Spielberg Challenges Harvard Graduates To Act In Face Of Hatred

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Steven Spielberg issued a challenge to Harvard University graduates Thursday: take action in the face of today's monsters.

"This world is full of monsters. And there's racism, homophobia, ethnic hatred, class hatred, there's political hatred, and there's religious hatred," the famed director said, noting atrocities such as the Holocaust and the Rwandan and Cambodian genocides.

There’s still so much work to be done, and sometimes I feel the work hasn’t even begun. And it’s not just anti-Semitism that’s surging — Islamophobia’s on the rise, too. Because there’s no difference between anyone who is discriminated against, whether it’s the Muslims, or the Jews, or minorities on the border states, or the LGBT community — it is all big one hate.

And to me, and, I think, to all of you, the only answer to more hate is more humanity. We gotta repair — we have to replace fear with curiosity. ‘Us’ and ‘them’ — we’ll find the ‘we’ by connecting with each other. And by believing that we’re members of the same tribe. And by feeling empathy for every soul — even Yalies.

... But make sure this empathy isn’t just something that you feel. Make it something you act upon. That means vote. Peaceably protest. Speak up for those who can’t and speak up for those who may be shouting but aren’t being hard. Let your conscience shout as loud as it wants if you’re using it in the service of others.

Spielberg urged graduates to put down their smart phones and connect with people around them.

"Today you start down the path of becoming the generation on which the next generation stands," Spielberg continued. "And I’ve imagined many possible futures in my films, but you will determine the actual future. And I hope that it’s filled with justice and peace."

This segment aired on May 27, 2016.


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