Friday, March 10, 2023

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a Powerful Message for Those Who Have Gone Down a Path of Hate [Youtube Video]

This statement by Arnold Schwarzenegger is so incredibly powerful and moving. I encourage all to see it. It speaks directly to those that have chosen, or are choosing, the path of hate. He speaks personally, drawing on his own father's experience as a Nazi during the time of Nazi Germany, and how his father was himself hurt by getting deceived by a false, anti-Semitic and white supremacist ideology. However, he implores, change and personal transformation are within reach.

His sage advice aligns to research which shows that racially hostile environments where people live and work, is bad for not just blacks and other minorities, but for whites, as well. For a recent example of this from research, look at this study out of UC Berkeley by Jordan Leitner and colleagues whose study is published in the 2016 online edition of Psychological Science

Schwarzenegger's eloquent words align with research which shows that prejudice reduction means addressing extreme ethnocentrism through deep introspection together with educating oneself on histories like the Holocaust, instead of believing, or getting mis-led, as it were, to conspiracy theories. To this, we should add the importance of increasing levels of meaningful contact with people different from yourselves—be it racial, religious, sexual orientation—or simply folks whose perspectives vary from your own.

At our best, and drawing on Gordon Allport's treatise, The Nature of Prejudice, all of humanity is spiritually interconnected, and manifests healthy psychological functioning, as a consequence. We are not born pre-judging people different from ourselves; rather, this is learned from family, media, social media, television, and the like. We can therefore un-learn this.

Change is never easy and it takes time. And a good education like the kind that I believe we all teach at the university is precisely about providing us with not just one lens, but a multiplicity of lenses through which to understand our complex world.

Truly, there is redemption to be had and abundant lives to be lived for us all if we work to increase our consciousness in the ways that Schwarzenegger suggests. 


-Angela Valenzuela


Allport, G. W. (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Leitner, J. B., Hehman, E., Ayduk, O., & Mendoza-Denton, R. (2016). Blacks’ Death Rate Due to Circulatory Diseases Is Positively Related to Whites’ Explicit Racial Bias: A Nationwide Investigation Using Project Implicit. Psychological Science, 27(10), 1299–1311.

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