To Make 'Hate Rising,' Jorge Ramos Spent Time With Hate Groups
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Jorge Ramos has been spending time with hate groups. The Univision anchor traveled the country for his documentary, "Hate Rising," meeting with hooded members of the KKK. And a well-dressed white nationalist, Jared Taylor, a leader of the alt-right movement, invited Ramos into his living room, where the two had this exchange.
(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "HATE RISING")
JARED TAYLOR: This territory is for us. And sorry, we have the right to be us. And only we can be us.
JORGE RAMOS: So you want me to leave?
TAYLOR: Under certain circumstances, yes, we would ask you to go. Unless whites are prepared to exclude people, then they will be shoved aside.
MONTAGNE: The documentary focuses heavily on the campaign of Donald Trump, who is openly and casually embraced by these hate groups. Jorge Ramos joined us from our New York bureau. Good morning.
RAMOS: Great to be here.
MONTAGNE: Now, let's be clear right at the top about a couple of things. Your daughter works for the Clinton campaign. And you have been very aggressive in pushing back on Donald Trump's views since the moment Trump launched his campaign by calling migrant Mexicans rapists and killers.
RAMOS: Exactly - because, as a journalist, if somebody makes a racist remark like that one, you have to denounce it. You have to say it. And yes, I've been very critical of Donald Trump. But also, when I was moderating a Democratic debate with Hillary Clinton, I asked her about her emails and about Benghazi. So from my point of view, I have the obligation to be tough with both of them. And I think I've been.
MONTAGNE: Of course, you have locked horns with Donald Trump. Actually, in fact, you were kicked out of one of his press conferences rather famously. But let me ask you, when you went to talk to these groups, what did you learn about them that you didn't already know?
RAMOS: I didn't know that it was so widespread. Now, we cannot link it - obviously, everything with the announcement of Donald Trump as a candidate. But that surprised me. And not only that - look, 20 people were killed last year by white supremacists. There were 63 attacks on mosques. So something is happening here. It's as if Donald Trump has given them permission to speak.
MONTAGNE: Right. I mean, the statistics that are gettable are a little outdated, including the ones you've just cited from the Southern Poverty Law Center. They have - only measure the rise of hate groups up to the point of Donald Trump's candidacy. But you are saying that he emboldened these groups that were already on the rise.
RAMOS: Exactly. And everybody has prejudices and biases. But people - they don't feel comfortable expressing those biases outside. Now it seems that it's out in the open.
MONTAGNE: There was a scene where a bunch of - they were both neo-Nazis and white power groups - it seemed mixed together - out in front of a restaurant on a highway - and where white people stopped and argued with them very vehemently, saying that what they were doing was wrong.
RAMOS: Exactly. They were challenged. I think we should have this conversation. One of the reasons why we did the documentary is precisely - we have to talk about this. We have to talk about the rise of hate in this country. And I think conversation is fantastic.
However, they don't want to have a conversation. The fact is that - and we cannot change this - the United States will become as California and Texas and New Mexico, where everybody's a minority. And these white supremacist neo-Nazi groups - they don't want that.
MONTAGNE: Jorge Ramos, anchor at Univision. His documentary "Hate Rising" airs on Sunday night at 10 on Univision and Fusion TV. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.