Arnold Schwarzenegger tackled the rise in hate crimes in America in a 12-minute YouTube address shared Monday (6 February).
The Terminator star specifically targeted antisemitism and told those who embrace hate that they would “die miserably”.
According to the US Anti-Defamation League, the US has recently seen a rise in antisemitic incidents, with 2,717 incidents last year – the highest since it began tracking in 1979.
“There has never been a successful movement based on hate,” Schwarzenegger said in the video.
“Nazis? Losers. The Confederacy? Losers. The Apartheid movement? Losers. I don’t want you to be a loser. I don’t want you to be weak… despite all my friends who might say, ‘Arnold, don’t talk to those people. It’s not worth it,’ I don’t care what they say. I care about you. I think you’re worth it. I know nobody is perfect… I can understand how people can fall into a trap of prejudice and hate.”
“It’s easier to make excuses that the Jewish people conspired to hold you back than it is to admit that you just needed to work harder,” the actor continued.
“It’s easier to hate than it is to learn… Nobody who has chosen the easy path of hate has gotten to the end of the road and said, ‘What a life.’ No. They die as miserably as they lived.”
“No matter how far you’ve gone, I want you to know you still have a chance to choose a life of strength,” Schwarzenegger said.
“You have to fight the war against yourself… The [hate] path is easier – you don’t have to change anything, everything in your life that you aren’t happy about can be somebody else’s fault… [But] you will end up broken. I don’t want you to go through all that.”
In a similar video shared last year, the former Californian governor opened up about his Nazi father when talking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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“[My father] was injured at Leningrad and the Nazi army he was part of did vicious harm to the great city and to its brave people,” he said.
“To the Russian soldiers listening to this broadcast, you already know much of the truth that I’m speaking. You’ve seen it in your own eyes. I don’t want you to be broken like my father.”
The rise in antisemitism has been a hot topic of late. Last week, Steven Spielberg expressed his concerns about the trend during a 2 March appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“Not since Germany in the Thirties have I witnessed antisemitism no longer lurking, but standing proud with hands on hips like Hitler and Mussolini, kind of daring us to defy it. I’ve never experienced this in my entire life, especially in this country,” the director said.