAYOR, OF COURSE THAT WOULD BE THE FIRST RESOLUTION, WOULD BE UNTIE THEIR HANDS, ALLOW THEM TO DO THEIR JOB, REINSTATE THE PLAIN CLOTHES UNIT.

IF THE MAYOR REFUSES TO DO THAT, THEN WE NEED THE DOJ AND THE FBI AND THE ATF AND OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES THAT CAN ARREST AND PROSECUTE THESE INDIVIDUALS SO NEW YORK CITY RESIDENTS AND VISITORS CAN BE SAFE.

THE MAYOR INDICATED JUST YESTERDAY THAT THE CITY IS GOING TO DEPLOY AN EXTRA 250 POLICE OFFICERS TO THE SUBWAYS, BRINGING THE NUMBER TO THE SYSTEM, ACCORDING TO THE MAYOR'S OFFICE, THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN THE NYPD TRANSIT BUREAU'S 26-YEAR HISTORY.

IS THAT ENOUGH?

PROBABLY NOT AT THIS POINT BECAUSE THINGS HAVE GOTTEN SO BAD.

BUT IN 2019 I HAD BEEN PUSHING FOR MORE POLICE OFFICERS ON THE STREET.

THEN YOU ADD ANOTHER REPRESENTATIVE ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ OPPOSING THAT MOVE AND SAYING WE DIDN'T WANT ANY POLICE ON OUR STREETS.

SO THIS IS SOMETHING THAT THE MAYOR, YOU KNOW, I THINK HE DID THE RIGHT THING BY ADDING THESE 250 POLICE OFFICERS AND CERTAINLY HE NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO HOLD HIS GROUND ON THIS AND PERHAPS ADD MORE.

THAT'S GOING TO BE, AGAIN, THIS IS THE REASON WHY WE SHOULDN'T HAVE CUT A BILLION DOLLARS FROM THE NYPD.

THEY NEED THOSE RESOURCES.

BUT I WOULD LEAVE IT UP TO THE NYPD TO DETERMINE WHERE AND WHEN THEY NEED TO HAVE EXTRA PATROLS, BUT CERTAINLY I THINK THAT'S A WELCOME NEWS PARTICULARLY TO THOSE WHO WILL NOW BE RETURNING TO THE WORKFORCE ONCE AGAIN AND USING THE SUBWAY MORE OFTEN.

THERE IS CONCERN, OBVIOUSLY, BECAUSE OF THE RECENT ASSAULTS THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE AND VIOLENCE.

THE MAYOR'S OFFICE HAS PUSHED BACK ON THIS REQUEST THAT YOU HAVE MADE.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

I SUSPECT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY, WELL, WE SHOULD BE WILLING TO TAKE ANY HELP WE CAN GET HERE, AND YET THE MAYOR'S OFFICE HAS SAID, WE DON'T NEED THE FEDERAL HELP AT THIS POINT.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

I THINK HE'S JUST COMPLETELY DELUSIONAL.

AGAIN, THIS SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT, ASKING FOR THE FEDS TO COME IN, BUT I THINK WE'VE REACHED THAT POINT IN OUR CITY.

WHEN YOU SEE THE NUMBER OF SHOOTINGS THIS YEAR ALREADY COMPARED TO LAST YEAR, IT'S ASTONISHING.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT OTHER CRIMES LIKE MURDER AND BURGLARIES AND VEHICLE THEFTS, THEY HAVE ALL SKYROCKETED.

IT IS A DIRECT RESULT OF THESE POLICIES.

SHORT OF THEM WILLING TO REVERSE THOSE POLICIES AND WITH THE BAIL REFORM LAW, FOR EXAMPLE, THEY'RE RELEASING INDIVIDUALS WHO COMMITTED CRIMES AND HAVE LENGTHY RAP SHEETS.

HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU READ IN THE INTERIOR AND LOOK UP THEIR HISTORY THEY HAVE DOZENS OF PRIOR ARRESTS.

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE DEALING WITH IN THIS CITY.

IT'S A COMPLETE REVOLVING DOOR IN OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

UNFORTUNATELY, LAWMAKERS HAVE PUT IN PLACE POLICIES THAT HAVE ALLOWED THIS.

WE HAD TO FIGHT VERY HARD WHEN THAT BAIL REFORM LAW WAS PASSED TO GET THE SAME PEOPLE THAT VOTED FOR IT AND THE GOVERNOR TO ACTUALLY ADD BACK INTO THE LAW HOMICIDE, VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER, FELONY DRUG CHARGES, HATE CRIMES.

ADD THAT BACK TO THE JUST AND THE JUDGE CAN ONCE AGAIN USE DISCRETION BECAUSE THINGS HAVE GOTTEN OUT OF CONTROL.

BUT WE STILL SEE MAJOR ISSUES AND FLAWS.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS THAT DEMOCRATS WHO PASSED ALL THESE LAWS SHOULD RECOGNIZE IS A POLL WAS JUST TAKEN EARLIER THIS WEEK.

THE MAJOR OF DEMOCRATS IN NEW YORK CITY WANT TO SEE THE POLICE FUNDED.

THEY WANT TO SEE THE MONEY GIVEN BACK TO THEM THAT WAS TAKEN AWAY BY MAYBE de BLASIO.

THEY RANK PUBLIC SAFETY NUMBER ONE.

WHAT THE DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS HAVE TO RECOGNIZE IS THEIR CONSTITUENCY, THE PEOPLE THEY BELIEVE ARE VOTING FOR THEM, SHOULDN'T BE A POLITICAL ISSUE IN TERMS OF REPUBLICANS VERSUS DEMOCRATS.

IT SEEMS REPUBLICANS ARE THE ONES ADVOCAING FOR PUBLIC ORDER, SAFETY AND RETURNING SANITY TO THE STREETS OF OUR CITY, SUPPORTING THE NYPD.

ALL YOU SEE FROM THE LEFT IS A RUSH TO SEE WHO IS THE QUICKESTABANDON THE NYPD SUPPORT.

THAT CANNOT BE THE NORM AND THE STATUS QUO IN OUR CITY.

WE NEED TO SUPPORT OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT NOW MORE THAN EVER AND GIVE THEM THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO DO THEIR JOB.

I'VE SEEN THIS NOTION RAISED BY PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, SAYING IN ORDER TO HELP OUR POLICE DEPARTMENTS DO THEIR JOB MORE EFFICIENTLY, MORE EFFECTIVELY, WE SHOULD PERHAPS TARGET MONIES GOING TO THE DEPARTMENTS AND THE SUGGESTION IS LET'S NOT DEFUND THEM, BUT MAYBE IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR THE DEPARTMENTS TO TAKE SOME MONEY AND SHIFT IT TO, FOR INSTANCE WE'VE SEEN SOME CITIES SAY LET'S HAVE RIDE-ALONGS WITH MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS SO IF THERE IS A MENTAL HEALTH INCIDENT, THERE'S SOMETHING THERE IN ADDITION TO A POLICE OFFICER TO MAYBE TAKE THE LEAD ON THIS.

I'VE SEEN POLICE OFFICERS SAY WE WOULD LIKE THAT.

WE'RE TRAINED TO DO CERTAIN THINGS.

IS THAT SOMETHING WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT, A MORE TARGETED APPROACH TO THE IDEA OF FUNDING?

WE CAN CERTAINLY SUPPORT PROGRAMS LIKE THAT.

I THINK PROGRAMS LIKE THAT WOULD BE A GREAT IDEA TO TEST IT OUT AND SEE HOW IT WORKS.

BUT THAT FUNDING SHOULDN'T BE COMING FROM THE NYPD OPERATIONAL BUDGET.

IT SHOULDN'T BE COMING FROM TAKING OFFICES OFF OUR STREET.

WHY DOESN'T IT COME FROM THRIVE NYC?

THE MAYOR HAS SQUANDERED OVER A BILLION DOLLARS ON THRIVE NYC.

THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO ADDRESS THE MENTALLY ILL.

MAYBE THAT'S A PROGRAM THAT SHOULD BE CREATED OUT OF THAT FUNDING AS OPPOSED TO TAKING IT FROM THE NYPD.

I'M PUSHING TO GET MORE MONEY FOR THE NYPD WHETHER IT'S A CANINE UNIT OR VETS PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT BECAUSE THE BUDGET WAS CUT.

THAT SHOULDN'T BE THE CASE.

THE CITY NEEDS TO TAKE CARE OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO PUT A UNIFORM ON EACH AND EVERY DAY, WILLING TO GIVE THEIR LIFE TO PROTECT OUR CITY.

THAT'S, I THINK, THE MOST PARAMOUNT RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY GOVERNMENT, IS TO KEEP ITS PEOPLE SAFE AND DO THOSE DOING THE JOB OF PUBLIC SAFETY SAFE.

THERE'S SO MUCH MORE WE COULD TALK ABOUT.

I'VE GOT A LITTLE BIT LESS THAN A MINUTE AND A HALF.

I WANT TO ASK YOU ONE QUICK QUESTION.

YOU HAVE BEEN VERY CLEAR ABOUT TRYING TO BE BIPARTISAN IN OUR APPROACH TO THINGS, REACHING ACROSS BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

IT'S REFRESHING TO HEAR THAT FROM ANYBODY IN CONGRESS.

WE SAW THERE'S BEEN A PROPOSAL FOR A 9/11-TYPE COMMISSION TO LOOK INTO WHAT HAPPENED AT THE CAPITOL ON JANUARY 6th AND WE JUST HEARD YESTERDAY THAT REPUBLICAN HOUSE LEADER KEVIN McCARTHY SAID HE WOULD NOT GO ALONG WITH THIS LEGISLATION.

DO YOU BELIEVE THERE SHOULD BE SOME INDEPENDENT, BALANCED COMMISSION TO LOOK INTO JANUARY 6th?

I DO BELIEVE THERE SHOULD BE AN INDEPENDENT COMMISSION.

I HAVEN'T READ THIS PARTICULAR BILL YET, BUT I DO BELIEVE IT IS WORTHY OF EXAMINATION TO FIND OUT HOW INDIVIDUALS GAINED ACCESS TO THE CAPITOL, WHERE WERE THE FLAWS WITH OUR CAPITAL POLICE.

AND REALLY THIS IS ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN.

I'VE CONDEMNED THE VIOLENT ATTACKS, THE DESTRUCTION AT THE CAPITOL.

THOSE INDIVIDUALS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THE FULLEST EXTENT.

I ALSO BELIEVE WE NEED ANSWERS HERE AS TO HOW THEY GAINED ACCESS, WHERE THE FLAWS WERE AND HOW WE FIX THIS FOR THE FUTURE FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE INSTITUTION AND ALL THE MEMBERSHIP HERE.

I HAVE TO, AGAIN, READ THE LEGISLATION.

I THINK THE DEVIL'S ALWAYS IN THE DETAILS, BUT THEY HAVE TO ENSURE IT TRULY IS INDEPENDENT IF WE WANT TO ACHIEVE WHAT THE LEGISLATION IS TO ACHIEVE.

THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE POLITICIZED, BUT RATHER WE SHOULD BE WORKING ON THIS AND ALSO TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE ALWAYS APPRECIATE YOU SPENDING SOME TIME WITH US.

♪♪

> HI.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN OF 'METROFOCUS.'

ON THE 96th BIRTHDAY OF THE LATE MALCOLM X THE SHABAZZ CENTER IN HARLEM IS CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF MALCOLM X.

THE CELEBRATION WILL INCLUDE MUSICAL PERFORMANCES AND SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCES.

IT IS ALSO A CHANCE TO FURTHER THE WORK OF RACIAL EQUITY, JUSTICE AND CULTURE PRODUCTION OF MALCOLM X AND HIS LATE WIFE, DR. BETTY SHABAZZ.

AS PART OF OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE, I'M JOINED BY AN AUTHOR CO-CHAIRPERSON OF THE MALCOLM X AND BETTY SHABAZZ MEMORIAL AND EDUCATION CENTER AND A PROFESSOR AT THE CENTER FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE.

WELCOME.

SUCH A PLEASURE TO BE WITH YOU.

WHAT I WANTED TO START OFF WITH IS OF COURSE THIS CELEBRATION OF YOUR FATHER'S BIRTHDAY IS, I THINK FOR PEOPLE IN HARLEM, THIS IS AN ANNUAL EVENT.

I'M WONDERING IF AFTER NOT ONLY THE YEAR OF 2020 AND OF COURSE THE PANDEMIC AND ALL THAT THAT LAID BARE, BUT ALSO THE SOCIAL JUSTICE SPECIFICALLY BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT THAT WE SAW GAINED SO MUCH SUPPORT ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

I'M WONDERING WHERE DO YOU SEE THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING NOW FITTING INTO THE MOVEMENT THAT YOUR PARENTS HELPED CREATE AND GET STARTED?

WELL, WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE DONE IS THE MERGING OF SUCCESSFUL IDEAS OF THE PAST AND AMALGAMATE THEM INTO SOME OF THE MORE VISIONARY PLANS AND STRATEGIES WHICH ARE CURRENT IN THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT.

WE HAVE THIS REALLY GREAT INTERGENERATIONAL DIALOGUE WITH SOME OF THE ACTIVISTS OF THE '50s AND '60s WITH PRESENT-DAY ACTIVISTS AND JUST YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LEARN.

WHEN MY PARENTS WERE ACTIVE AND WHEN YOUNG PEOPLE WERE ACTIVE IN THEIR TIME, THEY MADE DEMANDS.

ONE OF THE MOST CENTRAL OBJECTIVES THAT THEY POSED WAS BLACK LIBERATION, WHICH IS STILL AN ELUSIVE DREAM AND DESIRE ON THE AGENDA.

OF COURSE.

AND SO FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, THOUGH, THE FACT THAT THIS IS, UNLIKE PREVIOUS MOVEMENTS, WHICH MAY HAVE BEEN A HANDFUL OF PARTICIPATING, BUT MOSTLY SORT OF A BLACK MOVEMENT, THAT THIS TIME IT SEEMS TO BE MUCH MORE MULTICULTURAL IN THAT THERE'S SO MUCH MORE SUPPORT AND A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE STRUCTURAL RACISM THAT EXISTS IN AMERICA THAN PERHAPS THAT WE'VE HAD BEFORE.

THAT'S RIGHT.

WHAT I THOUGHT WAS REALLY FANTASTIC WAS THAT IT WAS THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO GUIDED THIS KIND OF MOVEMENT.

WE DID SEE PEOPLE -- YOU KNOW, HERE WE ARE ALL AT HOME, QUARANTINING OURSELVES, NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THIS COVID THING REALLY WAS.

YOU KNOW, WE WERE FORCED TO WATCH THIS HORRIFIC KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD.

AND WHAT WAS JUST ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, I THINK IT WAS BECAUSE WE WERE QUESTIONING OUR MORTALITY, THAT YOUNG PEOPLE, PEOPLE WHO WERE COMPASSIONATE, PEOPLE WHO RECOGNIZED THAT BLACK POWER IS NOT EXCLUSIONARY, BUT BLACK POWER SIMPLY MEANS THAT WE HAVE ALSO A PART OF THE HUMAN FAMILY.

THERE WERE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO DROVE OUR NATION TOWARD A MORE CIVILIZED SPACE, AND WE SAW PEOPLE MARCHING IN THIS COUNTRY AND 50 STATES AND ABROAD IN 18 COUNTRIES.

WE SEE THAT A SYNTHETIC IDENTITY WAS BORN AND OUR SOCIETY IS MOVING FORWARD.

BIGOTRY AND ALL ITS UGLY HATE IS LOSING AND A NEW ERA HAS YET TO DEFINE ITSELF.

I THINK THE LESSON THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE LEARNING IS THAT CHEATERS LOSE, MORAL CHARACTER WINS.

SO I TAKE MY HAT OFF TO THIS YOUNG GENERATION.

WE CONTINUE TO HAVE THESE GREAT DISCUSSIONS AT THE SHABAZZ CENTER.

YOU KNOW, WE HAVE THESE -- YES.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

I THINK THAT FURTHERING THOSE KIND OF DIALOGUES, AS TO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND BLACK LIVES MATTER NOW HAVE OPEN AND HONEST AND FRANK DIALOGUE.

THAT'S SO IMPORTANT.

BECAUSE MALCOLM X AND DR. BETTY SHABAZZ MEMORIAL CENTER IS FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE AUDUBON BALLROOM, THE LOCATION WHERE YOUR FATHER WAS ASSASSINATED.

JUST THE NOTION, THERE'S SO MUCH CONVERSATION RIGHT NOW ABOUT TAKING UP SPACE AND RECLAIMING SPACE.

THAT SEEMS LIKE A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF RECLAIMING A SPACE THAT WAS A SOURCE OF SO MUCH PAIN AND I'M SURE SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR FAMILY TO RECREATE IT AND REBIRTH IT AS SOMETHING THAT'S SO POSITIVE AND FORWARD THINKING.

IS THAT SOMETHING THAT THE REST OF THE COUNTRY AND ALSO NEW YORK CITY CAN DEFINITELY TAKE A PAGE FROM AND LEARN FROM?

I THINK SO.

YOU KNOW, ONE OR THE LESSONS THAT WE LEARNED FROM MY MOTHER AND THAT WE PASS ONTO THE YOUNG PEOPLE AT THE SHABAZZ CENTER IS, YOU KNOW, LISTEN, THIS PLACE REPRESENTED TRAGEDY FOR HER, AND YET YOU KNOW SHE WENT ON WITH SIX BABIES, SHE GOT HER PHD.

YOU KNOW, SHE HAD HER UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE.

SHE GOT HER MASTER'S DEGREE, HER PHD.

EDUCATION WAS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

NOT JUST ANY EDUCATION, BUT A QUALITY EDUCATION, RIGHT, WHERE ALL PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT THEY MADE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIETY.

AND SHE TURNED A PLACE THAT REPRESENTED TRAGEDY INTO A PLACE OF TRIUMPH.

HER MOTTO WAS FIND THE GOOD AND PRAISE IT.

THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE DID.

I THINK WHEN IT COMES TO OUR EDUCATION CURRICULUM THAT, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE OMISSION OF BLACK, BROWN, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF COLOR, LATIN, ASIAN HISTORY IS NOT ACCIDENTAL.

THESE KINDS OF EXCLUSIONS DISTANCE PEOPLE FROM THEIR OWN HERITAGE AND ULTIMATELY THEIR OWN SENSE OF SELF.

YOU KNOW, IF WE LEARNED ABOUT AFRICAN -- LET ME JUST GO BACK A LITTLE BIT.

SCIENTISTS AND ARCHITECTS HAVE DOCUMENTED THAT AFRICA IS THE CRADLE OF THE MOST ADVANCED CIVILIZATION THAT EVER EXISTED IN HUMAN KIND.

HENCE, THERE ARE THESE AFRICAN KINGDOMS FULL OF IMMENSE KNOWLEDGE, NIGERIA, EGYPT, THE SUDAN.

AND IF WE LEARNED ABOUT THESE KINDS OF TOPICS IN WORLD HISTORY CLASSES JUST AS WE LEARN ABOUT ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME, WE COULD BETTER APPRECIATE THE PRESENT COMPLEXITIES OF BLACKS WITHOUT TEACHING DISCRIMINATION AND HATE.

IT PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE A VALUE SYSTEM OF COMPASSION, LOVE, RESPECT.

THESE ARE THE KIND OF IDEALS THAT WE DISCUSS AND IMPLEMENT AT THE SHABAZZ CENTER.

IT'S THE SAME KIND OF EDUCATION CURRICULUM THAT MY PARENTS MADE SURE THAT MY SISTERS AND I HAD SO THAT WE GREW UP UNDERSTANDING HOW IMPORTANT SELF-LOVE IS.

IF YOU TEACH HATE, IF YOU TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO HATE OTHERS OR DISCRIMINATE, THEN WE'RE TEACHING THEM HOW TO HATE THEMSELVES.

IF WE TEACH THEM HOW TO LOVE THEMSELVES, WE SEE EACH OTHER AS A REFLECTION.

I SEE YOU AS A REFLECTION OF ME.

I LOVE ME, I LOVE YOU.

WHEN THERE'S INJUSTICE, WE CHIP IN.

THAT IS WHAT WE DO AT THE SHABAZZ CENTER.

OF COURSE.

ONE OF THE IMPORTANT THINGS THAT ESPECIALLY THIS CURRENT CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT HAS TAUGHT US IS THE IMPORTANCE OF PERHAPS REEXAMINING HISTORY AS WE THOUGHT WE UNDERSTOOD IT AND PERHAPS GIVING IT A SECOND LOOK.

WITH THAT, I DO WANT TO ASK, BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE CALLS FOR A SECOND LOOK INTO WHAT EXACTLY IT WAS THAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FATHER.

I BELIEVE THAT WAS SPURRED ON BY SOMEONE'S ADMISSION AT THE END OF THEIR LIFE.

THAT'S RIGHT.

LISTEN, WE WANT TO KNOW IF SOMEONE HAS INFORMATION, WE WANT THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO OPEN THE CASE AND FIND OUT WHO WAS INVOLVED IN KILLING OUR FATHER.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

WELL, I DO WANT TO END THIS ON A POSITIVE NOTE.

THAT, OF COURSE, IS THE CELEBRATION OF HIS BIRTHDAY.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE TO CELEBRATE, YOU KNOW, THE DAY OF HIS BIRTH, MAY 19th, AND WHAT DO THE CELEBRATIONS ENTAIL WITH THIS?

WELL, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE MANY ACTORS, MUSICIANS, PERFORMERS WHO TELL US, WHO SHARE WITH US WHAT MALCOLM MEANS TO THEM.

WE HAVE WONDERFUL PERFORMANCES.

IT'S JUST A REALLY WONDERFUL TIME TO CELEBRATE MALCOLM, TO BE ENTERTAINED AND TO BE EQUALLY ENGAGED AND INFORMED.

THE LEGACY OF MY FATHER CONTINUES TO GUIDE GENERATIONS, BECAUSE MALCOLM SPOKE TRUTH AND WE KNOW THAT TRUTH IS TIMELESS.

HE WAS AN EXEMPLAR OF MORALITY AND UNWAVERING IN HIS COMMITMENT TO BRING ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL PEOPLE.

SO WE JUST HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY CELEBRATE HIM.

HE WAS JUST A YOUNG MAN WHEN HE SAID -- YEAH, YEAH.

NO.

OF COURSE, HE WAS AN INCREDIBLY YOUNG MAN, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE WAS SNATCHED FROM YOU.

YOU WERE JUST A BABY REALLY WHEN THAT HAPPENED.

THAT'S RIGHT.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE IS TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOUNG PEOPLE WERE MARCHING, PROTESTING AND DEMONSTRATING IN THE '50s AND '60s FOR EQUALITY, FOR LIFESTYLE, FOR SELF-RESPECT, FOR A QUALITY EDUCATION, QUALITY HEALTH CARE.

MALCOLM CAME ALONG AND SAID, WE DEMAND OUR HUMAN RIGHTS AS YOUR BROTHER.

WE DEMAND OUR HUMAN RIGHTS ORDAINED BY GOD.

HE INTRODUCED A HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA FOR THE FIRST TIME TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

IT WAS TO ENSURE THAT HUMAN RIGHTS WERE NOT VVIOLATED.

ORDINARILY WE WERE AT THE SHABAZZ CENTER.

PEOPLE COME FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD AND THEY SIT IN OUR AUDIENCE AND THEY ARE ENTERTAINED AND EDUCATED.

IT'S JUST A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.

THE PAST TWO YEARS WE'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THIS VIRTUAL PROGRAM, WHICH MEANS THAT MORE PEOPLE GET TO WATCH.

SO I JUST WELCOME EVERYONE TO TUNE IN AND JUST LEARN AND FEEL THE LOVE AND HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME WITH US.

'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.

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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