The latest FBI report on hate crimes provides evidence that another deadly virus—hate—is spreading in America, with reported incidents increasing 11.6% from 2020 to 2021. At the same time, the Anti-Defamation League reported that antisemitic incidents in the U.S. are at their highest levels since the civil rights group began documenting them in 1979.
Against a backdrop of spiking violence and online hate speech, former California governor and film star Arnold Schwarzenegger convened USC experts and leaders of Jewish organizations, anti-hate groups, the entertainment industry, and even a delegation from the Austrian government for a conversation about addressing hate and extremism around the world.
The April 26 event, hosted by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, USC Shoah Foundation and USC Race and Equity Center, was attended by an overflow crowd of mostly USC students.
One of the event’s moderators, CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash, asked Schwarzenegger about why he’s become increasingly active on this issue. He toured Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, last September and then released a video (which quickly went viral) about antisemitism, specifically addressing those who have become consumed by hate.
At the forum, he explained that his native Austria had “committed tremendous atrocities” during WWII, and that he himself was the son of a Nazi soldier. He added during a subsequent televised interview with Bash:
“My father was, and so many other millions of men were, sucked into a hate system through lies and deceit. And so, we have seen where that leads… Love is more powerful than hate.”
Additional USC experts who addressed the audience and moderated panels included:
To watch a recording of the event, please visit the USC Price School on YouTube.
To see photos from the event, please visit the USC Price School on Flickr.