Shortly after President Trump told the press that “both sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville this past weekend, Barack Obama took to social media. Many people have expressed how much they miss Obama as their President, and I think his tweet demonstrates just why. Trump later went back on those statements, but doubled down on who was to blame. If you haven’t seen Obama’s tweet, he quotes Nelson Mandela. I mentioned this quote in a previous post because it’s extremely fitting. The quote speaks to love and hate, especially in the context of differences. More specifically around race and religion. The tweet has actually broken the record for the most-liked Tweet.
I think this is amazing, to be honest. Especially if we think about what Trump said, and then what followed. Obama was pointing out how love is a more natural human emotion. And that it’s easier for someone to feel love than for them to feel hate. And well, Obama, you’re followers feel the same way. Doesn’t it make you feel better knowing that more people in the world “liked” Obama’s tweet, than those who supported Trump’s sentiments? Doesn’t this just display what Mandela was saying, and what Obama felt in this particular situation? And that, in my opinion, is how we spread love.
I would like to go back to Trump’s comments for a moment. As the President of the United States of America, it is your job to protect all your citizens and make them feel like they are part of a whole. That they are part of something bigger. That isn’t the job of the former President. That is the job of the current President. He condemned hatred and bigotry, but there is no indication which side he was condemning. What is interesting to me is that even some Republicans took issue with Trump for not calling out white nationalists or white supremacists. He’s not even representing his own party.
Trumps reason for saying that the violence was caused by both sides (or many sides) was because he didn’t have all the facts. He’s not going to condemn the white supremacists because maybe they took the high road in this situation. Maybe they’re not to blame. He had the facts. He knew exactly what happened. As the President, it’s his job to make sure that these kinds of things don’t happen. We often talk about terrorism and how it should be stopped. How is this not considered a form of terrorism?
But what we saw, instead, was the former President coming to the rescue. To say, indirectly that this isn’t ok. Obama gave us hope in 2008, and he’s doing it now in a more indirect way. He’s saying that if we keep spreading love, love will continue to grow. Obama is condemning the hateful acts, and letting people know that it’s ok to think what happened was wrong. He’s doing this in an indirect manner because it’s not his style to call out the current President. But at the same time, he’s giving the American people the support that they need. At a time when they need it the most.