Obama’s Charlottesville Response Pays Homage to 1 of History’s Greatest Civil Rights Leaders

Former President Barack Obama added his voice to the chorus of leaders condemning the deadly white-supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA, over the weekend. In a series of tweets on Aug. 12, Obama quoted antiapartheid leader Nelson Mandela’s words on the origins of racism. He also shared a moving photo of himself visiting with young kids at a Bethesda, MD, day care in 2011, offering a hopeful response to the terrorist demonstration and violence rocking the city. The moving message from Obama came hours after Donald Trump addressed the Charlottesville events. His speech was criticized by many voices across the political spectrum – from Marco Rubio to Virginia’s own attorney general – for failing to use the words “white supremacist” or “neo-Nazi” and for suggesting there were “many sides” responsible for the violence.

Pete Souza, Obama’s former photographer, lauded his choice of words and imagery on Instagram. Souza has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump and often shares photos of Obama that sharply contrast with the current president’s actions and behavior.

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