It’s been one of those shut your computer, turn off the news, close your eyes, and hum a little prayer kind of weeks. We have watched the headlines scroll through our news feeds of torches being lit, words being chanted, cars and vans plowing through crowds, and our stomachs are feeling heavy with hopelessness.
Can you feel it? Can you feel the tension, the hatred? Can you feel us inching closer and closer to the proverbial boiling point?
I feel it, too. I feel like we’re all sitting atop a train holding on for dear life, barreling into chaos and unpredictability, because I don’t know what happens when the ugliness swallows up the beauty. But maybe it’s not.
A couple of nights ago former President Barack Obama quoted Nelson Mandela in what has since become the most-liked tweet in the history of Twitter.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
“”No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…’,” he began, alongside a picture of himself smiling through an open preschool window. He completes Mandela’s thoughts with two more tweets, saying, “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.”
So far, the quote has been liked 4.2 million times, which makes it the most-liked tweet ever, surpassing Ariana Grande’s which she posted following the Manchester bombing.
Whether or not you vote red or blue, lean left or lean right, whether or not you agree with everything or anything President Obama did while he was in office, can we all just agree that this is good news? I know it feels like hate is gaining ground and picking up steam. But 4.2 million people are giving us all hope that love is rising up, too.
That’s 4.2 million people who believe in equality and diversity, in working against the soul-sucking, blatant racism that’s not quite so buried in our country’s past as our naivety has led us to believe.
That means more people stand alongside this anti-hate statement than anything anyone has ever said on Twitter. Ever. There is hope yet.
Humanity is still here, and it’s still good.
Yes, I feel the hate, too. But I also feel eyes being opened, hands reaching out, hearts being softened, and people of all colors, shapes, and sizes marching arm-in-arm, flowing like a school of fish toward unity.