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Obama And Trump Criticized On Charlottesville Responses

| by Sarah Zimmerman

Former President Barack Obama is facing backlash for his response to the Aug. 12 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that left 19 counter-protesters injured and one killed. 

Obama posted a pair of tweets on Aug. 12 quoting anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, according to Newsweek: "'No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his 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.' - Nelson Mandela."

Violence descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier that day when a car plowed into a number of counter-protesters rallying against white nationalist groups who gathered in the area for a "Unite the Right" rally, according to The Hill. One person was killed and 19 were injured. 

Two Virginia State Police Department officers also died in a helicopter crash a few miles outside of Charlottesville, although it is unclear whether the incident was related to the protests.

Some thought the former president's reaction was in poor taste, taking issue with the fact that Obama posted a picture of himself alongside his condemnation of the attack, according to conservative site Mad World News.

"And of course this dips**t responds to a tragedy the only way he knows how...By posting a picture of himself," one person wrote over Twitter. "Narcissist."

"I'm just glad Obama cared enough about what happened & took the time to post a picture of himself," read another comment.

Obama isn't the only one receiving backlash for his response to the events in Charlottesville. The New York Times reports that President Donald Trump has faced condemnation from both sides of the political spectrum for failing to speak out against white supremacy in his official response. 

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides," Trump said in a statement to reporters from his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. "It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time."

Trump was widely criticized for his refusal to mention the racist and anti-Semitic underpinnings of the "Unite the Right" rally.

"Mr. President -- we must call evil by its name," Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee wrote on Twitter. "These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism."

Was Obama's response in poor taste?
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