The president’s refusal to properly condemn the attack in Charlottesville is consistent with past comments and a divisive campaign that stoked hatred

After the deadly violence involving white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Donald Trump’s failure to find the right response, Barack Obama stepped into the void with an assist from South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela: “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.”

Trump’s tepid response, so stark in contrast to his predecessor’s handling of tragedies such as the Sandy Hook school and Charleston church shootings, is arguably the low point of his short presidency to date. It is likely to dominate journalists’ questions at his next public appearance, expected in Washington DC on Monday.

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