#MyPresident Trends For Barack Obama After His Viral Message On El Paso and Dayton Shootings: 'This Is What A Real Leader Sounds Like'

The hashtag "#MyPresident" flooded Twitter on Monday with words of praise, not for the current U.S. leader, but for his predecessor, Barack Obama, after the 44th president issued a rare statement, calling on Americans to reject leadership that stokes hatred in the wake of the weekend's two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

In his message, published to Twitter on Tuesday, Obama said that both he and former first lady Michelle Obama were grieving with the families in El Paso and Dayton after the hours-apart mass shootings that collectively saw 31 people killed.

The former U.S. leader, who had fought an unsuccessful battle to see "common-sense gun safety laws" put in place during his time in office, lamented how "no other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States."


— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 5, 2019

"No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do. Every time this happens, we're told that tougher gun laws won't stop all murders; they won't stop every deranged individual from getting a weapon and shooting innocent people in public places," Obama said.

"But the evidence shows that they can stop some killings. They can save some families from heartbreak. We are not helpless here. And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening."

The 44th president addressed the El Paso shooting, in which the suspect is believed to have posted a hateful manifesto on the website 8chan railing against Hispanics and immigrants in the lead-up to the attack.

As has been widely noted, the manifesto also appeared to use language similar to that used by President Donald Trump, with the author branding the presence of Hispanics in Texas an "invasion."

"While the motivations behind these shootings may not yet be fully known, there are indications that the El Paso shooting follows a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy," Obama wrote.

"Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they've been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet. That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups."

In addition to reducing the influence of hate groups, Obama also called on Americans to reject the influence of leaders whose words feed into a "climate of fear and hatred."

While Obama did not name any names, his successor has received widespread condemnation in recent months for stoking racism and hatred in America with his anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric against asylum seekers and lawmakers alike.

"All of us have to send a clarion call and behave with the values of tolerance and diversity that should be the hallmark of our democracy. We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don't look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people," Obama said.

"Such language isn't new—it's been at the root of most human tragedy throughout history, here in America and around the world. It is at the root of slavery and Jim Crow, the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.

"It has no place in our politics and our public life. And it's time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, of every race and faith and political party to say as much—clearly and unequivocally," Obama said.

He added in a following tweet: "Until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening."

This is what a real leader sounds like. #MyPresident https://t.co/slQsT83nfJ

— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) August 5, 2019

After reading the former president's message, Twitter was alight with words of praise under the "#MyPresident" hashtag.

"This is what a real leader sounds like," Amee Vanderpool, a lawyer and commentator wrote.

"This is why @BarackObama continues to be #MyPresident. These are the words of a true leader," rights advocate Andrew Wortman said. "Thank you, sir!"

This is why @BarackObama continues to be #MyPresident. These are the words of a true leader. Thank you, sir! https://t.co/bA1ud27ab9

— Andrew Wortman 🏳️‍🌈 (@AmoneyResists) August 5, 2019

"#MyPresident is a man of character. A man of compassion. A man of integrity. #MyPresident is Barack Obama," another social media user said.

"I miss #MyPresident—@BarackObama and my First Lady @MichelleObama," another weighed in. "I miss compassion and well-thought-out responses to horrible events. I miss sanity," they said.

Barack Obama
Former President Barack Obama speaks to young leaders from across Europe in a Town Hall-styled session on April 06, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Obama has called on Americans to reject hateful and racist rhetoric from leaders. Sean Gallup/Getty