Barack Obama Condemns Charlottesville Violence With Nelson Mandela Quote
In his response to the violence in Charlottesville, former President Barack Obama shared a Nelson Mandela quote in a series of tweets. "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion," Obama tweeted on Saturday evening. "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."
The white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday quickly turned violent when white supremacists and counter-protestors clashed. According to authorities, at least three people are reportedly dead, including a woman who died after a car driver rammed into counter-protestors, while two state troopers died in a helicopter crash close to Charlottesville. The Associated Press reported that the helicopter incident was related to the violence in the area. According to the police, it had been assigned to monitor the white supremacist rally.
The quote that Obama shared on Saturday is from Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom. In addition to the quote, one of the tweets contained an image of Obama from 2011 where he can be seen with children at a daycare center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Obama's tweets arrived after Donald Trump's comments on the violence in Charlottesville. Trump mentioned his predecessor in his remarks:
We're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, this has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.
Trump issued his comments in front of reporters in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Never forget that phrase. Three words that protected violent bigotry. '"On many sides."
After issuing his comments in front of the press, Trump also tweeted his thoughts on Charlottesville.
We must remember this truth: No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued strong words against the white supremacist march and declared a state of emergency. In a statement to the press, McAuliffe said that the far-right white nationalists were "pretending" to be patriots; the governor went on to say:
We are stronger than you. You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here.