CHRIS CUOMO: All right.
I found something that I want you to look, and I’m going to show it to you after the break, all right?
It is a point of historical comparison, but it is frighteningly familiar.
And then I’ve got an argument for you, next.
(Cuomo Prime Time, 10/29/2018)
Although we can’t say that Chris Cuomo’s Prime Time specifically sourced Don’t Be A Sucker for his “Closing Argument” on the October 29, 2018 episode of his show from Weirdo Video with any certainty, we can say that it is possible.
One of Weirdo Video’s most popular films, closing in on 1 Million views, Don’t Be A Sucker experienced quite a spike in views after the segment – not merely because it was referenced during Cuomo’s closing monologue, but because its message rings sadly true in these troubled times.
Seventy years have passed since this film was first produced.
Yet, the fear-mongering of the early 20th century is rearing its ugly head once again.
It’s our choice to determine whether we will learn from our past and take future into our own hands, or slip under the spell of petty tyrants, proud racists, mendacious nihilists, and power-hungry demagogues.
Cuomo Prime Time shows how the vintage films of our past are sometime the best way to help tell the real stories of today.
Watch Don’t Be A Sucker now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Friends, I’m just an average American, but I’m an American American. And some of the things I see in this country of ours make my blood boil. I see people with foreign accents making all the money. I see Negroes holding jobs that belong to me and you.
I’ll ask you, if we allow this thing to go on, what’s going to become of us real Americans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’ve heard this kind of talk before, but I never expected to hear it in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fellow seems to know what he’s talking about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he knows all right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without negroes, without any foreigners, without Catholics, without free masons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What’s wrong with the masons? I’m a mason.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, that fella is talking about me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that makes a difference, doesn’t it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: “Don’t Be A Sucker“, that’s the title of that movie made by the United States government in 1943.
Uncle Sam was so worried about the spread of hate for purposes of political division that they made a movie about it. Seventy-five years later today, doesn’t that sound way too familiar?
We are in a bad place, and unlike other tragedies that I’ve lived through, it’s not clear whether we will fight the actual problem. Anyway you look at it, this is really a bad time.
Have you processed yet what it means that today, 2018, someone feeding off false talk about migrant invaders murdered the most Jewish people on American soil ever? What does that tell us?
The anger is real. Freedom is fragile. Unity is hard won and easily lost.
Three attacks in one week against three of the groups that Trump targets. Coincidence? Nope. Is he responsible for the crimes? No.
The men who did it own it. But he owns the fix as president, and clearly our president has no interest in that occupation.
A guy hunting Jews, another hunting blacks, the president targeting us at the same time one of his devotees sends us bombs. He never apologizes to us. He never reaches out, not once.
And this isn’t ego. This isn’t about us. The media is a representative of you and the president’s respect for the institutions that support your democracy. He thinks the weaker everything is, the stronger he is.
He is wrong. Two reasons. One, we’ve always had hateful people here. When all are welcome, you get all times. Yet, today, they do seem to be newly emboldened. Three attacks in one week shows us this.
And then there’s what may be contributing to their temerity — the increase in ugliness in how our leaders speak. And, yes, I mean all of them.
But more so and mainly Trump and those around him encouraging extremism, xenophobia, division, nationalism, and jingoism, which is what it really all is at its core.
He has almost an entire cable outlet committed to parroting poison about others. Today, Fox folk warning that migrants bring diseases like they were another species. They pound his message and they pound on those of us that call it out and correct it.
They get huge ratings relatively, but they should know for all their efforts, they still can’t get even half the country behind them.
And here’s why — MAGA, America first, enemy of the people, I am a nationalist, Trump created none of them. They all hearken back to poison that Trump is trying to remake.
It’s not new. None of it is. He is trying to return to a time that passed and should stay passed. These attacks are a good reminder of what we escaped once, and we did it together, and it’s a point right now that we have to gather and understand that we must ensure we never return.
And the best proof of the president’s intentions is his solid resistance to doing what every other president has done in positions like this.
All Pittsburgh, all the time, bringing the Jewish community close, talking about his own family that is Jewish, making gestures to opponents and supporters to be better, specifically pointing out his own role and regrets, charting a better path by initiating acts big and small to reinforce the rightness of taking this country back toward decency.
But not Trump. Not Trump. More unity. More guns. More death penalty.
FYI, the feds are prosecuting this case.
There is a federal death penalty.
There is nothing to bring back.
How does he not know this?
In fact, all of this is.
Those Jewish people in Pittsburgh, they weren’t young. Now, some say that’s one reason it’s not getting covered as much. There are no kids to kind of grab on everybody’s heartstrings about a forfeited (ph) future.
I say losing that generation hurts worse. These are people who knew the sting of bigotry. Their families fled here. I’ve heard their stories my entire life.
America was seen as the safest place to be, and now, you have to wonder and they are wondering, is that still true after Saturday? It is only if we are all about keeping that promise to fight hate everywhere we see it, like the film said. Don’t be a sucker. Don’t forget who we are. Don’t be a sucker.
Thank you for watching.
“CNN TONIGHT” with Don Lemon starts right now.
Watch Don’t Be A Sucker now!