Last night, Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to take a stand against the recent events in Charlottesville, and he pretty much hit it out of the park. The Terminator filmed a message directed towards all the neo-Nazis and those who might not identify as such but who chose to march alongside them in Charlottesville anyway.
Trump’s refusal to denounce the hate groups in Charlottesville by claiming there was violence on “many sides” has been frustrating to many, and Arnold began by directly tackling that notion by emphatically stating “there are not two sides to hatred.” Arnold then spoke directly to Trump—note the sassy little finger point—telling him, “You have a moral responsibility to send an unequivocal message that you won’t stand for hate and racism.”
Arnold tried to help Trump with what he should say, suggesting that “the party of Lincoln won’t stand for those who carry the battle flags of the failed Confederacy.” Also remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger served as governor of California from 2003 to 2011 as a Republican, the same party as Trump, and so his interest in making Trump look better is probably related to trying to make his own party look better. Arnold also replaced Trump last year as the host of Celebrity Apprentice. With all of that said, though, when Trump was still a presidential candidate, Arnold wrote on Twitter, "For the first time since I became a citizen in 1983, I will not vote for the Republican candidate for President."
Arnold then got straight to the point, speaking bluntly to the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and neo-Confederates in an attempt to shake them out of their hatred. He told them: “Your heroes are losers. You are supporting a lost cause.” And he should know, he explained, because he was born in Austria just after the second World War ended, and grew up in the aftermath of the destruction of Nazi Germany, seeing men “who came home from the war filled with shrapnel and guilt, men who were misled into a losing ideology… [who] spent their lives living in shame. And right now they’re resting in hell.”
“I know you weren’t born with these hateful views," Arnold continued. "No one is. The truth is it is never too late to learn… that all human beings have equal value.” This statement echoes President Obama’s recent tweet, which has since become one of the most liked tweets of all time, in which he quoted Nelson Mandela in saying, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
Arnold also quickly shut down anyone who might try to minimize their own responsibility because they were just marching alongside the Nazis and don’t identify as Nazis themselves. “Go home,” Arnold said. “Or better yet: tell them that they are wrong to celebrate an ideology that murdered millions of people. Then go home.”
Finally, Arnold also spoke “to those of you who have been silent,” urging them, too, to evolve and face the hatred “head on,” no matter how uncomfortable it might be to do so. “We’ll come out stronger in the end,” Arnold says.
Here's hoping Arnold's words make some kind of difference for someone.