Sometimes, a high-profile death truly brings out the worst in people. Such is the case with the passing of former South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela at age 95 on Thursday. Mandela's body will be on display after a memorial from Dec. 11-13 at the Soweto World Cup stadium, until he is buried in his childhood village on Dec. 15. Sunday has been declared a South African national holiday for prayer and reflection. President Obama is set to travel to South Africa next week to pay his respects to someone he called an "inspiration," and he has also ordered all flags fly at half-staff this weekend.
Although most who have taken to social media to celebrate Mandela's legacy expressed their solidarity with the famous activist, there are some who have had less-than-appropriate reactions. Here are the most shameful reactions to Mandela's death:
Dutch Paper Links Mandela to Blackface
What a lede. The De Telegraaf newspaper compared Mandela to "Black Pete," a controversial blackface character who helps St. Nicholas in the Dutch version of Christmas. The paper has since apologized, calling their opening sentence "tasteless" and "an unfortunate convergence of circumstances."
No, Paul Walker and Nelson Mandela Aren't the Same Person.
Let's stop comparing the actor of Fast and Furious to a world leader who was imprisoned for nearly 30 years, OK?
Is this real life?
And people seemed very confused about this Chris Rock tweet.
Conservatives Draw Obamacare Comparisons
Zerlina Maxwell warned them...
...but they just couldn't resist.
On the day of Mandela's death, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum couldn't stop himself from making an Obamacare jab while speaking about Mandela on The O'Reilly Factor:
“[Mandela] was fighting against some great injustice, and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives — and Obamacare is front and center in that.”
O'Reilly himself called upon Republicans to disparage Mandela's name, because he doesn't have the cojones to do it himself: “He was a great man! But he was a communist! But I would never attack Nelson Mandela,” O’Reilly said. “So why can’t you guys in the Republican Party bring that to the fore?”
Also, even though Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz issued a very respectful statement about Mandela, his supporters were not so keen about it.
No, Paris Hilton Didn't Confuse Mandela with Martin Luther King, Jr.
At least, we don't think so. People had a field day when Paris Hilton seemed to tweet the following:
But she was actually on a flight at the time of the tweet, which was reportedly spread by an account called @DeletedTweets. The person behind the account has apparently used the same tactic on other celebrities.
But this was their response:
Mandela Used as Clickbait
Others seemed intent on capitalized upon Mandela's death to forward their own agendas. Gotta use that SEO, people!
Bridges Get Unsavory New Name
Apparently, a Dutch group decided to tag bridges named after Mandela with a new title: "Murderer's Bridges."
And, Of Course, The Trolling Twitter Randos Emerged
No one can spell terrorist correctly.
But even Mandela haters shed a tear.
Image: Getty Images