Barack Obama is still the presidential voice millions of people crave.
Former President Barack Obama’s three-part tweet of a Nelson Mandela quote in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va., white supremacist rally that left one counter-protester dead is now the second-most liked tweet ever. The first part of Obama’s tweet of comfort —both denouncing hate and calling for love —is now up to almost 2.5 million likes and has over one million retweets.
Obama’s first tweet featured a picture of him interacting with a few young children through a building’s window and read “‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…'”
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…" pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
The 44th President finished the quote in his next two tweets. He wrote, “‘People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’ —Nelson Mandela.”
The tweet’s popularity was second only to a May 2017 tweet from Ariana Grande after her Manchester, England, concert was attacked, leaving 22 people dead — which was liked just over 2.7 million times.
It took President Trump two days to condemn the extreme racism displayed during the “Unite the Right” rally. At first, Trump attributed the violence to “many sides” instead of specifically calling out the racist actions of literal torch-wielding, Nazi flag-carrying protesters.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,” Trump said from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., on Saturday. “On many sides,” he repeated.
Trump’s refusal to identify the alt-right hate-mongers for what they are was not unnoticed by celebrities and political figures alike on Twitter.
Hell of a day for the President to forget how to tweet. pic.twitter.com/ABffmwwH8D
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 12, 2017
“Hell of a day for the President to forget how to tweet,” said noted Trump opponent J.K. Rowling.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
“Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio (R- Fla.).
“Wow. We have a President who cannot condemn white supremacy. Wow. And nobody is surprised. We have white supremacists in the White House,” added “The Big Sick” star Kumail Nanjiani.