By: Emily Tillet, CBS News
President of Obama speaking to children
President Obama’s tweet quoting former South African President Nelson Mandela following the violent clashes and domestic terror attack after white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, has made Twitter history with over 3 million likes, making it the most-liked tweet since the social media site launched, according to new Twitter analytics data
The tweet, at more than 2.6 million likes as of Tuesday, had even surpassed talk show host Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie tweet at the Academy Awards in 2014. The tweet quickly surpassed the 3 million mark as of late Tuesday night, following President Trump’s press conference in which he equated counter protesters to the white supremacists actions in Virginia.
According to Nick Pacilio of Twitter Communications, Government & News, the message is also considered one of the top five most re-tweeted tweet ever.
Mr. Obama, who faced a variety of national tragedies during his time in office, took to Twitter on Sunday to share a quote from Mandela along with a photo of children of various ethnicities.
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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or background or his religion. 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,” read the tweet, quoting a line of text from Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.”
Mr. Obama has largely stayed away from making overtly political statements on his social media page since leaving office, but has continued to weigh in on domestic and international events from the terror attacks in Manchester, England, to well-wishes for Republican Sen. John McCain after he announced that he had brain cancer.
While President Trump tweeted his own sentiments following Saturday’s attack and violent protests, saying “we all must be united and condemn all that hate stands for” and later condemned hate “on many sides”, many were left wondering when Mr. Trump would come out and explicitly denounce white supremacists and other hate groups that were involved in the violence.
Two days after the events, amid growing pressure from the public and political world, Mr. Trump denounced racism as “evil” in a televised statement from White House. However, the next day in a press conference on “infrastructure”, Trump again made statements in support of the alt-right, white supremacists and hate groups.
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