Ken Nwadike, founder of the Free Hugs Project, offered free hugs at rallies in San Diego for supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in March (video below).
The reaction from the participants at each rally was strikingly different: there was lots of anger and refusal from Trump supporters, but a very warm reception from Sanders' voters, Salon notes.
In the video, one Trump voter told Nwadike that there are "bigger problems" than hate, and another shouted, "White is better!"
A man holding a "Veterans For Trump" sign yelled at Nwadike, "Who are you voting for? Move along!"
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Another man told him, "I don't want any drugs."
A Trump voter wearing a black hat and sunglasses informed Nwadike that, "there is no love in this world."
A woman holding a drink gave the finger to Nwadike's cameraman, while another woman said, "Are you for Trump? I will punch you if you're not."
Nwadike approached the police, but only one officer shook his hand.
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At the Sanders' rally, smiling people of different races embraced Nwadike, including a group hug and a giant bear hug.
A cop hugged Nwadike, as did a group of women, followed by a couple, another woman and an elderly lady.
Nwadike wrote on his Facebook page: "With over 7 million views in 24 hours, our hashtag #MakeAmericaLOVEAgain has become a top trending topic on Facebook thanks to all of you, plus the celebrities, and politicians that have shared it. Thanks a million!"
Facebook commenters added:
"Ken my buddy it takes vision to create something amazing. But it takes a good heart to create something to make the world a better place. You have both of these my friend and I'm excited to see what you're gonna do! Hate cannot win...hate will NOT win!!!"
"I can't thank you enough for starting this campaign. Within the first hour or two of sharing your video, at least eight of my other friends had shared it, too. It's striking a chord with people. Please don't stop doing what you're doing. And if you ever need help recruiting "huggers", please please please let us know, because many of us, I'm sure, want to be in that number!"
"oh i was so sad to see the trump supporters, when i saw this i thought it was going to be a revelatory "see we're all human we can all love!" but you did your best and it's a very compelling difference. much work yet to do my friend. much love"
FULL VERSION (Note: Begins with pepper-spraying of teen girl by Trump supporter in Wisconsin)