Obama Charlottesville Tweet Is Now Most Popular Ever

Mandela quote gets more than 3.1M likes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 1:52 AM CDT
Updated Aug 16, 2017 6:11 AM CDT
Former President Barack Obama waves to the audience after a discussion event with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, May 25, 2017.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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(Newser) – Former President Obama tweeted for the first time in weeks in response to the violence in Charlottesville—and it has now become the most popular tweet in history. "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..." tweeted Obama on Saturday, quoting Nelson Mandela's autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. With more than 3.1 million likes as of Wednesday morning, the tweet has now passed Ariana Grande's response to the Manchester concert attack (2.7 million likes) and Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar selfie (2.4 million), notes the Daily News. It's also the fifth-most retweeted tweet ever, notes CNN. (Grande's is No. 1.)

Obama followed the tweet up with more words from Mandela, USA Today reports. "People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love," he tweeted, before adding, "For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." (Each of those now has more than 1 million likes, too.) According to FavStar, Obama also has the fourth most-liked tweet of all time, written on Jan. 10 of this year: "Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I'm asking you to believe—not in my ability to create change, but in yours." (This kid won a lot of chicken for his retweet record.)

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