Read Barack Obama’s poignant response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville

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  • The 44th President of the United States shared an important message following the weekend's events

    Words – Steph Barnes

    From the editors of HelloGiggles

    On Friday night, an angry mob of white nationalists stormed the streets of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, carrying firearms and torches and dressed in T-shirts with Nazi symbolism and Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign slogan.

    The unsettling events of this weekend have left a lot of us confused and scared, and many have taken to Twitter to respond to the white supremacist violence – including former President Barack Obama.

    The 44th President of the United States didn’t directly name Charlottesville, but considering the fact that he hasn’t been very active on his Twitter page recently, the timing and subject matter of his tweets suggests he was sharing his thoughts on the violent attacks in Virginia.

    Obama shared words from his hero and former South African President Nelson Mandela:

    ‘No one is born hating another person because of the colour 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.’

    The Unite the Right rally by white nationalists was organised to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from the city’s Emancipation Park.

    The large group of neo-Nazis sparked unrest throughout the streets of Charlottesville; on Saturday, a 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 others injured after an alleged supporter of the hateful movement ploughed a car into a group of peaceful protesters.

    The group was demonstrating against what was touted to be one of the biggest white nationalist rallies in a decade. Two Virginia policemen also lost their lives while trying to assist in efforts nearby to contain the clashes.

    James Alex Fields Jr. is currently being held on murder charges related to the incident.

    Meanwhile President Donald Trump is facing quite a bit of backlash for failing to denounce the far-right rally.

    During a statement on the crisis, he said that ‘many sides’ were involved in the Charlottesville incidents – something that many think wasn’t enough. Former Vice President Joe Biden seemed to respond to Trump’s choice of words.

    Our hearts are breaking over this senseless display of racism and terrorism, and our thoughts are with all those affected by the horrendous events.

    We remain hopeful for a more peaceful tomorrow.

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