In the wake of the horrific events in Charlottesville last Saturday that left one anti-hate protestor dead and at least 19 injured, Arnold Schwarzenegger called out Donald Trump as well as “Neo-Nazis, the White Nationalists and the neo-Confederates” in a new video for ATTN:, an issues-driven media company. “There are not two sides to bigotry, there are not two sides to hatred,” the former California governor stated, words that seemed directed at Trump’s vacillating response of blaming both the anti-hate protestors and the neo-Nazis for what unfolded.
In the new clip, Schwarzenegger took Trump to task for not taking a stand against hate and racism following the tragic events. Schwarzenegger said that as president, Trump had a moral responsibility to do so.
Since Trump did not send an unequivocal anti-racist message, Schwarzenegger offered to write what he thought should have been communicated. “As president of the United States and as a Republican, I reject the support of white supremacists,” Schwarzenegger said in the speech he would’ve liked to have heard. “The country that defeated Hitler’s armies is no place for Nazi flags. The party of Lincoln won’t stand with those who carry the battle flag of the failed Confederacy.”
After Schwarzenegger’s impassioned delivery, he turned to a Trump bobblehead and said, “Was that that difficult?” Then he added, laughing, “You see, I told you.”
He then turned his attention to the hate groups. “I have a message to the Neo-Nazis, the White Nationalists and the neo-Confederates. Let me be just as blunt as possible: Your heroes are losers. You’re supporting a lost cause.”
“Believe me, I know the original Nazis. I was born in Austria in 1947, shortly after the Second World War, and growing up I was surrounded by broken men,” he continued. “Men who came home from the war filled with shrapnel and guilt, men who were misled into a losing ideology. And I can tell you that these ghosts that you idolize spent the rest of their lives living in shame. And right now, they’re resting in hell.”
Addressing what had transpired over the weekend, Schwarzenegger said that people are not born with hateful views and said he believed that people can evolve and come to the understanding “that all human beings have equal value.”
“You are so lucky to live in a country that gives you every right to say horrible things,” he added. “But think about how you could actually use that power for something good.”
While he addressed the hate groups head-on, he also beckoned those who have been silent to stand up against the hatred, adding that racism must be faced directly, though he acknowledged it would take courage to do so. One of the actions Schwarzenegger said he has taken is to donate $100,000 to Simon Wiesenthal Center. “I hope you will join me by supporting your favorite anti-hate organization,” he said.
“Let’s all commit right now to leaving the terrible ghosts of the past in the trash heap of history,” he concluded. “That’s where they belong….Let’s terminate hate.”