Obama Faces Backlash For His Response To Virginia, Can You See Why?

The horrific events at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, have been condemned by politicians, news hosts and celebrities. Featuring a legion of white nationalists and an equally large group of counter-protesters, the ‘Unite the Right’ rally was held on a University of Virginia campus. Initially, there was only minor violence between the white supremacists – many of whom were carrying torches, displaying racist banners and hurling slurs at counter protesters – and the opposing activists.

However, the tense scene erupted into carnage when a 20-year-old white supremacist, James Alex Fields Jr., slammed and reversed his car into a mob of counter protestors, killing one person, Heather Heyer, and seriously wounding 19 others. Fields Jr. has been charged with second-degree murder and several counts of malicious wounding.

Although it was condemned by both sides of the House and Senate, the Virginia tragedy quickly became a heavily politicized incident, with media outlets comparing the white supremacists to the more conservative members of the Trump Administration. President Trump suffered immediate backlash when he failed to denounce the white nationalists and chose to criticize the violent activism from “both sides.” Marco Rubio, a Republican Senator from Florida, was outraged by the inadequate address, tweeting: “Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists.”

Prominent figures in the white supremacy movement have latched on to President Trump’s condemnation as a rhetorical victory. Andrew Anglin, the founder of ‘The Daily Stormer’ – an infamous Neo-Nazi website – was emboldened by the president’s comments, writing in his blog: "He didn't attack us…(He) implied that there was hate...There was virtually no counter-signaling of us all."

However, facing bipartisan censure from career politicians and rebuke from anti-racist groups, the Trump Administration quickly clarified the president’s statements. “The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups,” declared the White House spokesperson.

Unsurprisingly, President Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, has also responded to the violent episode, tweeting a photo of himself looking into a building and talking to children with different skin colors. Mr. Obama captioned the tweet with a quote from Nelson Mandela, writing: "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..."

The tweet quickly went viral, garnering over a million retweets and nearly 2.5 million likes. The overall response to the tweet was positive, with one online commenter, Yo-G, writing: “Unite on this simple truth. All colors of humanity are one humanity. Children know this truth till adults & the system corrupts their minds.”

However, despite the former president’s compassionate message, a small number of social media users were outraged by the fact that Mr. Obama has uploaded a photo of himself. “Even now…even now, it’s a picture of him,” wrote Colonel Potter while another user, High G. McLeod, wrote: “And of course this dips**t responds to a tragedy the only way he knows how…By posting a picture of himself. Narcissist.”

Source: Newsweek, Mad World News
Photo: Barack Obama/Instagram, Twitter

Some observers found his response inappropriate.

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