MetroFocus: December 9, 2021

EXPLORING HATE SPECIAL REPORT: PROUD BOYS MARCH IN LONG ISLAND

On Saturday November 27th the Proud Boys, a right-wing hate group known for their role in the Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally and the January 6th storming of the Capitol, held an event much closer to home. Members of the group marched through Rockville Centre, Long Island, waving ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flags and passing out fliers promoting their ideology. The march was condemned by local officials and the community who in an outpouring of support, countered with a larger, anti-hate rally held by community leader Rabbi Michael Cohen at the Central Synagogue – Beth Emeth in Rockville Centre. Tonight as part of our Exploring Hate initiative, examining the roots and rise of antisemitism, racism and extremism in America, the Rabbi joins us along with founder and president of Long Island-based ERASE Racism, Elaine Gross and Newsday reporter John Asbury.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI 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, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

PATTY ASK WITH KENNER.

> GOOD EVENING.

AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28th, THE PROUD BOYS, A RIGHT WING HATE GROUP KNOWN FOR THEIR ROLE IN THE CHARLOTTESVILLE UNITE THE RIGHT RALLY AND THE JANUARY 6th STORMING OF THE CAPITOL HELD AN EVENT MUCH CLOSER TO HOME.

MEMBERS OF THE GROUP MARCHED THROUGH ROCKVILLE CENTER, LONG ISLAND WAIVING FLAGS THAT READ DON'T TREAD ON ME AND HANDED OUT FLYERS PROMOTING THEIR IDEOLOGY.

THE MARCH WAS CONDEMNED BY LOCAL OFFICIALS AND MET WITH A LARGER ANTI-HATE RESPONSIBILITY.

BUT THE PRESENCE OF ANY HATE GROUP IS CONCERNING TO LONG ISLAND RESIDENTS.

SO TONIGHT TO DISCUSS THE PRESENCE OF THE PROUD BOYS IN LONG ISLAND AND HOW THE COMMUNITY RESPONDED TO THEM AS PART OF OUR EXPLORING HATE INITIATIVE, EXAMINING THE ROOTS AND RISE OF ANTI-SEMITISM, RACISM AND EXTREMISM IN AMERICA, I'D LIKE TO WELCOME MY THREE GUESTS.

WE'RE JOINED BY JOHN ASBURY.

JOHN, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

WE'RE JOINED BY RABBI MICHAEL COHEN IN ROCKVILLE CENTER.

WELCOME.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TOPIC, SO I'M HAPPY AND HONORED TO BE ON THE SHOW.

OF COURSE.

AND WE ARE ALSO JOINED TONIGHT BY ELAINE, THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF THE LONG ISLAND-BASED ORGANIZATION ERASE RACISM.

ELAINE, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS'.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

SO, JOHN, FOR ANYONE WHO NIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN AWARE OF WHAT TOOK PLACE IN ROCKVILLE CENTER SPECIFICALLY, CAN YOU SORT OF SET THE STAGE AND TELL US WHAT IT WAS THAT TOOK PLACE WITH THE PROUD BOYS MARCH.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE SIZE AND THE SCALE OF THIS EVENT?

WELL, THERE ARE ONLY ABOUT 20 PEOPLE, AND IT STARTED ON THE HIGHWAY.

IT WAS PEOPLE WAIVING FLAGS, BLASTING MUSIC FROM THE BACK OF A PICKUP TRUCK.

A LOT OF THESE RIGHT RALLIES WE'VE SEEN, PARTICULARLY AROUND THE ELECTION WITH DONALD TRUMP BUT THEN THEY CENTERED TOWARD THE ROCKVILLE CENTER BUSINESS DISTRICT.

THEY STARTED HANDING OUT FLYERS ON CARS, GOING INTO BUSINESSES AND RESTAURANTS, SHOUTING SLOGANS.

WHILE THEY WERE MARCHING, THEY WERE HOLDING UP THE WHITE POWER SYMBOL AND OHIO SALUTE AND JUST TRYING TO MAKE THEIR AUDIOLOGY KNOWN.

THEY WERE HANDING OUT THESE FLYERS WITH THESE 12 TENANTS SUCH AS VENERATE THE HOUSEWIVES AND RESPECTING THE FIRST AND SECOND AMENDMENT.

BUT ALSO THEY CLAIM TO BE ANTIRACISM BUT ALSO ANTIRACIAL GUILT.

SORT OF THIS PARTICULAR THING WE HAVE SEEN IN THE WHITE POWER MOVEMENT.

OF COURSE.

NOW, RABBI, I WANT TO TURN TO YOU AND SAY THAT AS A LOCAL LEADER IN THE COMMUNITY, WHAT WAS YOUR RESPONSE?

BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY THIS WASN'T CHARLOTTESVILLE.

IT WASN'T ANYWHERE NEAR AS BIG.

ONLY 20 PEOPLE OR SO.

BUT WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO FINDING OUT THIS TOOK PLACE, PERIOD?

I WAS HORRIFIED, AND I WAS DISHEARTENED.

I SPOKE WITH LOCAL LEADERS AND THE MAYOR AND THESE FOLKS DIDN'T HAVE A PERMIT.

THEY DIDN'T APPLY FOR ONE.

THERE WASN'T ANY NOTICE.

I'M NOT ENTIRELY SURE THERE IS ANYTHING THAT THE POLICE OR THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COULD HAVE DONE.

BUT THEY MADE SURE TO KEEP IT NON-VIOLENT.

AND I WAS VERY HAPPY TO SEE THAT.

I HAVE READ THE TENANTS BEFORE.

I HAVE TO TELL YOU THE WESTERN MALE SHOOUF NICHL COMES OUT OF 1930s GERMANY AND MAKES ME VERY UNEASY.

UNDERSTANDABLE.

ELAINE, I WANT TO GET YOUR REACTION AS WELL.

PLUS, IF YOU COULD TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION, ERASE RACISM AND WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE PROUD BOYS.

SURE.

SO, FIRST OF ALL, ERASE RACISM IS A CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION HERE ON THE ISLAND FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS.

AND OUR FOCUS HAS BEEN WORKING AND IDENTIFYING INSTITUTIONS.

I THINK THAT'S VERY RELEVANT TO THIS CONVERSATION BECAUSE TOO OFTEN WE DON'T RESPOND AT ALL UNTIL THERE IS SOMETHING LIKE THE PROUD BOYS MARCHING.

MEANWHILE, A LOT OF THINGS HAVE IMPACTED WHAT'S GOING ON, IN SCHOOLS IN PARTICULAR, THAT ARE, I THINK, PART OF THIS WHOLE MESSAGE.

SO WE WANT PEOPLE AND A LOT OF PEOPLE INCLUDING NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT WANT OUR STUDENTS TO BE LEARNING THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR HISTORY.

NOT JUST PLEASANT THINGS, HAPPY THINGS, BUT THINGS LIKE, YES, THERE IS REALLY SLAVERY ON LONG ISLAND.

A LOT OF STUDENTS DON'T KNOW THAT, THAT THERE WAS SUCH A THING AS ENSLAVED AFRICANS ON LONG ISLAND.

THEY DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE HISTORY OF RACISM.

AND CLOSER TO HOME, THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT HOW LONG ISLAND WAS DEVELOPED TO BE A RACIALLY SEGREGATED REGION WITH GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BEING THE INSTIGATOR OF THAT, REQUIRING RACIAL GOVERNANCE AND THE DEEDS.

SO THERE IS A LOT THAT'S GOING ON, PARTLY UNDER THE BANNER OF ANTI-CRT, WHICH IS A WHOLE OTHER CONVERSATION.

BUT BASICALLY WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING IS, LOOK, DON'T TALK ABOUT RACE.

DON'T TALK ABOUT RACISM.

THE REASON BEING DON'T TELL THE STUDENTS THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR HISTORY.

ONLY TELL THEM THINGS THAT SHOW THE UNITED STATES IN A GOOD LIGHT.

AND THESE ARE ALL RED FLAGS.

AND I AGREE WITH THE RABBI THAT WHEN YOU ADD IN THINGS LIKE THE JANUARY 6th INSURRECTION, WHAT YOU SEE IS A SERIOUS UNDERMINING OF WHAT WE NEED FOR DEMOCRACY.

WE NEED TRUTH TELLING, AND WE NEED PEOPLE WHO ARE ABLE TO NOT FEAR FOR THEIR LIFE BECAUSE OF THEIR WORK AROUND RACISM AND MIGHT HAVE BEEN DONE WITH GROUPS AROUND LBGTQ.

THAT IS NOT TO SAY WE ARE IN VERY DANGEROUS TIMES WITH THIS KIND OF ACTION TAKING PLACE.

WELL, JOHN, LET ME ASK YOU AS A REPORTER WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE AREA.

SPEAKING OF CRT, WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY WHAT THIS CONVERSATION IS EVEN ABOUT, BUT WE HAVE SEEN REACTIONARY, LET'S SAY, EVENTS OR GATHERINGS IN REGARDS TO PEOPLE PUSHING BACK AGAINST PERHAPS WHAT THEY SEE AS PERCEIVED THREATS AGAINST THEIR WAY OF LIFE.

SO DO WE KNOW WHAT WAS THE IMPETUS BEHIND THIS RALLY AND HAS THERE BEEN A RISE IN HATE CRIMES OR ANTI-SEMITISM ON LONG ISLAND.

YOU KNOW, THERE HAVE BEEN.

THERE HAVE BEEN INCIDENTS OF ANTI-SEMITISM, YOU KNOW, SWAS KAS, ET CETERA.

WE HAD A SERIES OF LGBTQ THREATS, THREATENING TO SHOOT UP A PRIDE RALLY ON LONG ISLAND LAST SUMMER, SAYING THERE WAS TOO MANY POLICE OFFICERS TO BE DETERRED BY IT.

AND THEN HE WAS ARRESTED THE SUBSEQUENT DAY FOR STEALING FLAGS ALONG THE SOUTH SHORE.

BUT THE -- IT'S BEEN A -- SOME ARGUE IT COULD BE A FRINGE MOVEMENT.

THESE PROUD BOYS ARE BASED OUT IN ST. JAMES AND SUFFOLK COUNTY.

AND THEY HAVE HELD RALLIES IN THE SMITHTOWN AREA IN SUPPORT OF DONALD TRUMP BEFORE AND AFTER THE ELECTION, AND THERE IS A FINE LINE BETWEEN WHAT IS A POLITICAL MOVEMENT AND WHAT IS A HATE GROUP.

THE PROUD BOYS CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED AS A HATE GROUP FOR SOME OF THEIR RACIST VIEWS AND BELIEFS.

RABBRABBI, I ALSO WANT TO HE HOW YOU SEE IS THERE ANY FERTILE GROUND UNFORTUNATELY FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO TAKE HOLD AND ALSO TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS A LITTLE BIT ON WHAT ELAINE WAS TALKING ABOUT, ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PERHAPS A FULLER EDUCATION.

YOU MENTIONED PART OF THEIR LITERATURE AS BEING DIRECTLY TIED TO ANTI-SEMITISM FROM GERMANY.

BUT IF YOU DON'T KNOW THAT, YOU MIGHT BE MORE INCLINED TO ACCEPT IT AT SURFACE VALUE.

RIGHT.

THE THING ABOUT HISTORY, IF WE DON'T KNOW IT, WE ARE DESTINED TO REPEAT IT.

SO IT GOES MUCH FURTHER THAN LONG ISLAND.

I USED TO WEAR -- A COUPLE MONTHS AGO I WOULD WEAR A HEAD COVERING THAT WAS QUITE BRIGHT.

NOW I WEAR ONE SUBDUED.

I WAS ACTUALLY ASSAULTED IN THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER.

NOT SURE IF IT WAS A HATE CRIME.

I WAS TOLD MY CRIME DOESN'T BELONG HERE AND I SHOULD LEAVE THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

I WAS IN BROOKLYN.

AND SINCE THEN I HAVE BEEN A LITTLE -- TRYING TO BE A LITTLE MORE CAREFUL.

WHICH IS WHY I WAS REALLY HEARTENED.

WE GOT LOTS OF CALLS AFTER THIS RALLY THAT SAID, LOOK, WHAT IS THE SYNAGOGUE DOING?

WE REACHED OUT TO A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS.

WE HAD A RALLY OF OUR OWN, BUT THE ANTIRACISM PROJECT IS ALSO THERE AND THE MAYOR WAS THERE AND OTHER LOCAL OFFICIALS AND IT WAS VERY NICE TO SEE.

BUT, YEAH, THERE IS AN IDEA THAT SLAVERY HAPPENED IN THE SLEEP SOUTH.

AND THAT'S KIND OF THE PHRASE THAT WHEN I THINK ABOUT SLAVERY.

IT DIDN'T HAPPEN HERE.

IT DIDN'T HAPPEN IN THE NORTH.

THE NORTH WERE THE PROTECTORS OF FREEDOM IN EVERY SINGLE WAY.

AND THE FACT IS IT'S JUST NOT TRUE.

AND I SPEAK TO A LOT OF JEWS, CONGREGATES AND OTHER MEMBERS.

I'M AN AMATEUR HISTORIAN AND JEWS LIKE TO THINK WE NEVER OWNED ANY SLAVES EITHER, AND THAT'S NOT THE TRUTH.

WE ALWAYS LIKE TO THINK SOMEONE ELSE DID IT, BUT NOT US.

I THINK THE QUICKER WE ARE TO ADMIT AND COME TO TERMS WITH OUR OWN HISTORY, OUR -- WHOEVER IT IS, THAT WE'RE NOT PERFECT, THAT WE WILL BE BETTER OFF.

IT IS NOT ABOUT WHITEWASHING OR NOT WHITEWASHING THE PAST.

IT IS ABOUT ADMITTING WHAT HAPPENED AND MOVING ON FROM THERE.

UNTIL WE CAN COME INTO TERMS AND SAY, YES, THIS DID HAPPEN AND WE'RE NOT PROUD OF THIS AND THEN ASK THE QUESTION NOW WHAT?

UNTIL WE CAN DO THAT, I DON'T SEE US GOING -- MOVING FORWARD.

WELL, THAT DOES SEEM TO BE THE INCREDIBLY CHALLENGING QUESTION OF NOW WHAT.

BUT PART OF THAT SEEMS TO BE PERHAPS ADDRESSED WITH THE RALLY THAT YOU JUST MENTIONED.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THAT?

SURE.

SO THE DAY AFTER IT HAPPENED, WE DID A LOCAL MEN NOR RA LIGHTING FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

WE GOT A LOT OF QUESTIONS -- THE MAYOR WAS THERE.

WE GOT A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT WE WERE GOING TO DO AND WHAT IS OUR RESPOND.

WE WEREN'T SURE.

AND WE'RE GOING TO HOLD OUR OWN RALLY.

AND WE ENDED UP HAVING IT ON THE STEPS OF OUR SYNAGOGUE HERE AT ROCKVILLE CENTER AT NIGHT AND LOCAL NEWS CREWS CAME AND DIFFERENT GROUPS, DIFFERENT MINORITY SPEAKERS.

WE HAD FIVE OR SIX DIFFERENT SPEAKERS.

WE ASKED PEOPLE BECAUSE IT WAS AT NIGHT TO SHINE THE LIGHT IN SUPPORT OF KIND OF PUSHING BACK THE DARKNESS.

AND IT WAS REALLY LOVELY TO SEE.

AND THERE WERE AT LEAST 100 PEOPLE THERE.

AND JUST TO SEE -- FROM SUNDAY, I THINK, TO WEDNESDAY WHEN IT HAPPENED, IT WAS JUST SUCH A QUICK TURNAROUND AND SO MANY PEOPLE CAME OUT IT SHOWS THAT THEY WERE DESPERATE TO SAY THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN TO MY COMMUNITY.

I'M NOT GOING TO ABIDE BY THIS.

AND, YOU KNOW, IF YOU AMBUSH US WITH A QUICK RALLY, THEN WE WILL RESPOND IN KIND AND SAY WE DON'T WANT HATE HERE.

HATE DOESN'T BELONG HERE AND WE'RE GOING TO DO OUR BEST TO PUSH IT OUT.

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL RALLY.

THAT'S DEFINITELY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE TOOK PLACE.

ELAINE, I DO WANT TO GET YOUR PERSPECTIVE, THOUGH, AND ASK, YOU KNOW, WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPENS, YOU KNOW, A RALLY WITH THE PROUD BOYS THAT'S MUCH MORE PROMINENT NAME FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, PEOPLE SORT OF KNOW WHO THEY ARE AND HAVE A SENSE OF WHAT THEY'RE ABOUT.

WITH RESPECT TO OUR ORGANIZATION PERHAPS DON'T GET THE SAME AMOUNT OF ATTENTION THAT A PROUD BOYS MARCH DO, EVEN IF IT'S JUST TAKING HOME.

THERE HAVE BEEN -- CERTAINLY THERE HAVE BEEN -- WE HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED, RACISM HAS BY ANOTHER GROUP.

I'M NOT GOING TO SAY MY NAME.

I DON'T WANT TO GIVE ANY OXYGEN TO THEM.

BUT, YOU KNOW, IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE SCHOOLS.

AND THERE CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT THE RABBI IS SPEAKING OF, NOT NECESSARILY WITH PHYSICAL VIOLENCE BUT WITH BEING FRIGHTENED BY PEOPLE COMING UPON THEM WITH LANGUAGE, YOU KNOW, THAT MAKES THEM KNOW THAT THEY NEED TO WALK FASTER OR TO SORT OF GET OUT OF THERE.

AND, SO, I THINK THAT THOSE KIND OF THINGS HAPPEN FREQUENTLY, AND WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT EXCEPT WITH ANECDOTES WHERE SOMEBODY MIGHT MENTION, OH, YEAH, THIS HAPPENED TO ME A WEEK AGO OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

SO I DO HEAR THOSE STORIES, AND I THINK IT IS CONCERNING THAT WE NOT WAIT UNTIL THERE IS SOME GROUP THAT STINGS BUT THAT WE DO THE WORK REGULARLY TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE ALL TELLING THE TRUTH.

WE'RE ALL USING OUR VOICES IN SUPPORT OF WHENEVER SOMETHING IS HAPPENING TO ANYBODY AND THAT THE IGNORANCE THAT IS OUT THERE IS SO BROAD BASED.

WE CAN'T ASSUME -- WE CAN'T ASSUME ANYTHING.

THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL WHO YET ARE REALLY IGNORANT ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS.

AND WE DO A LOT OF EDUCATION WITH COMMUNITY GROUPS AND IN SCHOOLS AND IN SOME BUSINESSES.

AND PEOPLE MAKE COMMENTS.

AND, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO SAY TO YOURSELF, WHERE DID THAT COME FROM THAT YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OKAY TO MAKE THAT RACIST COMMENT IN THIS ROOM.

AND, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO KIND OF SAY, OKAY, WELL, THIS IS WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT AND REALLY HOW TO WORK WITH THEM.

SO THERE -- WE HAVE BEEN -- WE HAVE THOUGHT THAT EVERYTHING WAS OKAY BECAUSE ON THE SURFACE IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS, YOU KNOW.

WE DIDN'T HAVE RALLIES EVERY WEEK LIKE THIS.

AND, SO, PEOPLE THOUGHT, OH, WE'RE LONG ISLAND.

WE'RE DIFFERENT.

BUT I'LL TELL YOU THAT'S NOT THE CASE.

UNDERNEATH, NOT TOO FAR BELOW THE SURFACE, WE GET TO HEAR THAT PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT RACISM REALLY IS AND THEIR VIEWS ALLOW THEM TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE AND THE THINGS THAT THEY SAY.

OH, THAT'S NOT REALLY RACIST.

YOU KNOW, I'M JUST NOT THOSE PEOPLE.

YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY START WITH THAT, YOU KNOW WHERE IT'S GOING.

I'M NOT REALLY RACIST.

BUT THOSE PEOPLE REALLY SEEM TO BE TAKING OVER.

OR THOSE PEOPLE ARE DOING THIS, THAT.

YOU KNOW?

CAN I -- DO YOU MIND IF I --

I'M SORRY.

WHAT WERE YOU GOING TO SAY?

I WANTED TO HIGHLIGHT ELAINE'S POINT THAT IT'S EDUCATION AND NOT SILOING.

THERE IS SO MANY PLACES WHERE PEOPLE JUST DON'T KNOW BECAUSE THEY'RE IN AN ECHO CHAMBER.

BUT IF WE GET THE MESSAGE OUT AND START SHARING AND TALKING TO PEOPLE, A LOT OF THIS INFORMATION CAN BE DISPERSED.

IT'S LIKE NEWS DAY OR ERASE RACISM THAT NEEDS TO BE OUT THERE TO DO IT.

SO I'M VERY -- VERY HAPPY THAT YOU GUYS ARE OUT THERE DOING THE GOOD WORK.

WELL, SPEAKING OF THE GOOD WORK OR CONVENIENT WORK OR POLITICAL WORK, HOWEVER YOU WANT TO DESCRIBE IT, BUT, JOHN, I'M WONDERING WHAT WE SAW FROM POLITICAL LEADERS IN LONG ISLAND IN REGARDS TO THEIR RESPONSE WHO, PERHAPS CAME OUT AND SAID SOMETHING.

WERE THERE PEOPLE WHO JUST REMAINED SILENT OR DIDN'T TRY TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM THE EVENT?

SURE.

AS SOON AS IT HAPPENED, THE CONDEMNATION FROM SOME OF OUR STATE-ELECTED OFFICIALS IN PARTICULAR, IT WAS WIDELY CONDEMNED.

YOU HAD A SENATOR.

YOU HAD CONGRESSWOMAN KATHLEEN RICE ALL ISSUE -- AS WELL AS SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER.

ALL ISSUE STATEMENTS WIDELY CONDEMNING THIS SAYING THAT THIS HATE DOESN'T BELONG IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THEY MAY RESPECT THE FIRST AMENDMENT, BUT THESE VIEWS CANNOT BE TOLERATED IN LONG ISLAND.

I DID SPEAK TO THE MAYOR AND MAY HAVE CAUGHT HIM OFF GUARD ON SATURDAY NIGHT.

HE SAID HE WAS NOT AWARE OF THE PROUD BOYS.

HE WAS NOT AWARE OF THE MARCH AND HE SAID HE WAS AT A PARK DEDICATION EARLIER IN THE DAY.

BUT THEN IN THE DAYS THAT FOLLOWS CAME OUT WITH A FULL THROATED CONDEMNATION OF THESE BEHAVIORS AND SAYING THAT HE DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT THESE -- THIS GROUP BELONGED IN HIS COMMUNITY EITHER.

OKAY.

WHEN WE TALK -- BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF, YOU KNOW, EDUCATION AND FOR PEOPLE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THESE ISSUES LOOK LIKE IN PRACTICE.

RABBI, I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THAT EARLIER POINT YOU MEANT ABOUT ONE OF THE PROUD BOYS TOP TENACE ABOUT VENERATE THE HOUSEWIFE AND WHY SOMETHING LIKE THAT IS A RED FLAG.

AGAIN, IF YOU DON'T FULLY UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY BEHIND IT, YOU MIGHT THINK, WELL MY FRIEND OR MY SO AND SO, SHE IS A HOMEMAKER AND WHY SHOULD WE NOT WANT TO VENERATE HOUSEWIVES.

THEY DON'T GET RESPECT.

COULD YOU EXPLAIN THAT?

SURE.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH STAYING AT HOME AND RUNNING THE HOUSE OR RAISING CHILDREN.

THAT'S SOMETHING THAT'S ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL AND ADMIRABLE ABOUT THAT.

BUT THERE IS THIS EARLY 1900s MENTALITY, AND IT GOES BACK A LITTLE BIT FURTHER THAT THE MEN DO THE WORK AND THEY'RE IN CHARGE OF EVERYTHING, AND THE WOMEN, THEY'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HOME AND KEEPING THINGS TIDY AND RAISING THE CHILDREN.

BUT THE MEN ARE THE ONES WHO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING.

SO MUCH SO THAT DURING WORLD WAR II HITLER EVEN REFUSED -- WHEN HE WAS LOSING AND NEEDING TROOPS, HE REFUSED TO TAKE THE WOMEN OUT OF THE HOUSEHOLD BECAUSE IT WAS SUCH A STRONG POINT IN THE NAZI REGIME THAT WOMEN NEED TO BE THE HOUSEWIVES.

THEY NEED TO BE -- I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT IT NICELY.

THEY NEED TO CONTINUE PRODUCING CHILDREN.

AND THAT WAS THEIR JOB.

AND MEN DID ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSEHOLD.

THE WOMEN CLEANED UP AND PRODUCED AND TOOK CARE OF KIDS.

AND THAT'S -- THAT'S THE MENTALITY THAT CONTINUED FOR, YOU KNOW, ABOUT A HALF A CENTURY HERE IN THE U.S.

AND WE MOVED SO FAR AWAY FROM THAT.

BUT THIS IS A CONCEPT THAT'S PUSHING BACK TO TRY TO DO THAT TO PUSH BACK AND SILENCE, YOU KNOW, A WHOLE SOLID GROUP OF OUR COMMUNITY, OF OUR NATION.

AND THE OTHER PART, THE WESTERN SHOOUF NICHL IS THE ASPECT OF NATIONALISM AND MALE PRIDE AND MALE POWER.

SO THEY KIND OF GO HAND IN HAND WITH THAT.

YOU THINK OF SOVIET RUSSIA WITH KIND OF THE BIG, YOU KNOW, STATUES OF THESE SHARP MEN WITH THESE LARGE MUSCLES AND STUFF AND THE WOMEN WERE, AGAIN, IN THE HOUSEHOLD.

SO THIS IS A CULTURAL IDEA THAT IS OFTEN NOSTALGIC FOR REALLY NO REASON WHATSOEVER.

AND, SO, IT IS VERY CONCERNING TO SEE THAT ON THEIR TENANTS.

AND, ELAINE, TO SORT OF BRING IT BACK TO YOUR GROUP AND WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT, EDUCATION, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO NOT ONLY TELL A FULLER STORY OF AMERICAN HISTORY BUT TO ALSO UNDERSTAND WHAT ARE THOSE RED FLAGS?

BECAUSE A LOT OF THE TIMES WHEN WE GO BACK AND STUDY SOME OF THESE HATE GROUPS WE FIND OUT THAT THEY COULD HAVE A VERY SEDUCTIVE HOLE THAT ON THE SURFACE PEOPLE DIDN'T THINK THEY WERE GETTING INVOLVED IN SOMETHING QUITE SO PROBLEMATIC AND DANGEROUS.

SO THAT'S AN INTERESTING STATEMENT YOU MAKE ABOUT ON THE SURFACE PEOPLE DIDN'T THINK THEY WERE GETTING INVOLVED WITH A HATE GROUP.

I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS IN BOSTON THE -- THE RESTORE OUR ALIENATED RIGHTS WAR GROUP THAT WAS AGAINST THE SCHOOL BUSSING IN BOSTON WHEN THEY WERE TRYING TO INTEGRATE THE SCHOOLS.

IN LATER YEARS I MET THE HEAD OF THAT ORGANIZATION, AND SHE SAID TO ME, EELAINE, I DIDN'T THINK THAT I WAS WITH ANY HATE GROUP.

AND SO I -- IT REALLY TOOK ME -- I WAS TAKEN ABACK BECAUSE I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND HOW ANYONE, IF THEY'RE CLOSE TO YOU BECAUSE THEY WERE A MEMBER AND THEY WERE THE HEAD OF IT LOCALLY, HOW COULD THEY NOT HAVE KNOWN IT WAS PART OF A HATE GROUP.

SO APPARENTLY THIS HAPPENS.

BUT I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE TO ME THAT THEY -- PERHAPS THEY ARE FILTERING THINGS OR THEY'RE NOT -- YOU KNOW, THEY'RE NOT READING MORE BROADLY ABOUT THE GROUP SO THEY ONLY KNOW THAT FRIENDLY FACE THAT CAME TO THE MEETING AND SAID I'M GOING TO HELP YOU PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.

YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?

I'M SPECULATING A LITTLE BIT THERE BECAUSE IT HAS -- WHEN YOU SAID IT, IT JUST TOOK ME BACK.

AND I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHY THAT WAS, AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS BECAUSE PART OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH THE SCREAMING SESSIONS AT SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS WHERE PEOPLE HAVE COME IN AND PART OF THEM ARE PART OF THE, YOU KNOW, GROUPS LIKE THE PROUD BOYS AND OTHER LOCAL GROUPS, AND THEY HAVE TALKED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, PROTECTING THEIR CHILDREN AND NOT MAKING WHITE CHILDREN FEEL BAD ABOUT THEMSELVES AND, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THIS STUFF.

AND, SO, I THINK THAT SOME PEOPLE HEAR THOSE THINGS.

THEY GET RILED UP, AND THEY -- THEY DON'T READ THE PAPER THE NEXT DAY OR THEY DON'T PAY ATTENTION AND THEY DON'T KNOW ABOUT ANY OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING.

YOU KNOW?

THEY SELECTIVELY SEE AND HEAR WHAT THEY WANT.

WELL, UNFORTUNATELY SELECTIVELY HEARING I THINK WILL HAVE TO BE THE CHALLENGE TO ALL OF OUR VIEWERS THAT WE LEAVE THIS CONVERSATION ON.

WE HAVE UNFORTUNATELY RUN OUT OF TIME, BUT I DO WANT TO THANK ALL THREE OF MY GUESTS.

JOHN, REPORTER FOR NEWS DAY, RABBI MICHAEL COHEN, THE RABBI FROM THE CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE AND YOU WERE JUST HEARING FROM ELAINE, THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF THE LONG ISLAND-BASED ORGANIZATION ERASE RACISM.

I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT CONVERSATION.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANKS.

THANK YOU.

'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, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

PATTY ASK WITH KENNER.

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