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

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


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

 

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.