As President Trump has become embattled over his response to the attack in Charlottesville, which left one woman killed and at least 19 injured, former US Presidents have spoken out against the incident.
Both Bush Presidents (being President George W Bush and his son, President George HW Bush criticised President Trump’s response to the attack. “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms,” the former Presidents said in a joint statement.
In offering prayers for the Virginia city, the politicians invoked its most “prominent citizen” Thomas Jefferson, quoting his words in the Declaration of Independence: “We are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights.”
US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also joined the Presidents in condemning the attacks, emphasising that “there are no good neo-Nazids”. “Their messages of hate are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America,” he said in a statement. “We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred.”
The comments by both Presidents and the Senate Leader are a stark contrast to the response by President Trump, who after having remained notably silent on the attack, has been criticised for strongly pointing to “violence on both sides” and failing to acknowledge the racial motivations for the attack.
Meanwhile, President Obama took to Twitter in the aftermath of the attack to share his thoughts through a quote from former world leader Nelson Mandela, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion,” the former President tweeted. “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 it’s opposite.”
“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
The tweet has become the most-liked tweet in Twitter’s history on Tuesday night, according to representatives for the social media platform.