The Worst Reactions to Nelson Mandela’s Death

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nelson_Mandela-2008_%28edit%29.jpg">South Africa The Good News/sagoodnews.co.za</a>/Wikimedia Commons

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Yes, some of the reactions to Nelson Mandela‘s death have been less than ideal. As a few have pointed out, the comments on, say, this National Review blog post or Sen. Ted Cruz’s Facebook page regarding Mandela (the guy was a commie, racist murderer, yada yada) are fairly disgusting. To be fair, some commenters on the internet are always nasty and dumb, whatever the topic. But how about people who (maybe?) should know better? Here are the worst reactions to Mandela’s passing, courtesy of…

1. Rick Santorum: With a straight face, the former Republican senator and failed presidential candidate, who is now making pro-Christian movies, compared Mandela’s long struggle against the apartheid regime to Republicans’ battle against…Obamacare: “He was fighting against some…great injustice,” Santorum said on Fox News yesterday, “and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.”

There are a few key difference between the Affordable Care Act and a racist tyranny, but whatever.

2. Bill O’Reilly: During the same Fox News segment, host Bill O’Reilly emphasized that “great man” Nelson Mandela was a “communist.” This is not true, but it is true that South Africa has a partially socialized health care system.

3. Nikki Finke: The famous Hollywood blogger tweeted this gem:

Nothing like keeping your eye on the prize.

4. PJ Media: The conservative opinion website went with this sure-to-please-O’Reilly headline:

nelson mandela communist

Screenshot: pjmedia.com

5. Gaz from Geordie Shore: The star of the MTV UK reality show, who claims he “should have a degree in pulling women,” sent this (since-deleted) tweet:

Gaz Twitter Nelson Mandela

@GazGShore, via metro.co.uk

Because nothing says “mourning the loss of a towering hero” than “free launch party tickets for a debut single.”

Update: This one, too, courtesy of Rick Clark, sheriff of Pickens County, SC, who wrote on Friday that he would defy President Obama’s order to lower American flags to half-staff in honor of Mandela.

“Nelson Mandela did great things for his country and was a brave man but he was not an AMERICAN!!!” Clark writes. “The flag should be lowered at our Embassy in S. Africa, but not here. Our flag is at half staff today for a Deputy in the low country who died going to help his fellow Deputy. He deserves the honor. I have ordered that the flag here at my office back up after tomorrow’s mourning of Pearl Harbor Day!”

Rick Clark sheriff Nelson Mandela

Rick Clark/Facebook

 

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate