Retired American astronaut Scott Kelly apologized for quoting British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill after facing a torrent of Twitter rage.
“One of the greatest leaders of modern times, Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘In victory, magnanimity.’ I guess those days are over,” Kelly wrote Sunday, presumably regarding what he deemed dishonorable behavior from those celebrating the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
In response, many users took Kelly to task for quoting a 20th-century leader whom they accused of various atrocities. One meme posted by a user accused Churchill of starving 3 million Indians to death, advocating and using chemical weapons, betraying Poland and selling half of Europe to Stalin.
— Troll hunter (@Tr0Ilhunter) October 7, 2018
In response to the backlash, Kelly tweeted, “Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies. I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views, which I do not support. My point was we need to come together as one nation. We are all Americans. That should transcend partisan politics.”
Kelly’s apology was also met with criticism from those who accused him of kowtowing to an online mob. “You are disgracing yourself here,” one user tweeted. “Please stop bending to the will of deranged online trolls.”
Brit Hume wrote of the apology, “This is truly pathetic.”
You are disgracing yourself here. Please stop bending to the will of deranged online trolls.
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) October 7, 2018
This is truly pathetic. https://t.co/Mzbd873D88
— Brit Hume (@brithume) October 8, 2018
Author Paul Reid, who co-wrote the final volume of the Churchill biography “The Last Lion” with the late William Manchester, tweeted, “Scott Kelly, please read a good biography of Churchill before making pronouncements on his ‘atrocities’ and ‘racist views.’ He committed no atrocities and his views on race 100 years ago cannot be judged by today’s standards — generational chauvinism. Are you lost … in space?”
In a follow-up tweet, Reid continued, “And furthermore, Sir, by saying you’re going to ‘further educate’ yourself on ‘his atrocities’ implies the fix is in. I humbly request you read ‘The Last Lion,’ which I co-wrote with William Manchester. Food for thought. All the Best.”
And furthermore, Sir, by saying you’re going to “further educate” yourself on “his atrocities” implies the fix is in. I humbly request you read The Last Lion, which I co-wrote with William Manchester. Food for thought. All the Best.
— Paul Reid (@Paul_Reid2) October 8, 2018