Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shared his own message for July 4th Saturday, wearing a cowboy hat with the American flag printed on it, and with a real flag behind him. In his address, the Terminator actor explained why he still has hope for America's future, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism. Immigrants like himself continue to dream of reaching America "because they understand the promise of this country."
Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria and arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s, said most of the world "still believes in our promise," so Americans who already live here still should. "Wherever I go around the world, people come up to me and say, 'Arnold, how can I get to America? Can you help me please get there?'" Although this often breaks Schwarzenegger's heart, it "always makes me proud."
Happy birthday, America. Thank you for letting me live the American Dream. We must fight every day to make sure that dream is as true for a Black child born in Minneapolis as it was for a white bodybuilder born in Austria. via @attn pic.twitter.com/rM95vb3twC— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 4, 2020
Later, Schwarzenegger shared a recent anecdote. While he was biking down the Venice Beach Boardwalk and a French man in his 30s told him he was "luckiest man in the world." At first, the actor thought this was because he is in the movies, but the French man said it was because of the country he lives in. "Well, we are a great country, because we have great people," Schwarzenegger said. "And we are lucky to live here."
The actor admitted the Founding Fathers were not perfect, noting that "slavery and racism are incompatible with freedom. But their vision for this country, one of equal rights and democracy, remains perfect. Our fellow Americans in the streets are rightfully hurt, angry and tired that these rights are not yet real for everyone. They are holding us to fulfill what our Founding Fathers promised." At the end of his speech, Schwarzenegger reminded Americans that we are not only celebrating what the country has achieved "but we celebrate the day that's coming when America's promise will be real for every American. We are so close."
While Schwarzenegger only briefly referenced the coronavirus pandemic in his July 4 video, the former Republican politician has been vocal about the importance of wearing face masks. He changed his Twitter profile picture to a photo of himself wearing one and recently praised Gov. Gavin Newsome for mandating Californians wear face masks when leaving home. "This is 100 percent the right move," he wrote in a blunt tweet on June 18. "This will help us beat this terrible virus. The science is unanimous - if we all wear masks, we slow down the spread and can reopen safely. It’s not a political issue. Anyone making it a political issue is an absolute moron who can’t read."