'I'll educate myself on his atrocities and racist views': Twitter trolls force US astronaut Scott Kelly to APOLOGISE for praising Winston Churchill... but he is then savaged for criticising 'the man who saved the world from Nazis' (12 Pics)

Retired astronaut Scott Kelly felt compelled to apologize for quoting Winston Churchill after some social media users criticized him for endorsing the 'racist' former British Prime Minister.
But he also came under fire for apologizing from critics who accuse Kelly of caving into a Twitter hate mob and point out that Churchill is 'one of the greatest figures in history and helped defeat the Nazis'. 
On Sunday, Kelly tweeted: 'One of the greatest leaders of modern times, Sir Winston Churchill said, "in victory, magnanimity." I guess those days are over.'
Retired astronaut, Scott Kelly
has apologized for quoting Winston Churchill and pledged to 'educate' himself on Churchill's 'atrocities and racist views'. But many have questioned why he needed to say sorry for praising the iconic British Prime Minister, who has long been credited with helping defeat the Nazis

Some modern day critics despise Churchill for his racist colonial views and acts including blaming him for a famine in India that killed 3 million in 1943, the use of mustard gas on the Kurds and Afghans in 1919 and frequent racist statements such as claiming whites were a 'stronger, higher-grade and a more worldly wise'.
However others take a more nuanced view that Churchill was a product of his era, when racist views were widespread and his defining act of defeating the Nazis means he should be admired as one of the greatest figures in history.
However, Kelly, who has commanded three International Space Station Expeditions, still felt the need to remove his Tweet and publicly apologize following a deluge of criticism from Churchill's detractors. 
The astronaut was mercilessly trolled on Twitter by users who said he needed to 'educate himself' on the man who helped win the Second World War.
'Churchill was a mass murderer and a racist, Scott,' one user tweeted.
Kelly eventually caved and tweeted his apology. In it, he wrote: '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,' Kelly tweeted.
'My point was we need to come together as one nation. We are all Americans. That should transcend partisan politics,' Kelly added.  
His apology drew even more criticism from dozens who felt he didn't need to respond. 
Twitter users said it was 'disgusting' for Kelly to apologize for quoting Churchill, who 'had the guts to stand firm against the Evil Empire of Hitler'.
'It’s disgusting that you felt the need to apologize,' one user tweeted. 
Another tweeted: 'Don’t apologize. Churchill was the right man, in the right job, at the right time in history. The world is a better place because of him.'
'What a disappointing climb-down. Winston Churchill stood up to Adolf Hitler and his courageous leadership saved the whole world from Nazi conquest. When he did so, in 1940 (a year before the US entered the war), only Churchill’s Britain stood in the way of the Axis winning WW2,' another user wrote. 
Scholar Christina Sommers replied to Kelly's post saying: 'Please don’t apologize. Winston Churchill, like all of us, had serious human failings. But unlike most of us—he possessed genuine greatness. 
'And that greatness may have saved freedom & democracy. Ask the Twitter scolds to name a hero or heroine who didn’t have serious flaws.' 
Another wrote: 'You are disgracing yourself here. Please stop bending to the will of deranged online trolls.'
After his initial tweet admiring Churchill, critics were quick to slam Kelly's comments and picked out some of the more controversial moments from Churchill's past.
A user wrote to him: 'I'm embarrassed for you. I mean really embarrassed for you.'
One Twitter user expressed her 'surprise' that Kelly endorsed a 'racist bigot'.
Her remark was referring to Churchill's handling of the 1943-44 Bengal famine when between one and three million Indians died of starvation.
When Mahatma Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance, Churchill said that he 'ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back'.
Churchill also said: 'I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.' 
As those three million people starved to death, British officials begged Churchill to send food and supplies to the region. 

But he refused, raging that it was their own fault for 'breeding like rabbits' and that the plague was 'merrily' culling the population.
Churchill was an immensely divisive figure, from his role in the disaster of Gallipoli — where British troops were forced to retreat in 1916 — and his outspoken opposition to Indian independence to his treatment of strikers, suffragettes and anti-imperial rebels, as well as his general belligerence and egotism.
Facing a Kurdish rebellion in what is now Iraq, he once wrote: 'I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes.’ 
And contemplating the possible rise of China, he urged its partition and colonization by the European powers. 'The Aryan stock,' he explained, 'is bound to triumph'.
Churchill led Britain between 1940 and 1945 - and again from 1951 to 1955. He also served in the British Army in India, Sudan and South Africa – while commanding a battalion in the First World War after resigning from the Cabinet.
Churchill is also the only British Prime Minister to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature and was granted the rare honor of a state funeral after his death in 1965.  
As an aristocrat’s son who fought in Africa, India and Europe, Churchill served as a Conservative MP, Liberal Home Secretary and Conservative Chancellor and warned of the dangers of appeasing Hitler.  

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