In light of the recent incident that took place in Charlottesville, Barack Obama’s tweet of a famous Nelson Mandela quote set a new record as the most-liked tweet ever.
On the 13th of August, the former President of the United States tweeted:
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour 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
As a way of addressing the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, Obama accompanied the wise words written by the late Nelson Mandela with an image. In the image, Obama is seen smiling at four young children of different ethnicities as they gather by the windowsill staring at the former leader.
While it was short yet sweet, it is a quote that resonated with many but before we get into that, it is necessary to touch on why the quote was needed in the first place.
Charlottesville is a university town comprising 46,000 people in the American state of Virginia. The reason as to why tension brewed in such a town was because of votes by officials to take down the statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee who many today see as a symbol of not just America’s history with slavery but one of racism.
However, to counter this, many white nationalists organised a “Unite the Right” protest on Saturday 12 August 2017. Yelling slogans such as “white lives matter” and “blood and soil”, protesters were met with many who countered their march. Creating even more tension, violence ensued and a car driven by 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr hit many of those who countered the white nationalists rally. This resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and the injury of a further 19 people. A total of 35 people were injured at the protest.
US President Donald Trump did take to Twitter to condemn the violence that took place, however he controversially undermined himself by insisting that there was “blame on both sides”!
However, Trump’s neglect to provide a firm response triggered even more of a lack of faith in the President. Failing to unite the country after such horrible events took place, it was Obama’s tweets that somewhat restored a sense of hope.
For me, the tweet signified the peace and equality that’s needed in the world. Uniting together is all that we can do after such violence and the fact that it has become the most-liked tweet ever just highlights that this kind of message resonates well with not just America but the world. It is evident that we essentially all want the same thing in this world, peace and love.