By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Arnold Schwarzenegger says that hate is “the path of the weak” and urged people to “choose strength” to overcome their prejudices.
The former body-builder and actor said those who succumbed to hateful ideology were “losers” but that “no matter how far you have gone” there was still opportunity to change.
In a 12-minute video posted online Schwarzenegger, known for films including the Terminator franchise, recalled his father’s experience of World War II and a recent visit to the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz.
“I want to talk to the people out there who might have already stumbled in the wrong direction into the wrong path,” he said.
“I want to talk to you if you’ve heard some conspiracies about Jewish people, or people of any race or gender orientation, and thought ‘that makes sense to me’.
“I want to talk to you if you’ve found yourself thinking about anyone that is inferior and out to get you because of their religion or the colour of their skin or their gender.
“I don’t know the road that has brought you here but I’ve seen enough people throw away the futures for hateful beliefs. So I want to speak to you before you find your regrets in the end of the path.”
The former California governor noted there had “never been a successful movement based on hate”, branding the Nazi, Confederate and Apartheid movements as “losers”.
“I don’t want you to be a loser. I don’t want you to be weak. I’ve spent most of my life helping people find their strength,” he said.
“I care about you.”
He continued: “Your mind and your character are no different than your body and your muscles.
“If you want to grow as a person, you really have to make friends with pain. Embrace the discomfort. Enjoy the struggle.
“No matter how far you’ve gone, you still have a chance to choose a life of strength… you have to fight the war against yourself…The other path is easier.
“I don’t care how many hateful things you may have written online. I don’t care how often you have marched carrying that hateful flag, or what hateful things you may have said in anger.
“There’s still hope. There’s still time for you. Choose strength. Choose life. Conquer your mind. You can do it.”